My love of all things roasted and toasted has lead me to a tin of this tea. The look of the dry “leaves” was a little startling after spending the last year looking at quality tea leaves. Of course I know what Houjicha consists of…but still, the tea is pretty ratty looking to say the least. The tin contained mostly ragged leaf fragments and a good portion of sticks and stems. It smells kind of like a puffed cereal…and roasted tree bark. Houjicha has an interesting, comforting flavor to me. It’s one of those teas that seem so simple and plain but the taste ends up being complex and reassuring.
I’ve had this tea both hot and cold and both are lovely in their own way. The hot tea made my stomach feel nice and warm and settled. I can totally see why it would be used as a digestive aid. Houjicha has that tummy-friendly feeling as well as a unique roasted, nutty flavor. Not medicinal…but helpful and tasty. When the tea was chilled it had a nice mix of nuttiness, deep malt and a lingering sweetness. I must say that I’m a fan. And it’s technically green tea…not my usual oolongs or black teas. Yay! I can’t wait to try other Houjichas, but for the time being, this suits me just fine.