Sunday, March 23, 2008

Kaga Bocha

Tea: Kaga Bocha
Vendor: Lupicia USA
Source: Ishikawa, Japan
Price: $11.00 / 100g
Vendor Description:Special to the Kaga area of Hokuriku region, a kind of Hojicha mainly made from tea leaf stems. Unique sweet aroma produced from quick strong-fire-roasting. Honey bees are attracted to the roasting.

Kaga Bocha is a roasted kukicha from Lupicia. It only comes in 100g packages from Lupicia surprisingly, it is also quite bulky. The 100g package was many times the size of the normal 50g sencha packages. This is because the twigs are much less dense than standard sencha tea leaf. There is an amount of leaf mixed with the tea as well which gives it an interesting combination of flavor. Lupicia's description refers to it as a Hojicha made from stems, but stem tea is known as kukicha, so I don't know if it is more appropriate to refer to this as a roasted kukicha or a hojicha made from stems.

One thing that I did find very interesting about the dry leaf for this one is that the stems are all very uniformly cut. They are all around 1cm in length.

The steeped tea has a very strong roasted aroma to it. The flavor is very smooth and reminds me of a hojicha. The flavor is very long and smooth. The roasting flavor is very similar between this and a hojicha. The main portion of the flavor is fleeting, but the aftertaste is what gives this tea a long flavor, it lingers in the mouth bringing out the roasted flavor.

Rating: 5/10

Conclusion: While there is nothing wrong with this tea, it seems a bit overpriced for a Kukicha. This is more expensive than say the Nara Tsukigase, which in my opinion is a much better tea. Although if you are a fan of roasted tea this is probably more your taste, but for me, I'd rather have a sencha.

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