Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Den’s Tea
Houji-Genmaicha consists of the two harmonious yet slightly contrasting taste components. It is a good alternative to sweetened coffee. It offers a comfortable toasty aroma both from roasted leaf and brown rice. The Genmai (roasted brown rice) sweetens the roasted Bancha leaves.
Learn more about this tea here.
Sometimes, it’s hard to get what you want in this world. Sometimes, I want genmaicha at 10 o’clock at night, but I also want a good roasty, toasty, houjicha. Thank goodness for Den’s Tea. They truly have thought of everything. Now I can have my tea and drink it too.
I used my 12oz tokoname kyusu for this one. Probably overleafing it, I intitally used my typical green tea temperature at 175, but at 3 minutes, the flavor was a bit muted. I punched up the temperature to about 190, taking care to not scorch the leaves by leaving the lid uncovered. Three minutes later – I was in tea bliss. The usual clover honey sweetness and toasted barley notes of the houjicha blended so well with the rice, I couldn’t tell where it ends and I begin. There was a touch of cinnamon spice warmth to round out the cup. I should have known that a little hotter water could coax out the houji from the cha.
This tea is really the best or both worlds. It’s got the fresh-toasted rice flavor from the genmai, and it’s got the roasty flavor of houjicha. To be honest, the bancha used is not the best houjicha base I have ever tasted, but paired with the toasted rice, it makes for an amazing pairing to almost any meal, and as a great bedtime sipper.
Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Design a Tea
A nice hardy blend of pumpkin and nutmeg with a black tea base. Served hot, will fill the room with the aroma of a “beautiful pumpkin”. Those were his words- I know, lame! .
Learn more about this tea here.
I hate to admit it, but I have a double standard when it comes to tea names. I absolutely hate it when a company will skirt around what type of tea something is, “It’s a deeply shaded fukamushi sencha harvested in the summer, steamed to perfection.” I get it. Just say it’s a gyokuro already! But when it comes to blended and flavored teas, the more ridiculous the better.
That is why I had to try this tea from Design a tea. I have so many questions. Why is this pumpkin angry? What happened in this tea’s life to make it so furious? Will it make me angry when I drink it? There is only one way to find out.
I brewed up 5g in my 12oz teapot for around 4 minutes. The resulting brew was like an autumn hug. Usually pumpkin flavorings fall short for me, but in this tea, the pumpkin was at the forefront of the brew. Luckily, it wasn’t an aggressive pumpkin. It was sweet and complimented the spices and the black tea base.
I suppose you cannot have a pumpkin tea without putting in some pumpkin pie spices. This particular blend highlighted the use of nutmeg. It was a good idea in theory, but the blend also had cinnamon chips. Yes, it is listed as the last ingredient, but the cinnamon tried it’s hardest to overpower the nutmeg. Throughout all this fighting for attention, what I get is a sweet slice of pumpkin pie. For my first fall-themed tea of the year, it definitely gets me pumped up for more. Bring it on!
I still don’t know what makes this pumpkin so angry, and the other flavors are not that aggressive either. The black tea base is mellow, sweet, with notes of sweet potato. This is a tea with a soothing profile, but I think the name Mellow Pumpkin would not sell as well. Thankfully, it did not make me angry to drink it, and I happily gulped down my pot of Angry Pumpkin to celebrate the beginning of October!