Houjicha - Smoky Roast

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Green Tea
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200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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From Obubu Tea

Roasted green tea, or Houjicha (ほうじ茶 sometimes 焙じ茶), is unlike any green tea you’ve tasted before. With a richly smokey flavor that is simultaneously light and sweet, houjicha has none of the bitterness of traditional green teas. And like decaf coffee, the roasting process removes the caffeine from the leaves making it the perfect after dinner / before bed drink.

Product name: Houjicha
Ingredients: 100% aracha from Wazuka, Kyoto
Tea plant: Yabukita
Cultivation notes: Covered
Harvest period: June
Processing notes: light steaming (about 30 seconds)
Product size: 1 bag (24.5 x11.5 x2.0 cm / 9.65 x4.53 x0.79 in)
Weight of contents: 100 g / 3.53 oz
Producer: Akihiro Kita
Expiration: Good for 6 months from shipment
Storage: Seal tightly and refrigerate

About Obubu Tea View company

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7 Tasting Notes

4846 tasting notes

The final of the three teas from the December Steepster Select Box. A very good Houjicha, I’ve tried a couple of the Houjicha teas from Obubu but this is my first experience with the smoky roast. I am not usually fond of strong smoky flavors, but it works very well with the roasty toasty flavor of the houjicha, and I am enjoying this quite a bit. The smokiness really stands out.

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304 tasting notes

Smoky with a faint sweetness in the back of the throat. Toasty tasty. Not a favorite, but very glad I received enough for several cups. Might buy more!

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

Try the Houjicha at a lower temp-around 170-180. You might find you enjoy it even more. :))

RachanaC (Rachel)-iHeartTeas

Agreed it may give you more. I normally go lower on the temp too.

Rumpus Parable

Thanks, all! I’d planned on just that next, but after a full cup of it I ended up making a few more cups and a pot of it today. It is a favorite after all. I’m going to order some more, then try it at a lower temp!

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84 tasting notes

Another from my Steepster Selects box!

I was hesitant with this one because of the smokiness. I’ve smelled a few off-puttingly strong smoky black teas before and didn’t like that at all, so I was wary of a smoky Houjicha. I really shouldn’t have been. This is delicious. Absolutely delicious. It is perfect on a dreary cold afternoon (we get a lot of those in Halifax this time of year), and the roasting takes the caffeine out so that makes it great in the evenings as well. It steeps up beautifully and with no bitterness that can sometimes happen with other greens. The smoky flavors are muted in the steeped tea, but are still there in a sweet delicious way.

I think this one might be one of my new favourite greens. SUPER glad to have received this one since I know I would have by-passed it simply because of the smoky roast if I had come across it in a tea shop.

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 45 sec

Interesting – I didn’y realize you were in Halifax! I am inside and warm at work, but I thought this afternoon looked beautiful and snowy, at least until it got mega dark about an hour ago.


Yes indeed! I’m in the city for university. The afternoon I was referring to was a few days prior to the post actually, one of the damp rainy ones.

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280 tasting notes

The wet leaf smelled just like pipe tobacco or a cigar. I actually like that smell (when it’s not present in a house or on clothes or something… just like when you get a whiff as you walk by a cigar shop or something), so that was a nice surprise. (Well, it wasn’t really a surprise since this is the ‘smokey’ version of their Houjicha; I’ve just never smelled that in a tea before. I’ve smelled Lapsang Souchong, and that was like campfire smoke, which seemed like the last kind of tea I’d want to drink….). Anyway, the point is, it was an interesting (in a tasty way) smell.

The tea itself was actually not as strong tasting as I would have liked (even though I used 5g leaf to 6oz water!), but the roasted sweetness was very good.

Overall I wouldn’t call it spectacular, but if I get tired of regular Houjicha, I might actually seek this one out to vary up things a bit, as the sweetness of the tea and the aroma of the leaves was very pleasant.

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

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921 tasting notes

I am delightfully full of smoked pork BBQ, so it makes sense that I would want a tea that is very proud of its smoky roast, it is the theme of the evening! Yunomi.us was kind enough to send me samples of two of their teas to review and this blog post will cover the first, Houjicha (Smoky Roast) by Kyoto Obubu Tea Plantations. Before I actually start discussing the tea, I want to say a brief thank you to Yunomi for having some of the most informative packaging ever. This simple brown foil package states not only the typical name and type of tea, but also the plantation that produced it (and its address) a use by date, storage instructions, and where to get very detailed steeping information. Bravo, Yunomi, and thank you for giving the tea consumer more information!

These leaves captured Autumn!
Enough poetic waxing on packaging and on to the actual tea! Houjicha (Smoky Roast) is a tea that calls to any who love a roasted tea. In fact the Smoky Roast is Obubu Tea Plantation most heavily roasted of their Houjicha, and of course I had to try it because I love smoky and roasted teas, they might be one of my favorite type of tea treatments. The first thing to notice is of course, the aroma. This Houjicha manages to embody everything wonderful about late Autumn and early Winter and it is heavenly. The sweet earthiness mixed with the smoky roast gives that clean, smoky aroma that the air takes on that time of year. It mixes piney resin without the campfire smoke of teas like Lapsang Souchong. The sweetness is like burnt sugar which blends well with the woodsy aroma. A very complex aroma that my fancy tea books that I read would describe as ‘empyreumatic’ and you all know I am fond of using fancy jargon.

filter fail!
Once steeping the leaves take on a rich almost coffee like aroma, very rich and very roasted. This is a tea I could recommend to an avid coffee drinker to convert them to the tea brigade! I just love how rich and slightly nutty the aroma of the brewed leaves are. I do not, however, like how much fail my paper filters are made of. Note to everyone, Melitta coffee pot filters are not good. The liquid of the brewed leaves is also incredibly rich and pleasantly sweet! Notes of roasted nuts and pine resin with a finish of caramelized sugar.

First brew looks like Autumn leaves!
The first steeping is intensely complex! Certainly the most complex Houjicha I have ever had the pleasure of drinking. I had one of those actually audible, lip-smacking ‘aaaaah’ moments when I first sipped this tea, which I believe is actually frowned upon in my formal tea drinking occasions. The joys of being home alone when drinking tea! The tea is very rich and very bright, the mellow sweetness mixing with resinous smokiness again captures the joy of late Autumn. Along with these flavors there is a slight astringency that is just so slight that it is very pleasant and adds a slight surprise. There is a tiny, tiny after taste of umami which just made this complex tea perfectly well rounded.

The next steeping is slightly milder but still manages to maintain its richness and adds just a touch of maltiness. I love the roasted taste of this Houjicha, it is such a perfect tea that just brings joy with every sip. I certainly plan on trying all the different levels of Obubu Plantation’s roasts (among other things from Yunomi) and cannot wait to try the other sample I got from them

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138 tasting notes

Im not really getting smoke some from this. It reminds me of charcoal roasted Tung Ting. I was expecting something else I guess.It might also be me. My allergies are flaring up a bit so I can’t really smell. I will probably have to try this again when I feel a little better. I just could not wait to try it…

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