NIO Advent 2023
I can’t believe how big some of these leaves are! The aroma from this year’s hojicha is creamy, sugar cookie, roasty, toasty, and charcoal. I can’t wait to sit down and read some Chihiyafuru while drinking this. I think it still rates the same as last year though. It’s good but even after five minutes of steeping it somewhat lacks character.
NIO ADvent 2022 There is something about roasted teas. Especially hojicha. A mellow and pleasant taste and aroma experience. The dry leaf is quite different. Looks more like a bancha than a sencha. Which, in all honesty, it could be any of the varieties or cultivars so I’m not saying bancha like that’s a bad thing just that it reminds me more of other bancha than it does other Japanese tea types. It is fairly tightly twisted into long shapes with some twigs. The aroma is very nice. Roasty, toasty, slight charcoal, and a bit of chocolate. The wet aroma of the leaves is unique with charcoal maple notes. And creme brulee. Someone needs to make that dairy free. Man, I miss that desert. The main flavor… not quite as strong as I was hoping. A very mellow hojicha. One minute was not enough. I did at least three. The charcoal notes mix well with the toasty and roasty notes. And slight woody notes but other than that I don’t find it to be that inspiring.