Leaf Type: Green Tea
Where to Buy: Kyoto Obubu Tea Plantations
This Houjicha is special! Made by roasting mature sencha instead of bancha, Houjicha Gold boasts a much more intense flavour with lingering buttery sun flower tones. Relying on the name it turns bright golden in a cup and gives off a room-filling pleasant roasted fragrance. As it is made from sencha we recommend steeping it shorter than other houjicha.
Learn more about this tea here.
I love hojicha (or houjicha, or Hoji Cha)! I just love that toasted flavor that comes of roasting the green tea leaves. The roasting process changes the green tea flavor, converting the “vegetative” or “grassy” taste of a Sencha and/or Bancha tea into a sweeter flavor that tastes like sweet, freshly roasted nuts.
And in this “line of work” I have had the opportunity to try MANY different hojicha. Some I’ve liked better than others (although I can’t really recall ever not liking a hojicha that I’ve tasted.) But this Hoji Cha Gold – also called Houjicha Gold – from Kyoto Obubu Tea Plantations is one of the very best, if not THE best, that I’ve tried!
What makes this tea different? This houjicha consists of only roasted Sencha leaves (rather than a combination of Bancha and Sencha, or just Bancha leaves) … maybe that’s the reason for the better flavor. I don’t know.
What I do know is that I taste a really deliciously sweet, roasty-toasty, nutty flavor. I taste not just nutty flavors, but hints of caramel and even a slight floral tone that is interesting.
I like that is not just sweet. There is a savory note in this tea that hits the palate right about mid-sip. This savory note comes from the slight floral note … it’s slightly sharp and intriguing!
At the start of the sip, the palate is washed with sweet, nutty flavors, and then as the sip progresses, the palate perks up with the introduction of this savory note. It sort of wakes up and says “Hello, what is this?” and this allows the palate to really explore this tea.
I find myself appreciating this contrasting note because as much as I do enjoy hojicha teas … sometimes they are just a little too sweet. I like this uplifting sharpness to the cup, it cuts through some of the sweetness, and makes the tea taste more balanced.
A really enjoyable Houjicha, one that I’m glad I had the opportunity to experience!