Origin: Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan
Price: Free sample (regular price - $3.00 for 1oz.)
Vendor: Rishi Tea
Brewing Method: Per Instructed - 1 teaspoon of leaves, 1 cup of filtered water, heated to 185°F, steeped for 3 - 4 minutes
Overall Score: 4.3 out of 5
Houjicha is an organic, roasted green tea from Japan. The aroma of the dry leaves is toasty, woody, and slightly grassy. The leaves are various shades of brown and are long and flat with quite a few stems in the mix, as well.
The tea smells woody and nutty. It definitely doesn’t hold back the roasted aroma either. It reminds of oolong tea because it lacks the fresh scent that most steeped green teas have. The liquor is a yellowish orange color.
The taste is… unlike other green teas. It tastes nutty and buttery. It also has a sweet, honey-like flavor to it. There isn’t much of a grassy or vegetal taste to this green tea. The boldness of this tea matches that of oolong tea – roasted notes that linger for quite some time.
This should not be an intro tea to those trying greens for the first time as it is rather bold and astringent. The tea isn’t bitter, but the intensity of the roasted flavor can be a surprise. Although, if you want to drink green tea and you don’t particularly like the grassy taste, this would be a good one to try as it has darker qualities similar to oolong and black tea.
With that said, this is a great tea for those who are tired of the same old stuff. This Houjicha is a rather complex tea and it surprises me every time I take another sip. I have to remind myself that this is a green tea even though the taste is unlike anything else. The fact that it is organic is a major plus, too.
Saturday, July 24, 2010