105 Tasting Notes
I have been slacking so bad on Steepster Select reviews, but I had to review this one. I adore this tea. The Apricot flavor is so smooth and natural, but doesn’t overpower the flavor of the black tea. Perfect amount of fruity flavor. The fruity flavor doesn’t hold up well when resteeping, but that first cup is phenomenal.
I had grape expectations for this tea, but I’m not sure they were met. The sencha is nice and smooth, but I don’t really know what to make of the grape flavoring. It isn’t medicine-like grape, thankfully, but it isn’t a nice, crisp grape flavor either. It almost tastes like raisins rather than fresh grapes. I would not order more, but it’s drinkable.
I’ve never had anything quite like this before. It feels very heavy, if that makes sense, but in a very good way. I liked this a lot.. I definitely notice a grape flavor and a bit of astringency. I loved this even more with some milk (per the packaging’s recommendation).. And I usually do not add milk to my tea.
OK, I do like houjicha. That being said, it seems the houjichas that are made with a lot of stem* are not for me . I brought something similar to this back from Japan and didn’t like that either. The woodyness, hay? flavor of this type of houjicha is just not for me. I don’t like the taste it leaves in my mouth. There are some other notes in this tea that are pretty pleasant. There is a caramel taste somewhere in there, that LIES to me and says “oh, this tea is actually pretty good”, right before the taste of wood punches me in the face.
*Is there actually a difference in houjichas being made from stems vs leaves? I feel like I’ve had hojichas before that I have LOVED, but they weren’t like this. What is the difference here? Am I confusing the “leafy” hojicha with something else?
There is something called kukicha (or some such) which is made from stems. Perhaps the stem-y hojichas you’ve had were made from roasted kukicha instead of bancha? I don’t know anything about this, actually, it just strikes me as plausible.
Houjicha is roasted green tea. It’s my understanding that you can take bancha (green tea leaves) or kukicha (green tea stems) and either would produce houjicha upon roasting. I personally like both varieties. But it is perfectly plausible that you prefer one over another.
Rounding out my first box of steepster select, this tea is incredible. I spend a lot of time drinking and trying various greens, and this one was truly unique for me. It is quite grassy with buttery notes and a smooth, nutty finish. Really good.
It’s a good thing they offered this Dec box for free, because I wouldn’t have signed up otherwise. Now I’m hooked.
Until Steepster Select, I had not tried many straight black teas. I’m just an oolong & green girl, and never really wanted to be trying plain blacks. I am a changed woman after experiencing the black teas in this first steepster select box.
I loved this tea. The smokiness was nice. The caramel and sour cherry notes were phenomenal. I had no idea I would like a black tea so much. I brewed this gongfu style to really enjoy these flavors, and I’m quite glad I did that.