Den's Tea

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Recent Tasting Notes

100

oh MY! what a step back into the world of sencha this is for me! i’d been off in a thicket of shou puerhs and fragrant oolongs and then after i broke my kyusu and had to order another i ended up here, with a sample packet of this delightful tea at my disposal. Used the recommended brewing, am just about done with my second cup of delicious spring seasonal grassy lushness. recommend this one!

Flavors: Cut Grass, Green, Green Beans, Seaweed, Umami

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 0 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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100

Being from Alabama, I grew up assuming the only kind of tea was black tea in a bag that you poured boiling water over and then added enough sugar to kill a large cat. I call it liquid diabetes. I am fortunate enough to be a curious soul, so after some research I ordered my first tea from dens tea. At first, I didn’t know how to make it. I was pouring boiling water on sencha, silly me. Eventually, i figured it out. It turns out my favorite is the fukamushi sencha. The extra steaming applied during the fukamushi process creates a tea leaf that requires very little steeping to extract a deep, emerald broth with a vegetal but not overly grassy brew. The umami is there along with seaweed but with a surprising sweetness. I drink it all day. I get three steepings per serving. I use 3/4 teaspoon to 6oz water. I do my first steeping at 170 F, then 175, finishing at 180. That’s a little picky but just don’t use boiling water! Also, the fukamushi type teas only require the shortest steeping. For the 1st steep I go between 30 seconds to a 1 minute. 2nd steeping, 1-2 minutes, 3rd steeping 3-5 minutes. I can even do a 4th steeping! I collect the spent tea for the day in a mason jar with cold water in the fridge and let it sit overnight. It makes a great, light, decaf, iced tea.

Flavors: Floral, Grass, Honeysuckle, Ocean Breeze, Seaweed, Sweet, Umami, Vegetal

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 0 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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Not going to do a rating of this one since the sampler is old and I don’t feel fully fair with the flavor notes. I liked it, but it’s not something I would order more of to drink on a casual basis. Definitely different. First time trying a Genmaicha or with the rice. I like the toasted feel but did not catch more of the green tea flavor enough to really tell. I brewed for the recommended time of 30 seconds with 1 tsp., then brewed slightly more after a few sips.

Flavors: Rice

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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90

My favorite weird green tea, though I think my tastes have become kind of boring with regards to tea flavors. It’s super good, not really much I can say beyond that. You’ve got Matcha. You’ve got Genmaicha. Together. Very green. Genmaicha is still my everything so that’s not putting it down, just observational. I love Den’s for really good quality tea, so it’s just a nice good quality tea. :D

Flavors: Grass, Green, Popcorn, Toasted Rice

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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85

This and the Brown Rice Green Tea with Elinor. This one was very good!

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93
drank Sencha Fuka-midori by Den's Tea
4953 tasting notes

2021 Sipdown 34/365!

Second (and final) selection for National Virtual Vacation Day – a (very old but still very good) Japanese tea! I visited Japan back in high school and it’s very high on my list of places to return to.

You would never know that this tea is literally about 10 years old. My sampler order from Den’s was one of my very very first tea orders. However, they packaged their samples in foil envelopes and the flavour retention is incredible. This tea is a very umami, seaweedy, mildly sweet green and just addictive to drink. I’m sad it’s gone, but maybe one day I’ll order more.

Michelle

Japan, where you can get a can of hot tea from a vending machine. It’s generic green or black tea, so I don’t expect much, but it’s certainly nice on a cold day. It’s been a long while for me and I’d like to go back some day too!

Cameron B.

The first time I accidentally chose a hot milk tea from a vending machine, I was very surprised lol!

Kittenna

Yes! Hot vending machine tea! I believe I got tea (or possibly coffee???) with milk, hot, out of a machine. I believe I knew that it would be hot, but it was quite the experience.

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93
drank Sencha Fuka-midori by Den's Tea
4953 tasting notes

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93
drank Sencha Fuka-midori by Den's Tea
4953 tasting notes

This tea is really fantastic, in spite of being… 7? years old? The packet was unopened, though, and I’m sure that was a contributing factor. I’d have been hard-pressed to tell that it was that old. Deliciously sweet and green beany.

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77

Sipdown! 157/365!

Note: I have a few June sipdowns, but as usual, I’m way behind on writing and reading tasting notes. Tis the season of yardwork. And basketball games, apparently.

Anyways, I’ve had this tea for eons. (We’re talking 6+ years.) It’s from a sampler I purchased waaay back in my early days of tea discovery. Didn’t expect much, as most greens fall pretty flat when this old. However, it ended up actually being rather tasty – almost tasted a bit overleafed/oversteeped (dilution would cure it, though – so not unpleasant, more just strong), but nice beaniness and vegetal flavours. I can only imagine it would have been better when fresh. Not a tea I’d pick up on my own, a) because I dislike teabags and b) because there are other greens I’m fairly sure I prefer, but certainly a pleasant cup!

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92

Computer, green tea, hot.

Captain’s tea log.

Part of a past tea sampler. This tea has a roasted/ nice nutty scent. The flavour is mostly toasted rice, with some other grain notes. It makes me think of the autumn or the woods.

Very glad I was able to try some green teas again.

End log.

Flavors: Grain, Nutty, Roasted Nuts, Toasted Rice, Toasty

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83
drank Matcha Kaze by Den's Tea
1994 tasting notes

Finally caught up! Sipdown no. 1 of 2020 (no. 596 total). And my original note is spot on. Nothing to add here.

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83
drank Matcha Kaze by Den's Tea
1994 tasting notes

4 oz water at 175F, 2 spoons matcha, whisk.

Second to last matcha in the cupboard that needs a tasting and a note. Tomorrow if all goes as planned, I will be able to say I’ve tasted and written notes about all my matchas!

I’ve also been taking matcha to work lately, which has been quietly fueling a very busy time for me. Honestly, it feels like the days are over before they start — my life is speeding by like a bullet train. I would love to trade that in for a little boredom and clock watching for a while.

This matcha is mild and vaguely pea-like. It has a slight bitter downturn at the end of the sip, which is oddly enjoyable. A slight marine note, too. It’s slightly grainy, despite sifting and a thorough whisk. I suspect that is user error.

What other slights can I add? One thing it isn’t: slightly sweet. Pretty much not at all, despite the pea note.

It isn’t my favorite of the matchas I’ve had recently but it’s a solid matcha.

Flavors: Marine, Peas

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C

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90
drank Organic Matcha by Den's Tea
1994 tasting notes

4 oz water at 175F, 2 spoons matcha, whisk.

I’ve gotten my mojo back for sure. I’m getting a nice froth even in a matcha bowl that I’d thought might have become jinxed.

This tastes a lot like what I think of when I think of matcha. It’s mostly seaweed, umami, not particularly sweet or vegetal, note even very grassy. The mouthfeel is full but not overly thick, and a little effervescent because of the froth.

I just really like Den’s matcha. I don’t know whether it is qualitatively better than others, in fact it’s possible it isn’t and it just appeals to me.

Also, I’m very excited to be drinking this before noon. I thought I would never get to sleep last night. I have a ton of shopping to do this afternoon, so I’m excited to have gotten my tea notes done (for the most part) early. One more new tea after this, and then a surprise!

BTW, the only other person to write a note about this was Cofftea. Anyone know how she is doing?

Flavors: Seaweed, Umami

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C

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82
drank Matcha Miyabi by Den's Tea
1994 tasting notes

Sipdown no. 1 of October 2019 (no. 100 of 2019 total, no. 588 grand total).

My most recent take it to work tea, using the shake in the thermos method.

It continued to be a mild, creamy matcha with prominent marine notes to the end.

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82
drank Matcha Miyabi by Den's Tea
1994 tasting notes

Matcha people, I need your help please.

I am totally sucking at making matcha lately. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong.

Today I followed the directions to the letter with a never before opened tin of matcha.

One spoon, sifted. 3 oz water at 180F. Whisk in W motion.

I was unable to get the light green froth. Mine is olive green with just a tiny bit of bubbles at the top.

Am I not using enough matcha?

Apart from my seeming inability to prepare this correctly, I’m enjoying it. It’s creamier than the matcha I’ve been taking to work. I wouldn’t call it sweet, but it’s not sour or particularly bitter — just a tiny down note in the aftertaste.

It tastes very pleasantly of the ocean.

Flavors: Creamy, Marine, Seaweed

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C

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86
drank Gyokuro Suimei by Den's Tea
1994 tasting notes

My favorite thing about gyokuro is how it looks. I love the fine leaves that look so soft and richly green. The dry leaves smell nutty, a bit like almonds, and the aroma has a juicy character.

I also like the color of the steeped tea — the green in the liquor, rather than the typical color somewhere on the yellow spectrum. This one is a light greenish yellow, more green than chartreuse.

The steeped tea smells brothy, a bit salty, a bit nutty, a bit vegetal. The flavor is grassier than some, which I like, but also has the seaweed notes that I’ve come to expect, and something a little on the nutty side, like edamame.

I made this at a slightly higher temperature than recommended for a first steep, mostly because the Breville won’t go lower than 160.

The description says this is Den’s best, and it is quite good. I wish I appreciated gyokuro more in general. I enjoy it but I feel as though its greatness is somewhat wasted on me since I’m just as happy to drink a good sencha.

Flavors: Almond, Broth, Grass, Nutty, Salty, Seaweed, Soybean

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML

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94

I just cracked this one open today and it smelled divine in the packet. Incredibly juicy-smelling. Vegetal (zucchini?) with a grassy overtone. Yum.

After steeping the aroma is quite savory, with a bit of seaweediness, and a buttery, brothy character. The tea is a clear butter yellow with some suspended particles. It has a thick mouthfeel.

Even though I oversteeped — I didn’t check the Breville setting and went for longer than I usually would have for green tea, and even longer than I should have for this one, and I probably could have gone with cooler water as well, I thought this was excellent. No hint of bitterness, and a really nice nutty aftertaste.

I am looking forward to trying it again with more attention to time and temp — but if this is what it tastes like when done wrong, I’m not sure I want to be right….

Flavors: Broth, Butter, Grass, Nutty, Seaweed, Zucchini

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML

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86
drank Wakoucha Mariko by Den's Tea
81 tasting notes

ah yes, made some of this to go with my late night snack (toast + apricot preserves). perfect. this time around it’s a little more astringent, but I think I maybe steeped it too long. it’s a bit fickle and I’m still playing around with how to best steep this.

late night tea, late night snack, late night perfect song:
https://youtu.be/6ygUPMG1TpA

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86
drank Wakoucha Mariko by Den's Tea
81 tasting notes

hm, well, I’ve tried this tea three different ways! 1) in my lil’ shiboridashi, which was a MISTAKE bc these leaves have been cut really short? anyway, I made a MESS, which made the experience kinda…not great. 2) followed the directions and just did a 3 min. steep, this was delicious. beautiful copper colour, malt and brisk. 3) because the bag said: “it is good as straight tea or with milk” I tried it this morning with almond milk and it was just okay.

I think this tea just prefers the 3 min. steep, it loses flavour quickly if doing multiple steeps. it’s also a very interesting flavour that I don’t know how to describe, it’s different from other Japanese black teas I’ve had in the past, but I really like it?

unrelated: each month (?) Den’s Tea changes the free sample they send out with orders and THIS month it’s the Yuzu Kukicha + Matcha from last year and I AM SO EXCITED about it. I can’t wait for November so that I can stock up. dlakjdlajkdlasd.

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drank Yuzu Kukicha by Den's Tea
81 tasting notes

found this tin and thought it would be a good substitute for my regular ‘I-have-to-go-to-work-and-need-matcha’ morning. though, technically, this does have matcha in it as well. I love this tea and will have to savor what little I have left until the winter.

(drinking this iced, because everything needs ice in the summer)

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75

I was in a hurry when I ordered this tea and did not realize it wasn’t the pyramid-bagged sencha that I usually get from Den’s. But no matter, I just wanted anything that tasted better than the store-bought green teas I have been drinking recently.

It doesn’t taste bad, but it hardly tastes like anything at all. I brewed it first for 1 minute per package instructions and wrote off the lack of flavor to short brew time. Tried it again for two, then three minutes.

It has a very subtle flavor that one might miss if they aren’t really focused on the tea while drinking. I think next time I will brew it two bags at a time and see if that helps.

I also ordered loose-leaf kukicha, so I have backup for when I really need a flavorful tea, but I have four boxes of this to get through because I ordered in bulk. Oh well!

UPDATE: I brewed another cup using two tea bags, a 5min steep, and water at 170F. There was more flavor, but still mild relative to what I’m used to.

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 3 min, 30 sec 12 OZ / 354 ML

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Random sample I’ve had from Den’s sitting around for a long time. The first infusion of this one is by far the best – likely because all the matcha ends up in that cup. Relatively sweet and spinachy tasting, with a bit of that toastiness from the popped rice. Easy to drink, but the matcha gives it enough of a kick to be slightly more interesting than your average genmaicha. I do think it distracts from the overall warm and simple nature of genmaicha though – so this is nice, but I think I’d rather go with genmaicha not dusted with matcha.

Flavors: Spinach, Sweet, Toasted Rice

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 0 sec 3 g 4 OZ / 118 ML
tanluwils

I’m also not a fan of maocha-dusted greens.

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Thoroughly decent Houjicha. Roasty and pleasant tasting, even though my sample got pretty crushed up riding around in my sample box(es) for probably over a year now. Been sipping down some stuff that I’ve been sitting on for a long time. Not all of it has been good. This one was!

Flavors: Roasted

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec 4 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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90
drank Yuzu Kukicha by Den's Tea
335 tasting notes

I was running low on Den’s pineapple sencha, and checked the site. Saw it was Yuzu Kukicha season, so I got a pound of this instead. I had some last year, and regret not buying more. This is such a great everyday tea. Bright, charming, full of flavor, light sweetness, SO GREEN! The yuzu is very light in the background. I love drinking this iced to start the day, or have midday. I think I prefer the pineapple just a little bit more, BUT this is still up there. I do get a savory seaweedy element to it. I like it. I see this going well with seafood, sushi, or crab. Second brew isn’t as flavorful, or as green.

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