Hojo Tea

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This tea gets bitter very easily, more so even than other green teas, so it’s worth taking considerable care when brewing it. Slight tastes of spinach, pepper, and grass. Sencha isn’t my favourite type of green tea, but this one is pretty good. Brewed Japanese style, it can go for about three steeps.

Flavors: Black Pepper, Grass, Spinach

170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 0 sec 8 g 7 OZ / 210 ML

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drank Asahina Gyokuro by Hojo Tea
135 tasting notes

Well, this is an intense tea! By far the strongest green tea I’ve had. It’s thick, vegetal, slightly bitter, and just very… strong. I like it, but would never have it before bed. Of the two hot brewing methods detailed for it on the product page on HT, I definitely prefer the ‘traditional method.’

Flavors: Astringent, Broth, Thick, Vegetal

145 °F / 62 °C 1 min, 30 sec 3 g 2 OZ / 65 ML
Cameron B.

Gyokuro can certainly knock you on your butt! A very intense tea. :P

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Boiling 7 g 18 OZ / 532 ML

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drank Gu Shu Yinzhen by Hojo Tea
31 tasting notes

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190 °F / 87 °C 5 min, 0 sec 5 g 12 OZ / 354 ML

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I purchased the Uji Sencha Jubuzan but received this tea as a sample. It was an unexpected surprise, as I’ve been curious about this tea….would it be floral like a green oolong (as stated on the website) or would it still maintain that sencha bittersweetness that I prefer?

When brewed, the floral green oolongy-ness was immediately obvious in the aroma, along with that typical sencha grassiness, which I really like). And no, I didn’t stick my nose into the tea leaves to get a whiff. I typically expect this high-level of aroma from Taiwanese oolongs instead of senchas, but there you go.

Initial steeps were more vegetal than expected and later steeps were quite floral….the opposite of what I normally experience with sencha. It has a clarity and brightness that I find more often in Chinese greens than in senchas. There’s also a nice, almost viscous mouthfeel and a penetrating aftertaste that really lingers.

It’s really quite a robust tea in that it can be steeped more than 8 times gongfu style. The ninth steep is still very flavorful and the brewed leaves are continue to be floral. I’ll have to include this tea in my next order from Hojotea.

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This tea was amazing!

Sorry in advance for the choppy tasting note.

I don’t remember the specifics but this tea sure did make my day. It has such a clean light flavour, that is not fruity like most ripes. It’s woody, but not bitter at all, with a plum-like background note that is very clean. I notice with regular tea that the aftertaste is very acidic, making you want to rinse your mouth, but this tea left a nice sweet taste that wasn’t acidic long after I finished my session.

I read on their website that this tea has a high mineral content due to the fact that the trees grow slowly and there are not many leaves on the wild trees, and I’d totally agree, the minerality is definitely strong. It aswell brews very thick, but without the bitterness.

It brewed around 12 steeps before it significantly lost its flavour. The depth of flavour and its complexity too are hard to beat, it must be the wild leaf! The flavours here are a bit different, and more unpredictable as compared to normal plantation puer. As well, the cha qi on this is very strong, and it was very uplifting.

A very very good tea, and an intresting background to go along with it!

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very densely compressed cake, reminds me of xiaguan iron cakes

multiple sessions in a gaiwan, jian shui, hongni…nothing affected this tea.

Dried leaves had the classic aroma of young sheng, but not necessarily fresh…but its a 2011. strong clean ripe apricot smell.

Liquor was fairly lighter than I expected a 2011 tea to be. It was also fairly cloudy, but mostly from the tiny hairs. I got goosebumps from the first taste, but then this tea kind of faded on me. Liquor is smokey, almost cigarette-like. The ashy/umami smoke was prominent at the beginning, then faded into background mid-session (or was overpowered by the bitter and huigans), then smokiness became present again at end of session. cooling huigan was nice, but no sweetness really, just ash and bitterness.

Mild bitterness, pleasant, not dominating. This tea is not 1-dimensional, its just not complex in a way I enjoy. I’m really confused if this will ever develop sweetness, the smokiness and bitterness overwhelm the flavors and chi seems to be very weak if even existent. I think this sample needs some time, like decades. But given the lack of ‘activity’, even though its cheap ($35/200g), I don’t think I want to sit on it for half my life.

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Fresh, crisp fruit flavors, with a very light body. Not as malty or substantial as a lot of white teas, giving it a very elegant taste—maybe due to the long withering? Unique and delicious.

Flavors: Apple, Mango

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Smooth, complex, balanced, not harsh, not smokey though some tobacco notes, much different from Hao Ya or Mao Feng. Quite a treat, extremely memorable.

This seems to be the same very pricey grade of Keemun from a specific, state-owned factory, that Ito En’s Madison Ave NYC boutique called “Keemun Spring Dawn.”

Flavors: Caramel, Cocoa, Leather, Tobacco

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 15 sec 4 g 12 OZ / 360 ML

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drank 2007 Mi Lan Xiang by Hojo Tea
1113 tasting notes

A rather decent tea, however I have to admit that the 2012 dancong they have is at least 2 to 3 times better. Longevity of this tea is brief and the fruit notes are not as powerful. Drank this with a hand full of people a few weekends back and then again today to really test it out. Not something I would/will stock up on while the 2012 might be.

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drank 2016 Lao Hei Zhai by Hojo Tea
1113 tasting notes

Hands down among the top 3 raw puerh in terms of leaf quality… beautiful beautiful beautiful leaf.

Anyways, Hojo’’s info
“It is made of the naturally farmed
tea.It gives light body and extremely
long lasting after taste. Tea gives flioral
note thanks to slightly lighter panfrying
process. This tea will also age
very well as it is very rich in poly
phenol and minerals.”


This is a must purchase for me after I had two sessions of it. The tea goes on for 20+ steeps and it’s absolutely amazing. Hopefully there is a 2017 that comes out as well so I can compare the two over time.

Solid light taste with floral notes inbetween the vegetable notes and a light raw puerh note that isn’t hard on the mouth at all.


Hojo group buy?


Sounds like it…


ooh, a group buy would be awesome.


I’m down!

Liquid Proust

Maybe in October???


Yes please!


Absolutely! I’m in!


Probably as well.


Count me in.

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Not only are these things really awesome, but they are not astringent!

Great night time tea with the jasmine that soothes.

Daylon R Thomas

Intriguing…are they Sheng?

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There is no way to describe how clear and clean tasting this is other than to say it reminds me of a non roasted Taiwanese oolong. The two leaf and a bud pieces within this tea is beautiful.

Highly recommend grabbing a sample of this if you like easy going new sheng :)

Liquid Proust

This is the raw puerh and not the white tea.

Daylon R Thomas

Okay, that’s what I thought. I tried to see if I could find it on their website and had a hard time finding it.

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Received a sample of this with my order so I went head and took it to work with me.
First time having a primarily green silver needle tea, let alone an older one than the current year.

I found this to have a balance between wheat and light tropical fruits that made it not only enjoyable for the morning but a great drink to sip at while I think of the two opposing taste. This is a higher quality leaf too as I found many pieces that were two needles from one stem… great stuff all the way around : )
Now I need to try some fresh silver needle from Hojo!

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drank Bai ying shan 2012 by Hojo Tea
16 tasting notes

Brewed up the last bit of this tea last night.

I had forgotten how good this tastes. It smells fresh and fruity and has a very deep taste. It lasts through the steeps like a champ as well. Fortunately, I have another cake of this.

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Wonderful texture to the liquid on this tea with a nice nutty taste within the vegetable notes that are primary. Not too sure what this even is… it’s caked, but it’s not really a pu’erh type of tea as its not bitter and brews up quite strong… fun session with more to be enjoyed.

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Much better than the 2014 that I tried. Really juicy taste for quite a few steeps that make this a unique brew that I enjoy very much. Going to get more of this one for sure : )

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Really unique taste as there is a hint of smoke in this somewhere within the dark stone fruit.

Really enjoy this stuff over yaobao varietal since there is this interesting fruity sweetness to the taste.

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This tea isn’t all that bad for the price, but for something that would be in the mid range of $10/oz I think I got exactly what I wanted out of it. A little heavier texture to the liquid with some darker notes of hay while having that wild aspect that makes it not so much like a sheng but an weird oolong. The session changed pretty quick in taste and went flat sooner than most, but I would suspect that would be the case with most of these teas that are barley processed and I believe different material than stuff coming from Yunnan (however, it would be super close)

I’ve had three sessions of this and I find it more enjoyable than the purple cakes that get pressed but nothing too impressive yet as it’s only a few years old. I believe this one will get even darker as it has more birthdays and will continue to have that thick soup which will lead to a beautiful session later down the road. Keeping my eye on this one because it has the look and smell, might just need the time.

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After a year of reading the Hojo articles and really wanting to try their stuff, I finally took my tax return money and made the purchase!

This tea was one that I read about for 2015 and 2016 as it is so unique and beautiful; how can one not? Really glad that I picked it up too because it’s a wonderful tea all around. It was pressed into cakes so the pieces are hard to get full leaf, but inside that material you do get them. The colors are wonderful: https://www.instagram.com/p/BSuHlIvgC4t/

The smell comes off quite strong and gives you an impression of warm juice. The taste is like a fruit with skin that had honey rubbed on it. This tea went a good 6 steeps before I ended it. A cake for this runs a bit high at $65/200g, but dang… something like this is quite unique and I have yet to see anyone else product wild white tea cakes. If YS does so with the purple moonlight then I’m in trouble : P

Really like this stuff all around though. Going to save the rest to brew with other people.

Daylon R Thomas

Those leaves are gorgeous. It almost looks like a Zhangping oolong, but I’ve seen only a few Bai Me Dans with that spectrum.

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I am drinking the 2016 version of this tea. Assuming that age matters more than year of production and I can review it here.

The taste of the tea has changed since I bought it. Earlier there was a more aggressive edge to it that has now mellowed off. It glides in very smoothly now. I don’t mind a stronger taste myself but the joy of this tea, as Hojo likes it, is in the aftertaste which is really powerful and long-lasting.

I don’t have other white teas to compare with (though last year I sampled all Hojo’s offerings) so take my recommendation for what it’s worth but I really enjoy this tea.

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8.1g, 90mL zisha teapot

Each session I realized I wasn’t getting the most out of this tea, so I bumped it up each time from 4g to 6.5g to finally 8.1g today. Now I finally see what this tea has to offer.

Very smooth. after the first few steeps, this huigan hits you and just keeps going and going I don’t think I’ve ever experienced a huigan that lasts this long. It just doesn’t stop, very pleasant.

Its fruity, sweet, fresh apricots, solid flavor but not intense.

Balanced all the way. There’s just enough bitterness in there and a hint of astringency to keep you going and provide a “backbone” to this tea, but unless you’re looking for it, you won’t notice the bitterness or astringency. Very subtle kuwei.

The aroma coming form the cup is really strong, as I am smelling it right now from the cup sitting on the table next to me as I type this. aroma of sweet apricots perfume…

I wonder if Hojo vacuum sealed this tea for the last 4-5 years (2012 tea drank in 2017)? Perhaps there is a method to his madness in vacuum sealing? He’s preserved the high notes and that apricot-ness unique to fresh sheng, but also mellowed the harshness of fresh sheng. Its a dampening/mellowing effect similar to how white tea ages.

It seems too smooth and soft to be fresh, but too floral/apricot-like to be 4 years old.

The aftertaste goes on an on…very nice. Hojo’s ambition is to produce a long lasting aftertaste and he did very well here. A lot of times with other shengs I get an initial sweet aftertaste, but then it will turn to a dull mushroomy paper flavor that is not so pleasant. This tea however, is able to maintain that fresh ripe apricot sweet aftertaste the entire time, it never turns mushroomy blandness. Due to the very subtle bitterness, I think the reason is because after the aftertaste fades, a very subtle huigan returns to prevent that mushroomy flavor. Its so subtle in the transition from aftertaste to huigan, you don’t even realize it happened. I would have to say this is the most hidden/subtle huigan I’ve experienced. That is the reason for this aftertaste that lingers so long.

Hojo is a rather controversial vendor for his methods and claims about aging, but I think the proof is in the pudding here. Is this the best sheng I’ve ever had? No. Is it a very good sheng? Yes! Is his vacuum sealing method of aging working? In this case, I think so. Not sure what will happen after 20 years, but after 4 years I am pleased with the results today.

Lastly, this tea put me to sleep. Very relaxing and sedating. Don’t drink this at work or prior to operating motor vehicles or machinery.

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drank Gu Shu Yinzhen by Hojo Tea
67 tasting notes

4.5g, 220mL porcelain teapot, 2x rinse, 1-2 minute steeps. Tall collins glass. Don’t recommend gongfu brewing this tea, it needs to steep and get some strength to it. This was not a sample but a 50g sachet.

Leaves were intact. no jerky or smokiness for me.

Full bodied, thick liquor, a dark yellowish color, buttery aftertaste, smooth, really nice. Its not a relaxing tea for me, its a tea with some energy that could easily get me going in the morning. I feel like I want to go workout now…without caffeine jitters.

There is a slight astringency on the long finish after 1-2 glasses. And some cooling huigans. The loooong finish is where the sweetness returns. I mean like 5 minutes later you start getting a honey-like green/grassy sweetness. It hits on the lighter/ higher register of flavors, but they’re not distinguishable of anything in particular.

I enjoy it. Its on the ‘delicate’ side of flavor, but on the full side of body and mouthfeel. If you’re familiar with the profile of a majority of Hojo’s tea, they are about aftertaste and body. This hits both qualities really well. If you want a fruity tea, pass on this. If you want something that feels good to drink, with a pleasant flavor, this is a good tea.

I chose to drink this tonight because I needed something that didn’t have a ton of flavor, I’m sort of suffering from sensory fatigue overload tonight and needed something fulfilling yet simple and easy to sip on. The (lack of) flavor was perfect for this occasion.

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brewed with Nosaka oxidation hohin, dried aroma and steamed aroma is a very rich enticing matcha green tea aroma, makes you want to eat it.

liquor is light green, lighter than I’m accustomed with sencha. mineral notes, floral after taste, grassy/herbal undertones, pine freshness. Everything in moderation, a touch on the light side of flavor. Aftertaste was moderate, didn’t notice much of it linger. I also couldn’t oversteep this, I tried.

Sedated me, I had to lay down for about 45 minutes….twice. I really wasn’t expecting that! I guess that’s testimony to the age of the tea trees, supposedly 200-300 years old. I think it would be easier to validate the age of Japanese tea trees vs puerh teas, since a lot of Japanese tea gardens are many centuries old passed down generation to generation.

In puerh world we’d call this a “stoner” tea. Also some stomach warming (lower dan tien area) cha qi. Also body warming, later in the evening finishing the session I started sweating and face grew warm/flush.

Solid afternoon tea if you want to take a nap and snooze for a bit.

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