Sunday, February 8, 2009


Tea: Hojicha
Vendor: Ippodo
Price: 500 Yen / 100g
Vendor Description: When you drink hojicha for the first time, you might be surprised that it is one of the Japanese green teas. Dark amber in color, this roasted bancha releases an amazingly rich aroma that completely permeates the room. The savory flavor is very distinct; it is rich but light-bodied, without much astringency.

Leaf: The leaf for this tea is lightly twisted and rolled. The color is somewhat uneven, there is a spectrum of lighter to almost black shades of brown. The aroma is rich and smooth with the characteristic roasted sweetness.

1st Infusion Parameters: 5g, 5oz, 208F, 90s

1st Infusion: The tea produced a rich caramel color. It has a strong smoky aroma to it. It is stronger of an aroma than most hojicha that I have tried, the roasted is pushed toward being a smokiness. There is a little bit of sediment in the bottom of the cup creating a small black dot in the center of the caramel. The flavor almost feels burnt. There is a long lasting aftertaste. The flavor starts with a sharp bitterness on the tip of the tongue, and this leads into a thick flavor of the hojicha which leans into a different bitterness. There are hints of astringency that pair with heavier roasted sensation that fades away.

2nd Infusion Parameters: 2 min, 208F

2nd Infusion: This infusion was very solidly brown. The aroma is not the characteristic roasted aroma of tea, but a lightly stingy aroma. The flavor feels much lighter in this infusion and has a much cleaner feeling. The flavor feels a bit empty though, where the central strength of the flavor is gone, but the more delicate aspects remain. There is a medium sense of astringency in this infusion.

Rating: 7/10

Conclusion: This is a very bold hojicha. It produces an enjoyable cup, but it is a bit too heavily roasted for my taste. The flavor borders the roasting on burnt. Because of this though there is a different and unique flavor to the tea. At it's price though, it's a very good price, but again the shipping. Always the shipping when it comes to Ippodo.

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