Hojo Tea

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Recent Tasting Notes

brewed with Nosaka oxidation hohin, dried aroma and steamed aroma is a very rich enticing matcha green tea aroma, makes you want to eat it.

liquor is light green, lighter than I’m accustomed with sencha. mineral notes, floral after taste, grassy/herbal undertones, pine freshness. Everything in moderation, a touch on the light side of flavor. Aftertaste was moderate, didn’t notice much of it linger. I also couldn’t oversteep this, I tried.

Sedated me, I had to lay down for about 45 minutes….twice. I really wasn’t expecting that! I guess that’s testimony to the age of the tea trees, supposedly 200-300 years old. I think it would be easier to validate the age of Japanese tea trees vs puerh teas, since a lot of Japanese tea gardens are many centuries old passed down generation to generation.

In puerh world we’d call this a “stoner” tea. Also some stomach warming (lower dan tien area) cha qi. Also body warming, later in the evening finishing the session I started sweating and face grew warm/flush.

Solid afternoon tea if you want to take a nap and snooze for a bit.

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drank Uji Sencha Jubuzan by Hojo Tea
32 tasting notes

Brewed in a Nosaka red clay hohin with oxidation firing from Hojo.

Very impressed with this tea. I drank it after a session of Hojo’s Tsukigase Zairai
Sencha, and I prefer this better. If I can make an analogy, Uji Sencha Jubuzan is to Tsukigase Zairai Sencha as Jinxuan oolong (milk cultivar) is to Qingxin oolong, if that makes sense.

The dried leaves have a savory rich aroma similar to matcha. I used various teacups including a silver cup. I find teas out of a silver teacup are a touch thinner, but this tea remained thick and full bodied no matter what teacup I used.

After the first sip I got a wave of drunkeness and head-spin, and was glad I was sitting down. I guess I wasn’t prepared for that. I centered myself and continued.

The aftertaste continued to build. It was on the lower register. A rich, creamy, thick, savory, semi-sweet aftertaste just sat there on the center rear of my tongue. It gradually coated my tongue in an creamy manner, but not cloying. A touch of dryness prompts me to take another sip. This is decadent. I need to drink this next to Hojo’s Hon Yama Hebizuka. I wasn’t expecting this to be so good. I really enjoyed this tea, its on the dessert side of teas, decadent, semi-sweet, thick, rich, and filling.

The aftertaste seemed to fade away after a short time, but the creamy mouth coating and sensation on my tongue remained and increased as the session continued. At some point there is a blended confusion of mouthfeel and flavor/aftertaste, and its hard to tell where either one starts or ends. When I take a new sip, the flavor peaks, but then fades back and blends with the oily mouth feel, reminding you of what you just drank. Much different than the sheng puerh aftertaste I am accustomed to. Perhaps that’s why I mixed things up with sencha tonight :)

This tea is relaxing and makes me want to lay down, head qi, warming qi, drunken qi, never experienced this from sencha before. Not getting caffeine jitters either. This is good tea.

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This tea is very very good, and very high quality. Hands down the best jasmine pearl I’ve ever had.

My history with jasmine pearls is a bumpy road, I’ve tried many always wanting to like this style of tea. But most jasmine pearls get too strong and bitter, drying/astringent, or they’re too weak and faded, and most don’t have much jasmine taste or aromas after the first or second steeping. And not to sound like Goldie Locks, but Hojo’s jasmine pearls are “just right”.

I cooled the water slightly from a boil by passing it through an Akitsu Mumyoi teapot I got from Hojo, using the teapot as a samashi (cooling pitcher). I poured the slightly cooled water into a tall glass, with just enough jasmine pearls to cover the bottom of the glass.

This tea lasted over 5 steepings before beginning to fade (that’s 5 full glasses of tea).

Super long, pleasant, and strong aftertaste of sweet jasmine with a touch of honey. No bitterness, no sour, this is a wonderful tea to have after breakfast. The flavor just goes on and on and on…this lasts longer than a lot of puerh I’ve been sampling recently. I’m very impressed with this tea.

Believe it or not there’s quite a lot of huigan in this tea too. A pleasant cooling effect in the mouth and throat.

Not my usual indulgence, but wanting to mix it up today, and this is something I see myself returning to more often in the future. This is good!

Flavors: Floral, Flowers, Honey, Honeysuckle, Jasmine, Sweet

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Drinking this right now as I pack up beginner bags for people and each sip just brings ‘holy shit’ to the front of my thoughts.

The creamiest of all shengs I’ve ever encountered; rather mind blowing how creamy it is. Though the texture alone is enough to make me say this is in the top of all pu’erh I’ve had, there is a floral note at the back of the mouth like an aroma coming from the back of my throat and a slight sweetness at the tip of my tongue.

This is an absolutely wonderful tea which has now caused me to seek out more Hojo products. Maybe the Japanese palate for pu’erh is much different, through it’s all personal preference. As the steeps go on, it gets more of a sweet note coming through that the really young pu’erhs tend to have while bringing forward a more leaf vegetal taste. Beautiful tea, couldn’t have picked a better one to do what I am doing right now.

Ahhhh, I want more.

Rasseru

omg dont. I love creamy sheng above all other sheng

Zennenn

Why do I have so many sheng samples to get through before I have an excuse to buy some of this?

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60
drank Gu Shu Yinzhen by Hojo Tea
11 tasting notes

I’ll review this tea again in the future as I don’t feel this review is totally fair. The sample I had, had a lot of broken leaf in it so that is of course going to lead to a lower quality cup. In the event a second sample I receive comes in that quality this’ll be a different story.

So based off of what I was given…

I used 5.5g/120ml, 85C water, first brewing was 10 seconds +5seconds per each additional brewing.

The aroma reminded me of jerky. Initially you are met with the jerky-like taste. In the liquor it vaguely reminded me of Lapsang. There was a slight hint of green beans. In the after taste there was hints of melon and raspberry. The liquor was incredibly buttery and smooth. There was a hint of astringency.

In the second cup most of that jerky and smokiness had disappeared. A gentle green bean flavor was on my tongue along with spinach or collard greens. In the after taste there was raspberries and melon.

The liquor for the third brewing was a lot darker. The overall taste still had the green bean flavor except it was a lot stronger. There was a tiny hint of raspberries in the after taste. Despite the fact that the after taste has been extremely weak, I liked it.

The liquor for the fourth brew didn’t have much flavor and was more astringent. The after taste remained the same. The same for the fifth so I stopped drinking.

Flavors: Green Beans, Melon, Raspberry, Smoke, Spinach

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 120 ML

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49

A lot of what this company says sounds wrong.

It would be interesting to read a review of this tea.

andresito

What do you mean, what is it that sounds wrong? Did you drink this tea?

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As of now its my fav young-er shu. No wudoi or fermentation flavor. On the sweeter side of shu probably because its golden tips. Not drying, nor astringent. Medium body, very smooth, easy to drink, easy on the stomach. Its my daily drinker. Gives me a slight boost of calming energy (if that makes sense) without the caffeine jitters. First sip is honey with earth, then a bit of mouth watering without any flavor, then the almond honey aftertaste appears a few minutes later. Extremely pleasant and lasting aftertaste.

At first it seemed underwhelming because the flavor faded quickly, but this tea is about the aftertaste. The more I drank it the more I mixed it into my “shu” rotation, and found myself coming back to it and preferring it over my others. I understand why it sold out so fast. I hesitated ordering it initially, and then saw it was sold out, so I asked anyway and luckily Hojo let me buy one of his last 2 cakes (which I suspect he was keeping for himself).

Brewing: two flash rinses in a gaiwan then put the wet tea into a tumbler and brewed it grandpa style, topping it off with more hot water as it gets low. Medium longevity, lasts me 1.5-2 Liter tumblers with 5g tea.

Flavors: Almond, Caramel, Earth, Honey

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85

Dry leaves had a strongly and pleasing sweet/green aroma. Sorry that I could not specifically describe; sometimes I felt that it smelled like a sugary candy or some sweet-ripe fruit. I brewed the tea at a bit lower temperature (90 C) and used more amount of leaves (10 g/100 ml). The color of the liquor was yellow. The mouth-feel was very smooth, pleasant and mouthwatering. It’s not a “bitterness turn to sweetness” tea but like drinking a soft white one. The flavor contained a slight honey sweetness, and no bitterness, smokiness and astringency. The slight sweetness and particularly sweet aroma coating on my palate, mineral-spiciness on my tongue lasted more than half an hour. After 10 steeps, there was no sweetness but the tea soup, with a bit more bitterness and astringency, still was aromatic and drinkable.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec 10 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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92

This is a bang for the buck entry level Oolong for someone who is just starting to get into this varietal. The flavors are of sweet lychee, dried mango and even rambutan with a slightly bitter lingering after taste like you you got a good whiff of some nice smelling perfume.

Flavors: Lychee, Mango

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 8 g 7 OZ / 200 ML
Tip Jar Traveler

I managed to get 20 infusions out of this leaf before its flavor fully disappated.

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80

this tea is awesome!

however it has lost its freshness (probably due to moisture). even though its been opened 3 times :( it seems this tea is the only tea that ive tried that looses freshness fast.

so i rate it 80 and cannot do a full review

i do note the coffee/espresso taste and it does have a sour smell to the leaves. but it tastes great still

however i do thank my friend paola for this awesome tea

Flavors: Coffee, Espresso

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

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42

No notes yet. Add one?

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 15 sec

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95
drank Asamiya Sencha by Hojo Tea
584 tasting notes

a nice tea :)

when i smell the leaves dry, they smell nice and grassy.

when i smell the leaves wet, they smell nice and grassy and sweet.

when i smell the brewed tea, it smells sweet and grassy.

when i taste the brewed tea, it tastes sweet and grassy.

many thanks to paola for this nice tea :D

Flavors: Grass, Sweet

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 250 ML
Indigobloom

Love the consistency of your reviews Kirk! Have you thought about adding a comment about why you rate a tea at a certain level? (ex. if you like smoother teas, or it has more/less flavour?)

Kirkoneill1988

That’s a great idea. I’ll try that next time :D

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75

an ok tea

when i smell the leaves dry, they smell grassy :)

when i smell the leaves wet, they smell grassy again.

when i smell the brewed tea, it smells sweet and grassy

when i taste the brewed tea, it tastes sweet and grassy

many thanks to paola for this nice tea

Flavors: Grass, Sweet

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 250 ML
scribbles

it sounds quite good – I like grassy, sweet notes :)

Kirkoneill1988

Somebody stole my tin of karigme. :’(

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99
drank Karigane by Hojo Tea
584 tasting notes

An update:

this tea can get bitter with small mugs so im removing a point 100 -> 99

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99
drank Karigane by Hojo Tea
584 tasting notes

some how my can of this tea has returned. i still don’t know who first stole it and who returned it.

this is still a tasty tea. sweet and grassy :D

some sad news:

i accidentally broke my Tim Horton’s mug :(

Flavors: Freshly Cut Grass, Grass, Sweet

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec 5 g 8 OZ / 250 ML
TeaBrat

I hate breaking cups, it happens far too often.

Kirkoneill1988

doesn’t happen often to me :/

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99
drank Karigane by Hojo Tea
584 tasting notes

someone stole my tin of this tea :( i wish i had it back

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99
drank Karigane by Hojo Tea
584 tasting notes

an awesome tea

little glass pitcher, grandpa style:

when I smell the stems dry, they smell nice and sweet and similar to asparagus.

when I smell the stems wet, the smell is intensified.

when I smell the brewed tea, it smells sweet and like asparagus.

when taste the brewed tea, it tastes very sweet and like asparagus.

NOTE: the following comment does not affect the score

only if this tea tasted more asparagusy

also it was hard to strain the stems in the little strainer while pouring the tea into the cups so it managed to get a little bitter on me

many thanks to paola for this amazing tea

Flavors: Asparagus, Sweet

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 6 g 8 OZ / 230 ML

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86

This tea left a lasting impression. It’s aromatic and robust like a good long jing, but has more tannin and mineral notes. It’s sharp, flowery, grassy/herbal, and piney, with a very long sweet finish that reminds me of a good sheng pu’er. It’s refreshing sharpness is makes it a perfect morning pick-me-up. I’m thinking of getting more now to take advantage of the weak yen.

Flavors: Flowers, Herbs, Mineral, Pine, Vegetal

Preparation
2 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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87

A sencha made from 200-300 year old tea plants? Definitely worth trying. This wasn’t as “different” as I expected, but it was pleasant. Good lasting aftertaste, and it does indeed have a bit more of a minerality to it than a standard sencha, as the lengthy description of the tea on the vendor’s website suggests.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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The tuocha of the day came from Dag, thanks!
It’s a pleasantly sweet one, with a nice whole wheat crust’ kind of taste.
Later steeps feature some cedar as well, & I should have more to say about this, but but sorry, that’s all I got.
Oh, & this is my 3rd sip down of the day, with an remaining balance of 375 teas.

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88

Jummy oh so jummy for the tummy :)

Still the only Shu I like. Les oomph when brewed in a glazed pot with water from electric kettle. Still a nice earthy fruitiness! Smooth and somewhat sweet in contrast to the earth flavour. or is it peat? who knows?!?
Will stick to preparing this in a reductionfired pot with water from tetsubin.

Tomorrow i will try to try out a very nice sheng! While watching the Big bang theory of c ;)

Keep sipping tea and enjoy life when possible!

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 14 OZ / 400 ML
KittyLovesTea

Such a happy note to finish on :)
I wish you Happy Steeping Dag Wedin.

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88

1 piece / 360ml banko-yaki, Water from Kunzan tetsubin.
Followed Mr. Hojos instructions.
Wash/Wash/15s/5s
Unfortunatly only had time for two infusions.

Now im not a big fan of ripe pu-erh. Ivé only tried to prepare it gong-fu style in celadon and zini yixing. Both are soo soo match for shu.
I was given the recomendation to prerpare shu in a reduction fired pot using water from a tetsubin. And i must say the result was fantastic. The first shu ever that i truly enjoyed. I will try this with another sample shu ive had lying around for awhile.

The flavour was slightly earthy with a shockful of ripe fruit. A long aftertaste of fruit lingering. It left me wanting more…… A truly good experience!

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec

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68
drank Asahina Gyokuro by Hojo Tea
1 tasting notes

First genuine green tea for me. I was not a tea lover but growing older I like it more and more. This one taste really great.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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