Houji-Genmaicha Green Tea from Den’s Tea

Houji-GenmaichaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy: Den’s Tea

Tea Description:

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.

Taster’s Review:

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.

Houjicha Gold (Roasted Bancha) from Den’s Tea

Houjicha-GoldTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

Where to Buy:  Den’s Tea

Tea Description:

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.

Taster’s Review:

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!

Pineapple Sencha from Den’s Tea

Pineapple-SenchaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green

This tea is available from Amoda Tea.

Tea Description:

Loved by anyone who tries it, this tea is a must-try. There is a perfect balance between the fresh, grassy taste of a Sencha (a Japanese green tea) and the sweet tropical pineapple. Very natural & authentic fruit flavour and a buttery creaminess make this tea an example of how flavoured tea should taste! Great as a cold-steeped tea.

Learn more about subscribing to Amoda Tea here.

Taster’s Review:

I was really excited to find Pineapple Sencha from Den’s Tea in the March box from Amoda Tea!  It’s a tea that I’ve been hearing so many positive things about on Steepster and one that I’ve had on my mental list of teas to try but one that I’ve not yet gotten around to ordering for myself.  So, I’m really happy to have this opportunity now to try it.

The dry leaf looks very much like what the picture above depicts – it’s bright, jade green Japanese Sencha tea leaves with bits of dried pineapple.  Some of the pieces of pineapple look a little darker – almost orange – and it almost looks like maybe that could be papaya or mango instead of pineapple.  The ingredients list only Sencha, pineapple pieces and flavoring, so maybe my eyes are playing tricks on me.

But rather than actually sampling a piece of the fruit, I just poured the contents of the packet into the basket of my Breville One-Touch tea maker and added 500 ml of water to the jug and set the parameters:  170°F and 1 1/2 minutes.

This produced a very light tasting cup of tea – subtle but lovely!  The pineapple is a prominent flavor but I can also taste the light, fresh notes of the Japanese Sencha:  slightly grassy and with a hint of butter.  There is a nice sweet and savory contrast going on between the two profiles.

And because this is a Japanese Sencha, you know I went in for a second infusion!

The second infusion is even stronger in flavor than the first was.  The first was somewhat delicate and with this second infusion, the flavors have developed.  The pineapple is well-defined.  Sweet, juicy and very true to the fruit.  There is no mistaking that this is pineapple!  It doesn’t taste candied or artificial.  It tastes bright!  It tastes like fresh, delicious pineapple!  YUM!

The Japanese Sencha adds a compelling contrast to the sweet pineapple notes.  The Sencha adds a little bit of savory to the cup, balancing out the sweetness.  It also offers a slightly creamy texture to the cup which is quite pleasant.

Overall, a spectacular tea – one I’m really happy that Amoda Tea chose for this month’s box!  Thank you, Amoda!

Happy Thanksgiving … and Don’t Forget Tea on Black Friday!

“Home To Thanksgiving” from Currier & Ives.
Photo from Wikipedia, click on the pic to go there.

Happy Thanksgiving to all our readers in the United States, and to those outside of the US, I wish you a happy, warm and healthy day!

Tomorrow is the biggest shopping day of the year here in the United States … it’s also known as Black Friday!  And while many will be rushing out to their favorite department stores and electronics stores to get the some of the best bargains of the year … I want to remind you that there is also some really amazing deals on TEA available online on Black Friday!

Here are just a few … please keep in mind that this list is in no way complete, and is compiled based on the information that companies have sent me.  If you are a tea company offering a Black Friday deal, please feel free to comment below and tell us about your deal!  Tea shoppers want to know!!!


  • A tea company that is new to us here on SororiTea Sisters but did give us the opportunity to try out their amazing new system where we can design and create blends ourselves is Uniq Teas!  It is so easy and FUN to design your own blend!  There are many different flavors of teas to choose from, and you can choose the percent of which flavor goes in to the tea.  I had a blast creating my blend – Click here to see my blend.  You can also click here to see TeaEqualsBliss’ Blend, and click here to see Azzrian’s BlendUniq Teas will be having a Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale:  50% off PLUS get a free tea ball infuser with your first order.
  • One of my favorite tea companies, Kally Tea is also having a special Black Friday sale – one day only!  All tea orders placed on Friday will be automatically DOUBLED!  That means if you order 2 ounces of Tangerine Spice, you’ll get another 2 ounces of Tangerine Spice FREE!  Order 4 ounces of Almond Fondant, get another 4 ounces of Almond Fondant FREE!  This is a great sale to stock up your tea cupboard … and also a chance to share some of your favorites from Kally Tea with friends!
  • Another favorite company:  Della Terra Teas has a super special Black Friday sale going on.  40% off all teas from midnight until 10 pm on Black Friday, with a special Door Buster sale where select teas will be 60% off from 6-8 am, then again 3-4 pm, and finally from 9-10 pm (all times are EST), and other deals will be going on all weekend long, through Cyber Monday … be sure to check their website for more!
  • Mighty Leaf is having a 30% off sale for Black Friday that has been going on all week!  And don’t forget that you get FREE SHIPPING with all orders that are $50. or more!
  • Another SororiTea Sisters favorite – Verdant Tea – is planning a very special Black Friday!  On Black Friday, they will be unveiling “two new kinds of tea never before tasted in China or the West.”  Wowza!  I can’t wait to find out what these teas will be!  They also state that they will be offering some special deals on Black Friday too … you definitely need to check them out!
  • Tea Licious is also having a Black Friday special that begins tomorrow, November 23 and continues through November 30:  Save 30% on all Black Teas … and save an additional 5% on Friday and Saturday (November 23 & 24) by entering the code BF2012 in the coupon field at final checkout!  In addition, you will receive FREE samples of their three newest teas with EVERY order!
  • Lots of SororiTea Sister favorites offering deals this Black Friday!  Here’s another:  Persimmon Tree Tea is offering 20% off on all their teas all weekend long, starting today and ending November 25th.
  • The Tea Merchant is offering a Happy Saturday (instead of a Black Friday) sale, Save 25% off all tea and tea ware this Saturday only, just use the code 25Special in the coupon field at final checkout to enjoy your savings!
  • Peony Tea S. is offering 30% off on all teas and 20% off on all tea ware!   This sale will be going on through Sunday, November 25th.
  • Harney & Sons is offering Free Ground Shipping on all US orders now through November 26 (Cyber Monday!)  But savings with Harney is not available ONLY to US customers… International customers can receive a $5.50 credit toward their shipping charges by using the code:  Black12.
  • Teajo has a great bunch of offers for Black Friday through Cyber Monday:  FREE shipping on all orders over $25, 30-45% off their entire selection of teas and tea makers, a NEW 12 Tea Sampler for just $25, plus Double Rewards for Members!
  • Samovar is also having a Thanksgiving/Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale.  Save up to 50% on select teas and tea ware through November 26.
  • Den’s Tea is having a special Thanksgiving sale that will extend through noon on Black Friday.  Save up to 30% on selected tea, tea gifts, tea ware, tea accessories and books!
  • Adagio Teas is offering Free Shipping on all orders through November 26.
  • Maeda-en has a special holiday sale going on now through 12/16, Save 20% on selected teas.

Also of interest (I hope) is this:  SororiTea Sisters will be hosting another giveaway that will start tomorrow at 6 am EST.  Just visit the blog, and read the announcement to win something very exciting.  This is the Season of Giveaways here on SororiTea Sisters!!!


I am sure that many other tea companies out there are offering specials on Black Friday … so if you know of any, please feel free to add them in the comments, or as I said above, if you’re a tea company and want your information included here, add a comment with a link!

So, after you’ve had time with the family and enjoyed the fantastic feast, be sure to get some tea shopping done!  Happy Holidays, everyone!

Grape Sencha from Den’s Tea

Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Green, Sencha

Where to Buy:  Den’s Tea

Tea Description:

Grape Sencha has a grape flavor plus a hint of dried cranberry and raspberry. These combine into the sweet-tart flavors of our Grape Sencha. Great for iced tea.

Origin: Shizuoka

Harvest: Between First and Second Harvests

Species: Yabukita

Fun fruity and sweet grape flavor. Best selling among our fruit flavored teas.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

What a delight! Don’t let the kool aid aroma scare you! This tea is beautifully flavored with natural grapes which you can see right in your steeping basket! Such a beautiful tea to look at and I was tempted to steal one big grape and stick it right into my mouth, but I resisted.

Den’s has never disappointed me when it comes to Japanese green teas. I began my journey with them by getting their $3.00 sampler package and I have not stopped my journey since!

This tea is excellent both hot and iced.

The grape flavor is by no means cloying in its sweetness, it is rather quite natural and juicy. It also is not like a grape juice even though it may smell as such. The grape flavor is an undertone that gently supports the excellent sencha base.

Perhaps the cranberry and raspberry ease the sweetness in their supporting roles, yet as supporters they do not take center stage or attempt to shine too brightly. There is a slight tartness to the cup but only slight.

Not to be outdone by the beautiful dry leaves the steeped color of this cup turns out to be a gorgeous sun shiny yellow/golden hue.

From the boquet-esque look of the dry leaf, to the sunny cup it provides, to the flavor of this tea, everything about it is cheery and joyful.

Happiness in a cup.