This is my first hojicha ever. I must confess that I was scared of it, especially once I cut the sample package open. (This was a free sample included with my matcha order.)
Smoky, but with something that came across as a burnt toast aroma. Oh dear! But I determined to try it anyway. And guess what? It was pretty good! I really thought it must be very similar to coffee, but I am not a coffee drinker so I can’t say for sure. I thought it might get bitter or harsh as it cooled, but instead I liked it more than when it was hot.
The burnt toast aroma has now turned to caramel followed by smoke, and that is something I can definitely handle. This is so bold (though not in the least astringent) that it is hard to believe it is low in caffeine. I would think that people who can’t have caffeine in great amounts or in the evenings would really enjoy a nice bold cuppa like this – lots of strength and flavor but no jitters and no insomnia.
So – what I thought was going to be an ordeal has turned out to be a really pleasant cup of tea.
Thank you, Zen Tea, for expanding my horizons a bit today!