Houjicha - Dark Roast

Tea type
Green Tea
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Caramel, Nuts, Nutty, Roasted, Toasty, Baked Bread, Grain, Cherry, Coffee, Autumn Leaf Pile, Cedar, Honey
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Edit tea info Last updated by Cameron B.
Average preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec 5 g 8 oz / 224 ml

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12 Tasting Notes View all

From Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms

Roasted green tea, or Houjicha (ほうじ茶 sometimes 焙じ茶), is unlike any green tea you’ve tasted before. With a richly smokey flavor that is simultaneously light and sweet, houjicha has none of the bitterness of traditional green teas. And like decaf coffee, the roasting process removes the caffeine from the leaves making it the perfect after dinner / before bed drink.

Product name: Houjicha
Ingredients: 100% aracha from Wazuka, Kyoto
Tea plant: Yabukita
Cultivation notes: Covered
Harvest period: June
Processing notes: light steaming (about 30 seconds)
Product size: 1 bag (24.5 x11.5 x2.0 cm / 9.65 x4.53 x0.79 in)
Weight of contents: 100 g / 3.53 oz
Producer: Akihiro Kita
Expiration: Good for 6 months from shipment
Storage: Seal tightly and refrigerate

About Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms View company

It started with a single cup of tea. As the legend goes, our president Akihiro Kita, or Akky-san, visited Wazuka, Kyoto one fateful day. At the time, Akky-san was still a college student in search for life's calling. After trying the region's famous Ujicha (literally meaning tea from the Uji district), he immediately fell in love and his passion for green tea was born. He had finally found what he was looking for in that one simple cup of tea. After fifteen years of learning to master the art of growing tea from tea farmers in Wazuka, Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms was born and as they say, the rest is history. So what's an Obubu? Obubu is the Kyoto slang for tea. Here in the international department we call ourselves Obubu Tea. That's "Tea Tea" for the bilinguals. We love tea so much, we just had to have it twice in our name. Now Obubu means more than just tea to us. It means, family, friends, passion and the place we call home. More than just tea. Though the roots of Obubu stem from tea, it has become more than that over the years. Obubu is an agricultural social venture, operating with three (1) bring quality Japanese tea to the world (2) contribute to the local and global community through tea (3) revitalize interest in tea and agriculture through education.

12 Tasting Notes

4843 tasting notes

This is deliciously roasty. I love the buttery-caramel taste to it. Silky yet rustic.

One of the best Houjicha teas I’ve come across yet.

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec
RachanaC (Rachel)-iHeartTeas

Darn just ordered the regular roast and was contemplated the dark. Ahh, well next time.


I haven’t tried the regular roast… but I look forward to hearing about it from you. I really like the dark roast though!


Mmmm, I’m a fan of pretty much anything dark roasted.

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6768 tasting notes

Whereas the loose leaf is DARK the infused tea is not. It sort of smells like roasted nuts with a musky smell of mushrooms hiding underneath. The taste is quite good tho! Probably one of my favorite Houjicha’s to date!

Peggie Bennett

The name of the company is just too cute, “Oh boo boo”! haha!

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1271 tasting notes

I drank this Dark roast along side the Light roast version.

This tea is rich, earthy and smokey. The smokey is quite different than other smokey teas (ie campfire smokey) but more of a roasted nut smokey. The 2nd steeping was Amazing! Deep, chocolately notes – like a smore without the marshmallow. This one is not as sweet as the light roast, but pretty good. It almost similar to a black tea but is sweeter and not as thick in flavor.
I’d be tempted to purchase more, but I think I need to get my claws on the “Smokey” version first to compare.

For steeping, I followed Yunomis’ standard steeping instructions http://yunomi.us/713/standard-steeping-technique/

Full review on my blog, The Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.wordpress.com/2013/07/18/houjicha-from-obubu-tea-via-yunomi-us-mystery-tea-samplers-club/

190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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280 tasting notes

The wet leaf smelled incredible — strong notes of chocolate, with cherries and cigar smoke also in the aroma.
The taste, while nicely sweet, lacked depth (for me at least) and didn’t have all the flavors or aromas the wet leaf seemed to promise, so that was a bit disappointing.
I do like it, and it is slightly difference from regular houjicha, so I’d almost be tempted to seek it out. But the sample wasn’t quite convincing enough to put it on a list for when I’m looking to get houjicha.

It’s somewhat impressive that Obubu puts out 4 different kinds of houjicha. I wonder how difficult it is to have consistency of roast — what’s the difference in the roasting process between light, basic, and dark? Seems it could be quite difficult to do it consistently.

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

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335 tasting notes

I was not expecting to like it. I read in the reviews the word “smoky” and mentally wrote this tea off. Wow, this tea makes me rethink houjichas! Deep, robust, very chocolately. So dark and yum. It’s a sweet kind of smoky likeness. I’m going to try the latte recipe on Obubu’s website. That sounds pretty delightful with heat of the summer day.

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

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687 tasting notes

One of my other press samples. It came with an origami crane. :)

Happy Summer. Though I made my first iced tea today, I have still been having it hot. This has a nutty/ roast scent, with some sweetness. The flavour is kinda caramel nut, with a rich roast almost coffee taste. There is a little grain/ toast as well.

Flavors: Caramel, Nuts, Nutty, Roasted, Toasty

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306 tasting notes

Why do heavily roasted teas always register as having a dill note to me? Does anyone else get that? I’m not complaining, I love dill, but it’s just such an odd note amongst all the others.

So i was expecting something much more deep and coffee-like out of this Houjicha compared to the basic roast. In fact, it is sweeter and more mellow than the basic roast, which is a surprise to me. It is so incredibly mild it is a perfect bedtime tea. I am not really getting any smoky flavor though, despite Obubu’s description of the tea, but that is A-OK with me. I don’t think this sweet roasty cha would benefit from that.

The flavors are the usual houjicha ones, a roasted, toasted, deep nutty taste with hints of grain. This one has a bit of sweet bread flavor as well. Really delicate for a houjicha. I’ve had some that taste like coffee or cigar smoke. This one is much more mild and sweet. Great!

Flavors: Baked Bread, Grain, Nutty, Roasted, Toasty

185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 0 sec 5 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

can’t say that i do…but i almost wish i did! haha i love dill

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2816 tasting notes

The afternoon cuppa….

I don’t think I’ve ever had a dark roast houijcha before so I was looking forward to trying this. It’s pretty yummy! It definitely has a roasted flavor that is reminiscent of coffee, but there’s also a fruity, sort of cherry flavor about it and something creamy that would best be described as caramel. Normally houijcha is nothing for me to get super excited over, but this was a delicious sample. Glad I was able to try it…

Flavors: Caramel, Cherry, Coffee

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Cameron B.

That sounds fantastic! You are a terrible influence on my wallet! XD


Steepster is dangerous! :D

Cameron B.

The shipping on that sampler is so high! QQ But I noticed that YunomiUS has all of their teas and their shipping is better so I may just order from there.


good to know – yes the shipping was kind of pricey since it came from Japan. :/


Steepster is very dangerous – this is something I would really like, so of course I’m looking at the web site….


I love Obubu hojichas, and I got all of mine from Yunomi. They seem to have frequent sales/shipping deals


Looks like Yunomi has some good stuff! I’d be tempted to order but I’m swimming in Japanese teas right now :)

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1113 tasting notes

Another exciting tea from my swap with Jennkay! Thanks!

I’ve had houjicha before, but it was cheapo bagged stuff. This is much smoother! I love the roasty flavor and low caffeine. This kind of thing is really nice to have around. Very toasty and satisfying :)

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921 tasting notes

The sky outside is crazy dark, it looks like a massive amount of storms are heading my way. Of course I have no idea if it will storm, but I really hope it does, thunderstorms are my favorite form of weather. It really feels like spring today, which I am sure cannot last, but all the snow melting has made everything into mud, which makes for some happy mold spores. But let us focus on a different time of year today.

Today’s tea is Dark Roast Houjicha from Yunomi.us and grown by Obubu Tea Farms in Kyoto Prefecture. This is the third strongest roast of the Houjicha presented by Obubu Tea Farms, described as having a smoky flavor that is both light and sweet, that sounds like my kind of tea. The aroma of this tea is in one word, yummy. But that is a boring description, the aroma is very roasted and mildly smoky with notes of cedar wood and autumn leaves. It very much so smells like the clean and smoky autumn air in a forest, it makes me nostalgic and full of longing for autumn in the mountains.

Brewing the leaves makes the aroma much richer with stronger notes of cedar and hints of earthiness. The tea leaves smell savory, like dried oak leaves and roasted wood. Again it is very evocative of autumn air. The liquid however is sweeter, like freshly mown hay and roasted nuts. There is still notes of cedar smoke but it is much fainter.

Perhaps tasting this tea will infuse me with the essence of autumn, I have no idea what that would even mean but maybe it will take away the longing for mountains. The taste is richly roasted, intensely so, though not intensely smoky like their Smoky Roast Houjicha. There is a mild hint of cedar smoke that blends well with the roasted tea flavor. The tea starts off savory and roasted and fades to sweetness so it is like a hint of honey by the end of the sip. As the tea cools I notice a woody quality and a hint of astringency. Overall I think I like this one just a little more than the Smoky Roast, but I will have to try the other roast levels before I officially name a favorite.

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2014/02/yunomius-and-kyoto-obubu-plantation.html

Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Cedar, Honey

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

sounds yummy…

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