Yunomi Monthly Mystery Tea Sampler’s Club: Autumn Houjicha from the Takea Family

autumnhoujichaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Yunomi

Tea Description:

Houjicha is made by roasting ryokucha (green tea) over a strong fire. The greatest characteristics is in the roasted flavor.

Learn more about this tea here.

Learn more about Yunomi’s Monthly Mystery Tea Sampler’s Club here.

Taster’s Review:

I absolutely LOVE the aroma of the dry leaf of this Autumn Houjicha from the Takea Family … part of August’s Monthly Mystery Tea Sampler’s Club package from Yunomi!  It SMELLS like autumn!  I can smell the roasted leaves, and it smells a bit like the smoke wafting out of a fireplace … but there’s something else about the fragrance of this tea too that is evoking the spirit of autumn for me.  It … makes me think of the leaves as they change from green to orange, yellow and red before they fall to the ground.  It reminds me of the smell of the crisp air that surrounds me as I go for a walk on an autumn afternoon.  Yes … all of this from just a quick whiff of the dry leaf of the tea!

The flavor is also very autumnal with it’s roasty-toasty taste.  This is one of those teas that you want to pour into a cup and then just cuddle under a blanket and enjoy the splendor of autumn from your favorite space in front of the fireplace.

This is toasty and nutty in taste.  It has a nice sweetness, reminiscent of honey but not quite as thick.  It also has notes of caramel … but this would be a very light, thin caramel … like the taste the sugar begins to take on just as it’s starting to break down from the heat when you’re making homemade caramel.  It isn’t an overpowering sweetness … just enough to keep me coming back for more!

It has a warm, roasted taste to it … and as I sip it, I’m contemplating how this will taste when I add some genmai to it for my review of the Genmai later this month.  The Genmai was also in this month’s Yunomi Monthly Mystery Tea Sampler’s Club package, so I’ll get to make my own “custom” genmaicha using some of this delicious Houjicha (as well as the Bancha that I reviewed previously.)

I’m thinking that this was a perfect tea to include in this package to enjoy during these first few days of autumn … because it’s such a lovely celebration of the season!  I love this!

Sencha Ryokucha Tsumi from Green Tea Lovers

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Green Tea Lovers

Product Description: 

Country of Origin: Japan
Region: Kagoshima Prefecture
Grade: Sencha
Altitude: 500 – 1500 ft. above sea level
Manuf. Type: Orthodox
Infusion: Tending green w/depth & body.
Ingredients: Premium green tea
Character: A distinctive rich vegetative taste.

Contains very high antioxidant levels vs 5-6% for mass-market teas.

This Sencha replaces the original Oh-i-Ocha 1500. Its an early-April, first crop sencha harvested from leaves in the Kagoshima region. The growing climate produces a deep rich aroma and taste and a bright green tea color. The first crop of the four annual harvests is considered best when tea leaves are younger and softer. Produced under ISO 14001 Certified Environmental Management Standards.

Taster’s Review:

I would like to preface this review to state that this tea was received before the recent disaster in Japan, therefore there is no chance of any contamination.  It just took me a while to get to trying it so I could review it.  No worries!

This is a delightful Sencha.  The aroma of the brewed tea is quite vegetal and I worried that this would be extraordinarily grassy, but it isn’t.  Yes, the grassy/vegetative tones are there, but, they are subdued by the sweetness of this tea.

The flavor is bright and fresh.  This is a light-bodied tea, but, the flavor is very rich.  This Sencha has a delicious nutty background that melds well with the sweetness.  It has an invigorating quality to it, and as I sip I can feel myself energize!

The brewing parameters for this tea suggest using 2 teaspoons (rather than just one) for each cup, and steeping just 40 seconds at 176°.  Following these instructions produces a beautiful, sweet brew that is delicious either hot or iced, although I prefer it hot.  It is so calming to sip!  I recommend following these parameters – you will be rewarded!