Nov 2, 2018
My absolute favorite kind of tea is hojicha, or roasted green tea. There's something about the post-picking process of roasting the leaves that gives it a depth regular green tea can't achieve. And now that the weather is really starting to cool down, I find myself longing for a warm cup of hojicha.
Tempted by my craving, I stopped by my local drug store to check out their offerings. Usually, I'm lazy and opt for buying the prepackaged teabags. However, this time, I decided to treat myself and get loose leaf tea from Shizuoka. Their reputation as the lead green tea producer in the country made me curious.
The prominent advertising that these were Shizuoka tea leaves made me curious. Usually I don't may much attention to where my tea comes from (actually I drink a lot of Indian tea, I later found out).
There were some directions on the back of the package in order to ensure you brewed the best cup of tea possible. Unfortunately for me, I don't have a nice Japanese tea pot, so I opted to brew it with the materials I had on hand.
The leaves had a deliciously rich and earthy scent straight from the bag. It was definitely a lot stronger than other hojicha leaves I had tried before, so I was curious how strong it would make my brewed tea.
I had a silicone tea bag I bought on sale from 3 Coins, so I loaded about a teaspoon and a half into it for my tea. I then heated up my water and waited for it to boil.
It's recommended that, when brewing hojicha, very hot water is used. And, if you're a tea snob, you can give your cup a rinse of hot water so your cup doesn't absorb some of the heat of the water, like it would if you started with a cold or room temperature cup.
I let my tea steep for a minute and a half, per recommended on the back of the package. Actually, I like my tea to be a bit strong so sometimes I leave it in for longer. However, I wanted to taste these leaves at the recommended brewing directions this time.
(Please ignore the tea leaf fragments... My brewing equipment wasn't that great!) What a rich and deep color! Like I had previously mentioned, the fragrance of the leaves straight from the bag were very strong. They mellowed out a bit after brewing to give it a delicious aroma.
The first sip was amazing. The tea had a full mouth feel and hit a lot of deeper notes most other teas don't. I finished my entire cup and, while satisfied, I brewed another.
The color was slightly lighter due to the second pass of water, but the flavor was still there. Actually, I preferred the second brew because it let me taste the tea better, rather than just having a strong "hojicha" flavor.
Unfortunately, now that I've tried loose leaf Shizuoka hojicha, I may not be able to switch back to regular tea bags now...
This post is supported by Shizuoka Green Tea Guide, one of City-Cost's Supporters helping City-Cost bloggers to enjoy life in Japan and engage in new experiences.
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