The streets of Kyoto not only fill the air with the humming din of vehicles passing by but also the pleasant aromas of freshly roasted green tea. Nearly a year ago I reflected upon the Hojicha Hanamitsu and found autumnal comfort from its rich, smoky, depth of flavor, and vanilla smoothness. This time is different. Today I’m not brought back to moments of bonfires touching crisp cold air in the night but of the Oi River flora and a balance of greenery and roasted sweetness from a summer in the region. It may not be possible to visit Japan right now, but this tea brings me closer to this land.
I’m opting to use my shiboridashi for this tea, as the slow and reserved nature of the pour reminds me of the passage of time and a chance to slow my mind, breathing, and attention to the tea’s constituents radiating in the cup. Let’s explore this new tea from Hojicha Co. together.
Season: June 2020
Origin: Kyoto, Japan
Picking/Processing: Steamed, rolled, dried, roasted
Elevation: ~0-500m depending on cultivar
My Brewing Parameters
Leaf to Water Ratio – 4.5 g for 100 mL
Starting Temp – 90°C
Infusion time(s) – 25 sec. +5
My Tasting Experience
Eyes Dry: Marbled browns with shades of dried summer grass greens, folded and mulch-like
Nose Dry: Soaked almonds, meadow grasses, toffee
Nose Wet: Tarmac warmth, summer brush, pine nuts,
Eyes Liquor: Ginger/burnt orange core with slight greenish rim, clear and unclouded
Mouth Texture: Slightly sharp yet smooth and full-bodied,
Mouth Taste: Fire-roasted cauliflower, peanut brittle, raw sugar,
Nose Cup: Crème brûlée, cedarwood
Mouth Finish: Lingering sweetness
Eyes Wet: Large and broken sturdy leaves of deep brown-green color
Body Sensation: Calm and warming
The tea presented 4 comprehensive infusions and I would be interested in boiling the leaves to further extract every last experience from the tea. Hojicha Classic is just what you would imagine it to be, a solid and affordable representation and experience presenting windows into the dynamic experience hojicha can provide. Priced at $0.20/gram USD for 80g, there are countless ways to enjoy this roasted green tea! Hojicha Classic is a jumping-off point into the rest of their hojicha portfolio and a taste of Kyoto. They graciously sent me a sample of this tea to taste and share my thoughts with them before launch and it did not disappoint! If you’d like to snag a batch of this tea you’ll find it HERE.