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Recent Tasting Notes
Can’t believe I haven’t written a note for this one yet!
I got a teaware order in today so I steeped this using some of the newly received pieces. I’m not sure how I feel about the order; two things in it arrived badly damaged and one of them is drastically different that the advertised capacity of what I purchased. However, some of the pieces, like this teacup, are even more stunning in person. There’s one cup that’s different from the advertised photo but I actually like the design and finish on what I received even better…
The tea was nice though. Hojicha is always nice. I did oversteep the mug, but that just makes it feel even more roasty and toasty. Kind of a blunt way, I suppose, where I taste less of the distinct nutty notes or even the “summer campfire smoke” that’s described on the packaging. That said, the rich body of the tea and the coating profile with its malty grain notes is still so lovely…
Tea Photo: https://www.instagram.com/p/Co5i-hJOlqS/ (1st Pic)
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KDoqxTtE958
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!
Cold, rainy day? Seems like an inevitability that I would pick something more dark and roasted to drink. I know myself well enough to know that’s a particular comfort tea of mine. Year round but especially when it’s cold…
Gonna give myself some credit for switching it up and doing the Kyobancha instead of a hojicha though! It was very nice. Kind of mineral in a more metallic and brassy sort of way but with those crunchy, slightly roasty notes mixed with a hint of something a little more fresh and green. Combined, it very much painted the picture of autumn leaves somewhere in the mid point of when they’ve freshly changed colour to when they’ve fallen and are super crunchy.
Tea Photo: https://www.instagram.com/p/CuiALRCOC3G/ (Fourth Photo)
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Ds7peptxp0
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!
Enjoyed this session paired with a handful of sweet and zesty kumquats between steeps!! I’m stacking infusions a couple at a time since the teacup I picked out today is significantly smaller than my gaiwan, but it works out well because the kumquats are intense with a citrusy bite that lingers on the palate long after finishing them. Takes a fair bit of tea to wash the flavour away, though it pairs spectacularly with it in the meantime. Citrus and hojicha always contrast each other so nicely, especially in the case of this one which is so smooth and golden with strong toasty grain and caramelized sugar notes.
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCjgok4k7xI
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.
Whisked up with some almond milk and the tiniest touch pumpkin agave to make a deliciously rich and nutty iced latté this afternoon in this super cute My Neighbor Totoro themed yunomi cup! Toasty, autumnal, and packed full of roasted grain and cocoa-esque flavours.
Tea Photo: https://www.instagram.com/p/Cz9mLLouvzS/
Though there are so many Studio Ghibli movies I adore, Totoro was my first and it still ticks all the right nostalgia boxes for me. It wasn’t until seeing this cup that I realized I had been subconsciously putting off adding one of the many, maaannnyyyy themed mugs I had come across to my collection in favor of something slightly more traditional. This one is PERFECT!
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lqo4l_n4IM4
Hojicha and brunch sounded like the perfect cozy and relaxing start to the weekend so this past Saturday I paired some straight whisked hojicha powder with some fresh fruit and some cinnamon raisin French Toast topped with blueberries, brie, granola and just a drizzle of honey. The toasty, warm notes of roasted nuts and grains from the hojicha powder marries perfectly with the cinnamon raisin bread, granola, and honey while the brie adds a creamy decadence and the two different fruits add a bright fruity sweetness! It’s so well balanced, and hits every flavour and feeling I would want out of Saturday morning brunch!
Tea Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/Cpp4DrMO2LP/
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XODQ5iYWnn4
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