Thursday, September 19, 2013

Tea Review: Hojicha Green Tea (Teahouse Kuan Yin)

Hojicha Green Tea
Teahouse Kuan Yin
Type:  Green
Origin:  Not Provided 
Product Description:  An infusion of our hojicha has a light, sometimes reddish brown appearance, and carries a toasty, slightly caramel-like flavor. Its low caffeine level makes it a great choice on a cool evening.

Hojicha is comprised of the stalks and twigs of bancha and kukicha teas, making it sweet and low in caffeine. It is charcoal roasted, making it unique among Japanese greens. This firing brings the color from green to a reddish-brown and gives it that toasty tone, while also making it longer lasting than other Japanese teas.

Temperature: 195° F
Amount: 3 grams
Steeping Time: 2 minutes

The dry leaves have a rich, smoky, roasted aroma with hints of spice (chili powder), burnt caramel, and fig.

The orange amber infusion has a rich, broth-like taste and aroma that reminds me of freshly roasted nuts and smoked wood.  

I was able to get two nice infusions from this hojicha without a notable loss of flavor, color, or aroma. While not traditionally a breakfast tea, I like it in the morning due to its dark, rich aroma and flavor as well as its low caffeine content.   I've found that it does quite well steeping up to 3 minutes in near-boiling water without becoming too astringent, though it doesn't have as much character on a second steeping.  At the slightly lower temperature of 195° F, the second infusion reminded me of a recent meal of chazuke (a Japanese dish made with rice, dashi, and green tea).

This tea was purchased by me.

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