There’s excitement in the changing of seasons, and right now I look forward to Autumn’s arrival in the midwest. Brisk mornings compliment warm rich sunlight and leaves gracefully end their lush emerald display in an encore of vibrant yellows and cherry reds. My tastes in tea align to match the elements and experiences of another fall, and ultimately lead me to savor the coziness a session of Hojicha provides. Soon to release by the time of this reflection, Hojicha Hanamitsu perfectly encapsulates the spirit of the season. Back-to-school energy, evening bonfires, football games in the brisk evening air…I could go on. To me, enjoying the artful balance of tea leaves, twigs, and stems is a meditation as the world quiets and becomes cold in the death found in nature. Before winter arrives, there is much to celebrate. Details on this tea and my experiences are below.
Season: Summer – June 2019
Origin: Kyoto, Japan
Elevation: ~500 meters
The beauty of this tea comes from the high roasting temperature of the Sencha, imparting a warm smoky flavor. If you think you’ll know what to expect based on their Hojicha Gold Roast or Hojicha Dark Roast, think again!
My Brewing Parameters:
Leaf to Water Ratio – 4 g for 150 mL
Starting Temp – 90°C
Infusion time(s) – 30 sec. +30 for subsequent infusions (Max 5)
The dry slender espresso brown leaves smell of warm, charred brisket, zucchini, and firewood.
The liquor presents forest honey gold, brown ale, and reddish light against the backdrop of a dark blue sky.
The texture in my mouth provides a syrupy coat along the tip and sides of the tongue, before rushing to the center.
I taste roasted marshmallows billowing and caramelized sugars that fade into menthol heat and leather. Rice cake flavors grow from cooler temperatures as I experience the warmth of a bonfire.
Hojicha Hanamitsu is a celebration of autumnal memories and flavors with bold yet balanced notes of caramelized sugars, rice cake toast and grilled vegetation. This culminates into an invigorating smoky experience different than the common Lapsang Souchong.
Danielle and Francois from Hojicha Co. are some of the nicest and engaging people in the community. I personally regard their tea portolio to be top notch. They’ve focused on a small collection of teas, each masterfully crafted to be expansive in depth of flavor and fit a variety of taste preferences. They graciously sent me a sample of this tea to taste and share my thoughts with them before preorders were launched. If you’d like to snag a batch of this tea you’ll find it HERE .