Kaga Bocha

Tea type
Green Tea
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Grain, Roasted, Smooth, Sweet, Toasted
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Edit tea info Last updated by Suzi
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 15 sec 8 oz / 226 ml

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6 Tasting Notes View all

From Lupicia

Houjicha made with stems special to the Kaga area with sweet roasted aroma.

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6 Tasting Notes

603 tasting notes

This tea is very unique and very delicious!

If you like houjicha, you simply HAVE to try this tea! It’s perfect without milk or sugar. Houjicha is my favorite type of green tea, and this is a definite favorite. Don’t give up on green tea without trying this one.

I had this tea on the same day I tried my first genmaicha, so I’m going to compare them in the rest of this review. The genmaicha I had was Kirara Rice Tea.

“Kaga” Bocha has a much sweeter aroma than Kirara Genmaicha. Roasted leaves are very different from roasted rice. The genmaicha reminds me of eating roasted peanuts from a street vendor. Houjicha tastes more like tea.

Boiling 0 min, 45 sec

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123 tasting notes

The tea looks like little sticks. Not at all like other green teas I’ve had. Lupicia calls this a houjicha, but it doesn’t look anything like Adagio’s houjicha (my only other exposure) so I’m not sure what to expect.

The flavor reminds me of dry roasted grain. Like puffed wheat cereal that hasn’t been sweetened. Not at all like other green teas. It is mildly sweet, actually.

Lupicia’s website recommends blending this with milk for a tea latte, and I could see the flavors complementing each other well. It also makes me think my flavor comparison to cereal is not completely off-base; we eat milk with cereal, right?

Slightly bitter aftertaste, probably because I used water that was hotter than necessary to brew the tea. We don’t have a controlled water heater at work; it just comes out off the dispenser ‘hot’ and you deal with it. I tossed a couple of small ice cubes in to lower the temp. a tad, but I don’t think I did enough.

0 min, 30 sec

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10 tasting notes

Bocha is literally “stem tea” and refers to the fact that this tea is made from stems of the tea plant rather than the leaves. Kaga is a place in Japan (near Kanazawa) known for producing this particular style of tea.

The tea is roasted like houjicha, and is similarly very aromatic and produces a light brown or golden color liquid. My local Lupicia store advertises this tea as “the taste of autumn” and for some reason the smell of Kaga Bocha does somehow make me think of cool crisp air and fallen leaves.

Currently this is my favorite tea to drink in the afternoon. Like houjicha in general, it is pleasantly sweet, and has less caffeine that other Japanese green teas. Compared to most other houjicha I’ve tried, this Kaga Bocha is lighter and smoother. I much prefer it. And it’s cheap!

I find that water at a full boil can add some bitterness, so let it cool for a bit first. Otherwise this is a very easy tea to brew. A spoonful of leaves in a mug full of 208°F water for 30 seconds comes out great.

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 7 OZ / 207 ML

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24 tasting notes

Second tea from the sample pack. This time it is Kaga Bocha.

The first thing I noticed when I opened the package was the light brown/green colour. This is an excellent sign of a decent houjicha. Usually many people would roast bancha, kukicha or sencha too much and then the tea would often have more of a scorced, and sometimes bad, taste to it. (Do not get me wrong , I do like some more roasty houjichas as well.)

A good houjicha is usually more green than brown, so this might have been just slightly overdone but seemed promising nonetheless. (The leaves I tend to see here are dark brown) Since the tea consists of only stems, I assume it has been made from kukicha.

Certainly, the tea was much less strong and roasty than other houjichas I have tasted and the taste itself was much richer. There was also a slight natural sweetness attached to it as well, that made the beverage much more enjoyable. I love it, actually.

I think I might just buy more of this tea to enjoy during the now more colder winter days in Japan. Not that I should complain though. As I am writing this, it is about -18 degrees Celsius at the place I usually live in Norway, compared to 1 degree Celsius here in Japan.

Better make another cup!

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 45 sec

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439 tasting notes

From the Not My Cup O’ Tea TTB
This is an interesting tea for me. I haven’t had anything like this before. The closest I’ve had is genmaicha which I really enjoy. I sense a little astringency in the aftertaste but no bitterness. This is enjoyable and I think I’m going to take this packet out of the TTB! I think this is my cup o’ tea. :D

170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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290 tasting notes

I got a GIANT package of this in my Lupicia Happy Bag! It’s not something I would have picked out my own, but it’s actually quite good. It reminds me of a roasted oolong…smooth and slightly sweet with an intense roasted grain flavor and aroma.

Flavors: Grain, Roasted, Smooth, Sweet, Toasted

205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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