Saturday, May 2, 2009

Tea Tasting Saturday #18 - Hojicha

Hojicha is a tea I'd never heard of before I read the Harney book, so I was particularly interested in learning more about this one.

Category: Japanese Green Tea

Purveyor: Harney & Sons

When purchased: March 2009

Dry leaf appearance:
This tea looked like a lot of tiny stalks, and the color reminded me of pieces of broken wicker.

Wet leaf appearance: Like miniature bits of floating bamboo.

Steeping temperature and time: 1 teaspoon of tea, 190 degrees, 2 minutes.

Scent: Two very different observations here. First, when I opened the sample packet I thought I smelled something sweet like chocolate or cocoa powder. Once it was steeped, I detected a very toasty/roasty scent. It was a dramatic shift from the scent of the dry tea leaf.

Color: A nice shade of amber, what I think of as "tea" colored, which really threw me since this is a *green* tea!

Flavor: Based on that toasty/roasty scent I was getting, I wasn't at all sure I would like this tea, but I did. It had a uniquely rich flavor that I just haven't gotten in another tea. I would definitely try this one again.

Additional notes: In "The Harney & Sons Guide to Tea," Michael Harney says, "Another creative use of tea by-products, Hojicha is made almost entirely of the leafless stalks that come off with the leaves when tea plants are harvested mechanically." I like knowing that someone is being thrifty with the manufacture of this tea! Harney also describes this tea as "gently reminiscent of roasted coffee." In retrospect, I think I just might agree with that assessment. He also says "it might be the ideal cup to wean a coffee lover off that cruder rival brew." Spoken like a true tea lover!

Next week's tea: Gyokuro


  1. I like your blog.I'm waiting for your new posts.

  2. This is an interesting review. I didn't know that they made tea from the stalks, but that explains how there can be such a vast difference in the appearance of teas.

    Hojicha sounds like a tea that my hubby (drinker of the cruder brew) and I could enjoy together. I just need to forget about my last toasty/roasty tea experience. ;=)


Thanks so much for taking time to leave a comment! It makes my day to hear from readers!