Japanese Ku-Ki Ho-Ji Cha (Roasted Ku-Ki Cha) (TJ32)

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  • “This cold…allergies…bronchitis…thing is really knocking me off my feet. I think I spent the majority of yesterday as an amorphous blob on the sofa trying to play Minecraft. And when it became too...” Read full tasting note

From Upton Tea Imports

This carefully roasted Ku-Ki Cha (twig tea) produces a golden brown cup with a sweet, vegetal flavor. A mild tea that is naturally low in caffeine. The distinct toasty notes linger pleasingly on the palate. Not to be confused with regular Ho-Ji Cha, which is roasted bancha tea.

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1 Tasting Note

921 tasting notes

This cold…allergies…bronchitis…thing is really knocking me off my feet. I think I spent the majority of yesterday as an amorphous blob on the sofa trying to play Minecraft. And when it became too hard to focus on Minecraft I downed some PM Cold & Flu medicine and became an amorphous blob in my bed. I think I have spent the past month in one constant state of physical misery and would like to go on the record to say I would like a vacation from my body now. Good news though, we had our first freeze last night so if it is allergies that means they will calm down soon. Today I am reviewing a tea from my notebook because I cannot do a new tea justice with this sore of a throat.

Today’s tea is a Japanese tea from Upton Tea Imports, one Ku-Ki Ho-Ji Cha, a hojicha that is made from kukicha (or as some might know better, twigs) and predictably roasted. I love hojicha (or houjicha) it is probably one of my favorite Japanese teas because it has a huge comforting effect for me. I first discovered it in the form of tea bags when I was recovering from gallbladder surgery and it was so soothing. It has become a go-to tea when I am under the weather or just in need of some liquid comforting. Holy Roasted Sticks, Batman! The aroma of this tea is intense, almost too intense. All I can smell is the intense roast aroma and no real nuances of the leaves (err, actually twigs) it is one of those kick in the face sort of aromas. I should point out it is pleasant, just make sure you sniff it from a distance. Consider yourself warned!

As to be expected introducing the twiglets to some hot water mellowed their aroma out a bit. There is still a strong roasted aroma but it is now joined by notes of earthiness and malt. There is also a very tiny hint of caramelized sugar that sneaks in as an afterthought and following it is a touch of astringency. The stick-less liquid is much the same as the steeped leaves, milder with an added sweetness to the aroma.

Points to Upton for having one of the strongest hojicha I have yet tried! I should point out that the flavor that is so strong is a sweet roast with only a tiny tiny hint of smoke. There is also an underlying taste of pine needles that leaves a lingering sweetness on the tongue. Imagine the distinctive taste of roasted marshmallows with only a quarter of the sweetness and a hint of pine needles and you have this tea. As the tea cools it takes on a slightly vegetal aftertaste similar to green beans. How does this compare to other hojicha? Well for one it is made from roasted twigs which seems to make it a touch sweeter and less vegetal than the typical roasted bancha leaves. I like it, I will keep it on my hojicha arsenal and certainly say it is among my favorites.

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2013/10/upton-tea-imports-japanese-ku-ki-ho-ji.html


You poor thing. I hate it when colds hang on and allergies attack. :(

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