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Recent Tasting Notes
I haven’t traditionally enjoyed hojicha, but I figured I might as well try this one from the TTB. I’m glad I did because I’m actually enjoying it whisked up in milk and sugar. The flavor is roasty without tasting burned. There’s a little bit of bitterness at the end of the sip, but it’s not too bad. This was nice!
I love Hojicha. Like Darjeeling, it is the black duck of its family type. (Black sheep? Maybe I’m mixing up Duck Duck Grey Duck.) I want to run a tea info session and introduce it and watch people’s eyes bulge when they realize they are drinking green tea. Especially those who think all green tastes like grass. sadface I used about 1tsp of powder and mixed with water that was 150 F. And then mixed in about 8 oz of oat milk. It’s a bit silty but I have yet to have a Hojicha latte that isn’t. I kinda like it like that anyway. The roasty toasty notes are so good. I accidentally tried it cold and that was good but having it hot is way better.
Keeping warm and cozy with a mug of Hojicha Genmai this afternoon! Lots of notes of caramelized grains, roasted nuts, and freshly baked bread – all with a gentle roast. It’s honestly the perfect combination of toasty brown rice with golden hojicha to create a cup that feels like cold weather comfort from the first sip to the very last drop!
Tea Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/ClRuhNHOnFD/
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Lormk75yN4
95% of the time my meetings at work aren’t stressful, but every now and then we all experience having to sit for a meeting that we’re dreading for one reason or another. When that happens I try to brew something that brings me a sense of comfort, and in this occasion the “double” roasty toasty combo of hojicha and popped rice was exactly what I needed. Talk about an instant shift in mood, truly!
Flavors: Caramel, Espresso, Roasted Barley, Roasted Nuts, Roasty
As I mentioned in another tasting note earlier this week, I’ve been really channeling a lot of cozy kind of vibes with my tea selections this past week. Especially when I’m working from home. This was something I began a work day with, and it was lovely! Just a gentle roast with that nutty and warm rice note.
A few weeks ago I attended an online webinar with Francois (of Hojicha Co) and Soo (of Soocha Tea) that was all about how Francois got into tea, some of the background of his company, and just hojicha in general – it was a really lovely evening and the discussion was very interesting and educational.
Of course, I just had to brew something up to drink along with the talk – I probably would have done a full session were it not for the fact that in my time zone it was about nine at night. So, instead I just stuck with a Western cup of this cozy Hojicha based Genmaicha. So toasty and nutty, with some deeper roasted notes than I had recalled from my first tasting.
Just steeped up a mug of this to sip while working on some tasting notes tonight and it’s just the most perfect cozy cup of tea! Deep roasted hojicha with tons of barkley/buckwheat notes and a nice nuttiness to it – made even deeper and more toasty by the presence of the rice in the blend. It’s not the most complex tea in the world but it really doesn’t need to be because it knows what it’s trying to deliver in terms of flavour and it is not failing!
Hard this session paired with a little bit of grilled canary melon for a quick bite to eat! I find canary melon quite similar to honeydew, but with a bit more brightness and sweetness. Grilled, it becomes much more tender and the slight bitter char and notes of molasses that develop play really lovely off the medium bodied nutty roast of this green tea which still having a tea pairing that’s pretty dynamic and playful overall!
Tea Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/Ceo5tL9OAYc/
Couldn’t wait to steep up the Kyobancha from my most recent Hojicha Co. order!
I think this is the first kyobancha that I’ve tried, and it’s really interesting – sweet and slightly smoky, but with a bit of a greener “sap like” undertone and edge! It reminds me a little bit of Guayusa, but much nuttier. It steeped out faster than expected, maybe more leaf next time – but overall really nice!! I’m continually impressed not just with the quality of their teas but the incredibly fast shipping turn around!
Keeping it classic this afternoon with a pairing of some older “Carnage Classic” comics and a Western steeped mug of Hojicha Co’s Classic Hojicha. Toasty and comforting with more lightly roasted sweet nutty notes – a bit like a handful of peanuts lightly tossed in golden syrup!
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQ2c0nbZR8A&ab_channel=MICKEYDARLING
Cupped this one today when I got home from work…
Even though the name clearly takes reference from what is a typical “classic roast” for this style of green tea, I had a good laugh that the newest tea in their assortment is called “Classic” when usually, for a company, the Classic ‘flavour’ is typically the first or one of the first they carry. It’s nice, though the most overtly “green tasting” of the line up, in my opinion. Reminds me of those roasted seaweed snacks you can get at the Asian Market, with peanut or sesame paste notes too.
The Dark Roast is still my favourite, though the one I tried a few days ago was damn good too. For those keeping score, yes I do own this company’s entire catalog of tea now. I really like Hojicha…
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1U2-4OBl08
Enjoying a session of hojicha paired with a matcha dusted cheese croissant this morning! I arguably made a pretty poor choice picking this shiboridashi since it’s teeth weren’t really fine enough to trap all the tiny, tiny leaves of this hojicha – and the evidence of that is clearly visible in the cup. Thankfully a little tea leaf never hurt anyone! That said, this super nutty and sweet tea with a distinctly woody undertones paired greatly with this buttery umami bomb of a croissant! Delish!
Tea Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CdQvXFguhGU/
Steeped this in my hojicha yixing pot, and I’m just obsessed with how rich & sweet this session was!! While this started off with some darker roasted notes, which gradually grew more golden, the real star of this session is the sweet and coating notes of hazelnut, anise, and cocoa that are so strong with each steep! Combined together, this is practically like drinking Nutella in the form of Hojicha and there’s something so magical and delicious about that!!
I’ve been eyeing this and the Hanamitsu for a while, and recently Hojicha released a “Classic” roast so I caved and just ordered myself one of each – so now I happen to own the entire Hojicha Co assortment. That’s a whole lot of Hojicha!!
The order arrived today, so I broke into one of the bags straight away. This is definitely different from what I normally go for in Hojicha (I like a DARK roast) but I’m surprisingly enjoying it a lot. It’s described as tasting kind of like a cozy log cabin, and I sort of get that. There’s a sweet nuttyness to the top notes of this hojicha, but then the body has a really unique flavour/feeling that I’ve not experienced in hojicha so much. It’s like there’s just a hint of cinnamon/cassia oil! It’s a subtle and quite woody tasting cinnamon flavour but with that kind of “hot” feeling on the tongue that you only get with intense cinnamon oils/flavouring. It’s strange how I’m getting the sensation while the flavour is a lot calmer. It works really well with the roasted notes and nuttiness, and deeply feeds into the log cabin kind of vibe.
This is a lazy tasting note, but… I made hojicha caramel apples!
Basically this past weekend I made caramel apple including making my own caramel from scratch using Hojicha Powder!! I just made the caramel like normal and then whisked in about a tablespoon of hojicha powder right at the end under the caramel was smooth again. The deeply toasty nutty flavour of the hojicha comes through very clearly and compliments the tart apple and rich caramel while also offsetting some of the sweetness!
(Not a great photo, but a photo nonetheless!)
I hope all my fellow Canadians here on Steepster had a good Thanksgiving this weekend!
I took advantage of the extra days off to enjoy some hojicha whisked up at the park. It’s finally starting to feel a bit more like Autumn so I’ve been enjoying taking time for lakeside tea and watching the colours of the leaves slowly change! The hojicha was an awesome option because it was very easy to just bring a bowl and a carafe of water and whisk it on the spot while there to enjoy the deep toasty and caramelized nutty and popcorn-like flavours while enjoying the cool, crisp Autumn air.
Made myself a chilled latte this morning with Asian Pear jam/simple syrup, almond milk, and then some thickly whisked up hojicha powder poured over. It was sooooo good, y’all! Fresh, floral, and juicy creamy Asian pear mixed with the already nutty almond milk and even more roasty toasty nutty goodness from the hojicha powder. It felt like it shouldn’t have worked so well, but it was delish and decadent while still feeling light. Mmmm!
On instagram Hojicha Co always posts the most delicious latte drink recipes made from muddle fruits/fruit compote and hojicha powder so I decided to take a stab at making my own. I made a thick muddled infusion of cherries and strawberry using sugar and then added that to the bottom of a cup. Then I topped with coconut milk and, finally, some whisked up hojicha powder. I wish I’d captured a photo because it was very pretty. The resulting drink was thick and creamy with lots of deep roasted barley and peanut notes and just a hint od dark red fruit sweetness from the fruits. I definitely want to try this again – it was very tasty and very pretty!
Technically this isn’t matcha, but it’s pretty darn close and I’m gonna count it for the day. I was kindly gifted this hojicha powder by the delightful TeaWithJann ! She’s so sweet!
It’s unsurprisingly amazing. Everything I’ve had from Hojicha Co. has been fantastic so far. It smells sweet, toasty, nutty and inviting and all whisked up it’s easy to build up a thick froth. The taste first struck me as tasting like popcorn, but upon deeper reflection and more tasting I realized it was more that it reminded me of sweet, caramelized and nutty tasting Cracker Jack popcorn – but heavy on the peanut. Very toasty and smooth, and quite cozy for a chilly morning where the weather seems unable to decide if it wants to rain or not…
Can’t wait to experiment with this one even more!
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSsHCZbDKRo
I have to say I was afraid of this one in comparison to the gold roast since I thought it would be more roasty and more akin to coffee. However, trying them side by side, I think this is actually smoother than the gold roast somehow. I think because the overall sip is that roasty, smokey, vegetal quality vs. the gold roast where the roastiness comes in more to the end of the sip and lingers in the aftertaste.
This, to me, is less umami and more nutty and the consistency of the flavor makes it seem like I am drinking a liquid version of roasted nuts. Of the two Roswell Strange so kindly shared with me, this is surprisingly the one I like a lot more. In fact, this mug is done and I am still working on the gold roast. Thank you Roswell Strange for the chance to carry out this fun experiment!
Roswell Strange is awesome and shares all the teas with me so when she exploded my cupboard in December, this was among the tea explosion. In addition, she also gave me the Hojicha Dark Roast from the same company to try so today I am trying them side by side.
I steeped them according to Hojicha Co’s instructions: 8 g/250 mL in 80C water for this one and 90C water for the Dark Roast for 30 seconds.
Hojicha is not my favorite but as far as they go, this one is quite nice. It’s got the classic hojicha roastiness of course but it is very smooth. It is sort of two note in the sense that the front of the sip is a sweeter/umami flavor and the back end of the sip is when the roast pops up and lingers in the aftertaste. I think that makes the roastiness stand out a bit more so if that’s the quality that you want in a hojicha, this has it in spades.
The website boasts caramel sweetness for this one but I am not really getting that. Unless it is umami caramel, that is a little burnt.
Thank you Roswell Strange for sharing both teas. Of the two, I thought for sure this would be my preference but while I can tell it is a good quality hojicha, I much prefer the dark roast.
The flavour of the dark roasted Hojicha is everything I had hoped it would be. It’s earthy and grassy but the smoky roasted flavour is a larger note. To me, this flavour profile is extremely cozy and soothing. It’s extremely rich and strong.
Flavors: Dark Wood, Earth, Grass
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