Wait, I’ve had this in my stash since 2018 and still haven’t tried it yet?! What is wrong with me?! Anyway, using this for the February sipdown prompt “Drink a tea flavored like your favorite muffin.” Pumpkin muffins are hands down my favorite! (Especially when they have added chocolate chips!)
This is a roasted stem style houjicha, which I tend to like just a bit better than the leafy sort. The dry aroma is super oaty, but with a noticable sweet squashiness… it’s a bit strange, since in America “pumpkin flavor” is typically utilized in food stuff as either “pumpkin spice” (the spice blend sans the squash) or as “pumpkin pie” (still mostly the spices, but with a very desserty-vanilla sort of squashiness). This is more of a savory scent… it smells quite nice on the houjicha. I’m uncertain if it will translate into the flavor, though!
The brewed cup does smell pretty on point to the dry leaf, with that fresh woody aroma of roasty hojicha blending with the oaty/squashy notes. None of the flower bed barky notes that I often get from (typically lower quality) hojicha. Huh. It’s hard to describe the flavor! Certainly I tasted wood, oats, and roasted walnuts, but there is a sweet squash taste to it. I’m not sure if my brain distinctly pegs it as “pumpkin” without the sweetness/spices that usually accompany the taste of pumpkin, but I can see it. It’s an umami sort of taste, but not vegetal. I actually really like it! It’s subtle, but gives a sort of added dimension to what would be a delicious hojicha on its own.
I’ll have to pull this one out more often! (I’m thinking a luxurious latte at some point…)
Flavors: Nutty, Oats, Pumpkin, Roasted, Roasted Nuts, Squash, Sweet, Umami, Walnut, Wood