twiggles said


Hi all,

I was recently gifted a green tea that tasted roasted, but the actual leaf mix seem to consist of green tea leaves, as well as something twig-like. Does anyone know if Hojicha contains twigs or stems, or would this be kukicha? I’ve never had kukicha, so I wouldn’t know. For pics, you can go to my blog:

I’d love to know what this is! Thanks for your help!

6 Replies
Cofftea said

This would be kukicha.

Cofftea said

…I’m at a loss. Pics of the raw leaf (IMO) look like kukicha, but the liquor of the tea looks more like hojicha.

Actually, it could be either… Hojicha can contain stems as well as leaves.

The color that I see in the photo looks much more like Hojicha to me but this is based on the coloration, and the fact that I do see some leaves. The real test would be in the tasting of the tea. Hojicha has a roasted, caramel-like flavor to it, whereas Kukicha tastes a little lighter, with a creamy sweet note to it.

What are you tasting?

twiggles said

hm, interesting! I’m guessing it is Hojicha because it had a definite roasted, smooth caramel like flavor. But I will make a new pot of it tonight or tomorrow morning and do a new taste. Is the steeping time of Kukicha less than Hojicha?


The raw leaf looks like fukamushi kukicha, which is comprised of leaves and stems (lots of stems) that are deeply steamed, and so break down into much smaller pieces. However, it’s probably just Houji-kukicha, based on the color of the tea itself.

Shadowleaf said

I think the best proof of this being a houjicha is the tea itself. The kukichas I have had, being both fukamushi kukicha and ordinary kukicha, were both either green or yellow in the cup. This tea seems very brown, even taking the wooden background into consideration.

The leaves of the houjicha are also very tricky. As LiberTEAS said, houjicha can contain both leaves and stems. Also it is to be noted that, according to a tea book I bought in Japan*, some of the more “proper” houjicha leaves do actually have more of a light green colour than their more normally sold counterparts.

Your tea should therefore be a houjicha. And a very good one, that is.


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