Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Den’s Tea
Houjicha-Gold delivers a delightful and calming cup. Highly aromatic but gentle to your stomach with a low amount of caffeine.
Learn more about this tea here.
It’s been wet and cooler over the last couple of days and something like this Houjicha Gold (also known as Roasted Bancha) from Den’s Tea is perfect for a day like this. It’s warm and cozy!
It has a delightful toasty, caramel-y flavor that I’m really enjoying. The sip starts out sweet and stays sweet all the way through to the finish and it’s a sweetness that lingers into the aftertaste. After that first sweet note, I start to pick up on some slightly savory notes. Flavors that remind me of freshly roasted corn and and a warm, nutty flavor that immediately brings warm hazelnuts to mind. My grandmother used to make cookies with hazelnuts in them and that’s what I’m thinking of as I sip this tea.
There are some vegetal notes to this but I find that with a roasted green tea like this, most of those strong vegetative flavors have been ‘toasted’ out – most of the grassy/vegetable flavors taste more nutty and toasted now. So now, rather than tasting a freshly steamed spinach flavor, for example, I taste more of a freshly toasted hazelnut flavor with notes of roasted corn.
So if you’re someone who is fairly new to green teas and have yet to get your palate to become acquired to the flavor of green tea, I think that a Houjicha like this is a good place to start. It’s such a warm and inviting flavor that you don’t really realize that you’re drinking green tea!
And if you’re new to Japanese Green teas, may I suggest Den’s Tea’s Green Tea Sampler for Novices? This sampler offers a nice selection of different teas from Den’s so that you can learn about Japanese teas as well as train your palate to understand the different flavors of Japanese teas. I purchased one of these collections several years ago and it was a really rewarding experience – and you get a whole lot of tea for $3!