Monday, August 18, 2008


Tea: Hojicha
Vendor: Sugimoto USA
Price: $8.55 / 80g
Source: Shizuoka, Japan
Vendor Description:Hoji cha "Experience" consists of roasted young tea leaves and bud stems reaped in spring. During winter, tea plants absorb abundant nutrition from rich mountain soil, so spring shoots have deep body and flavor. Roated stems bring rich sweetness and nice aroma in a cup. Experience the difference.

Leaf: The leaf for this tea was a varied mix of objects. It was a bit more varied than most hojichas that I have seen. There were small balls of leaf, small pieces of leaf, and stems. The color of the leaf varied from a green-brown color to a dark roasted brown.

1st Infusion: The tea was a rich brown hojicha. It possessed a sharp roasted flavor to it. There was no astringency to it, and it had a very smooth aftertaste. The flavor was very characteristic of a hojicha. Characteristic to the point of being representative of the flavor.

2nd Infusion: This infusion had the same smooth roasted flavor.

Rating: 9/10

Conclusion: I always find it difficult to compare hojicha. The flavor does not vary in the same way that sencha does. With a hojicha it tends to be more a question of how refined the flavor is. When you taste this tea however you get the feeling that this is what a hojicha is supposed to be. Others that I have tried alluded to the flavor, but this defines it. It would be the tea to point to if someone was wondering what hojicha tastes like.

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