Hōjicha — Tsukigase, Nara

Hōjicha — Tsukigase, Nara

20.00

Hōjicha is basically roasted green tea. The roasting process adds smooth nutty layers to the flavour, complemented by refreshing endnotes of Japanese green tea. Distinctly different from English black tea and Chinese teas like Oolong and Pu’er, the overall feel of hōjicha is strangely more like that of coffee. So if you are after a gift for someone who likes coffee but don’t like green tea so much, then get this one (although “haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake”)

This hōjicha was grown and processed by Fumiaki Iwata and his team in Tsukigase, Nara, and made from tea leaves that were harvested in early summer (after spring harvest) and in autumn. Compared to other Makijima teas that are all made from spring harvest (the first young shoots after winter, ichibancha), its appearance is on the rough side (to say the least…). However, having bits and pieces of the tea plant results in its unique sweetness and elegant complexity. 

Each pack contains 100 g (roughly one month supply per person).

Very easy to brew (more info here). Although traditionally enjoyed “black”, hōjicha actually goes well with milk or soymilk. Hōji au lait! It also makes amazing spicy hoji-chai (you can boil the leaves in the pot). Hōjicha is also excellent when served cold. Just pour it over lots of ice, perfect on hot Australian summer days. 

We increasingly see hōjicha being used for cooking and dessert making (#hōjibrûlée anyone?) — a quick Google search takes you on a hōjicha culinary journey. 

All tea leaves in this hojicha were grown according to the organic farming requirements set by Japanese Agricultural Standard (JAS). For this batch, we selected tea leaves that were grown by using natural farming principles (there is A LOT to this farming technique so probably best to rely on Google please; just don’t be fooled by this rather generic, underwhelming name!). You can also read more about Fumiaki and his farming practice here.

P.S. Technically speaking, this is hōji-bancha, occasionally dismissed as being inferior quality by tea elitists (oh how wrong they are!).  This style of hōji-bancha is unique mostly to Kyoto and Nara. For us who grew up there, “tea” as we knew as kids was basically this. We hope you also enjoy this regional classic. 

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