(Free sample provided by Hamasaen. Thank you!)
- Vessel: Glass teapot (250 ml)
- Leaf: 6 grams
- Water: 100 Celsius
- Steeping time: 2 × 30 seconds
Leaf & Infusion
Dry leaf – The dry leaf itself gives a poor impression, dull brownish tones of broken and frail leaves, just like a random of autumn dry leaf pile. But these leaves give out a deep roasted background with notes of dried sawdust, giving a clue that these aren’t just a random bunch of leaves. Not many twigs either.
Wet leaf – As the leaves increased in volume I’m having a difficult time finding the twigs among them, and the leaf color show some changes of dark olive green tones along the veins. Similar change can be seen with Dan Cong Oolong.
Infusion I (30s) – This is where the magic starts, that is if you follow exact instructions provided by the producer/seller. I tried my ways, all which ended in poorer results. First 30 second infusion gives a clear liqour with cognac tone that is more common with some darker Oolongs such as Oriental Beauty or Da Hong Pao. With first sip of Hojicha that I’ve never tasted before I got something that I wasn’t expecting: light mouthfeel and rich and intensive comeback of roasted, caramel and even some fruity sweetness on the front of the tongue. The aftertaste is intense and long lasting with constant intensity with each sip. Now I get why
this tea is drank after the meal; the palate gets saturated in “sweet” notes as taste buds take a rest from heavier flavors. A perfect slow-sipper.
Infusion II (30s)Second infusion proves to be a more sweet and less roasted/caramel, fruity aspect keeps up the pace and there can be sensed a particular sugary bite in the throat. Liquor color has slightly shifted to orange tone.
Conclusion – Very pleasing tea, not an everyday drinker (at least not for me), something to be highly considered for calming down taste buds after flavorful meals and as solution to sinless caramel crave. Did I mention it’s low in caffeine?
I adapted this tasting note from my blog post that I wrote the other day: