Houjicha Ichiban

Tea type
Green Tea
Ingredients
Green Tea Leaves
Flavors
Asparagus, Chocolate, Grass, Nuts, Roasted Barley, Wood, Plant Stems
Sold in
Not available
Caffeine
Low
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by ZachMangan
Average preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 g 12 oz / 341 ml

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21 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Wow the dry leaf aroma is very powerful. Cocoa Puffs, toasted almond and the whiff I get when first opening a nori package. What an amazement when those aromas presented in the tea. Not so much...” Read full tasting note
    84
    BigDaddy 56 tasting notes
  • “(1st steep: 2 min) My first thoughts on smelling this tea is that it might be the most toasted green tea I have had. It is unique compared to a lot of green teas I have tried. The aromas are more...” Read full tasting note
    90
    jbpowell78 61 tasting notes
  • “This tea from the February Steepster box is my first Houjicha. I find the first brew a little overwhelming in flavor, but the next steeps are great. I mostly taste the roasted grain and don't...” Read full tasting note
    75
    EmmaSimone 8 tasting notes
  • “Good afternoon Steepster. It's been a very busy weekend for me and my Sweetie, sometimes he is a dynamo of energy. We went to 3 festivals yesterday and today we went for a hike. Much to my chagrin,...” Read full tasting note
    47
    amyoh2 2472 tasting notes

From Steepster

Roasted in small batches, this houjicha comes from exclusive 1st flush leaves and stems. Constant monitoring during production ensures a perfectly balanced sweet (caramel-like) and salty (umami richness) flavor profile. A daily favorite at Steepster!

Kyushu, Japan

About Steepster View company

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21 Tasting Notes

84
56 tasting notes

Wow the dry leaf aroma is very powerful. Cocoa Puffs, toasted almond and the whiff I get when first opening a nori package. What an amazement when those aromas presented in the tea. Not so much the Cocoa but definitely the Puffs. Made 4 steeps drinking 2 at a time. Although I tried this at work in the morning I would really like this while watching Ran.

SFTGFOP

How have you found Steepster Select? I’ve been sitting on the fence, and as you tend to also like un-flavored teas….

BigDaddy

I like it enough, but I’m not that much interested in some of the selection they include in the box’s. There is usually one each black, green, white or non tea (rooibos) and every once in a while an oolong. I have been giving away those I know I don’t like like the lighter teas and I try the traditionals. That said, I might not do another year, I now know what I like (oolongs) and prefer to spend my time and money searching these out. Hope that helps

SFTGFOP

It does. I’ve been falling pray to peer pressure, and seeing all the teas other people are tasting. But I did try some of Select teas from Upton and kinda found them to be sub par.

BigDaddy

I think they need to move product. The other thing about Steepster’s box is some of the teas are offered by Steepster themselves so you can not purchase them. I found a local tea shop that suits me well, no more hoarding from the internet tea shops like years gone by.

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90
61 tasting notes

(1st steep: 2 min) My first thoughts on smelling this tea is that it might be the most toasted green tea I have had. It is unique compared to a lot of green teas I have tried. The aromas are more unsweetened cacao, wood, and roasted nuts. There are no vegetable or grass aromas. The aromas carry over to the flavors. I pick up lots of unsweetened chocolate and roasted nuts mixed with wood. I can’t quite put my finger on the wood except that it isn’t a pine resin wood flavor. Maybe something more like oak or a dry hard wood. Finally, there is a solid astringent finish to this tea that I am not used to from green teas. After the tea cooled, I am beginning to pick out some grass flavors. They are subtle but stand out a little more once the tea has cooled.

(2nd steep: 2.5 min) The second steeping of this tea presents a more grass aromas. The wood and cacao are still the primary aromas, but they don’t overpower the subtle grass aroma as much as the first steeping. Overall, the flavors are similar to the first stepping, but more mellow. I am picking up a slight green vegetable flavor that I want to say is like asparagus.

(3rd steep: 3 min) The third steeping of the Houjicha Ichiban the chocolate and wood aromas are almost completely replaced by grass and vegetables. However, there is a slightly sweet chocolate flavor that has appeared. It is not quite milk chocolate in the mouth-feel and flavor, but it is close. There is a slight grass flavor right before it is overwhelmed by the chocolate.

Flavors: Asparagus, Chocolate, Grass, Nuts, Roasted Barley, Wood

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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75
8 tasting notes

This tea from the February Steepster box is my first Houjicha. I find the first brew a little overwhelming in flavor, but the next steeps are great. I mostly taste the roasted grain and don’t find the cocoa flavor that others have mentioned. I like it for an afternoon tea with some shortbread cookies.

Flavors: Roasted Barley, Wood

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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47
2472 tasting notes

Good afternoon Steepster.
It’s been a very busy weekend for me and my Sweetie, sometimes he is a dynamo of energy. We went to 3 festivals yesterday and today we went for a hike. Much to my chagrin, I discovered that my arm hurts when walking sometimes, I wonder if I will ever be back to normal with this stupid arm injury.

Anyway it seems like a nice relaxing afternoon for tea. This came in one of the Steepster select boxes, and I ended up tossing the first steep because I thought it seemed kind of soapy, like I didn’t rinse my teapot out enough. I decided to dump the first pot out and start all over again with the 2nd sample after rinsing the teapot very thoroughly.

After checking out the second sample, I still thought this tea looked slightly “foamy” after brewing which seems kind of odd. I’ve had several houijchas that I’ve really liked but this doesn’t seem to be one of them somehow. I definitely get the roasted cacao quality but it isn’t flavorful enough for me and the finish seems slightly bitter somehow. I don’t know why but I just wasn’t a big fan of this and don’t want to drink the cup that is now sitting in front of me. Sorry Steepster. :(

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Jillian

Foamy? Maybe the tea is rabid ;)

TeaBrat

sure seemed that way, lol

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90
31 tasting notes

An excellent green tea with the depth and complexity of a black or oolong tea. I am a big fan of the genmaicha style of greens and found this to have a similar palate of toasty, rice-like flavor which was supported by some notes of chocolate in the undertones. A fine tea, one I found very enjoyable, and look forward to drinking again. 9/10

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85
7 tasting notes

This was a lovely tea. The one flavor that came through for me was roasted grain. It produced a lovely, golden color. The appearance was different…lots of little sticks. That was a surprise, but out of that came such a lovely flavor. It reminded me a bit of roasted grain coffee substitutes, such as Roma. It even tasted good cold.

I waited too long and now it’s not available, but I’ll definitely put my name on the waiting list for more.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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87
4458 tasting notes

Backlog:

Still working on the backlogs … but I’m getting there!

Yummy roasty-toasty scent – always a good sign of a Houjicha, right? To me, Houjicha is a comfort tea, and this one is definitely comforting and cozy.

I didn’t get a lot of grassy/vegetative notes from this one, although I know that some of the other tasters reported some grassy notes. I taste more of a nutty flavor, which is typical of just about every Houjicha I’ve ever tasted. I can’t recall a Houjicha where this has not been the case.

I did get a lovely buttery tone and even notes of chocolate to this which was a nice complement to the toasted nut and caramel notes. Also a savory “salty” like quality that highlighted the nutty flavors.

A really good Houjicha. Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/02/28/houjicha-ichiban-green-tea-steepster/

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1
1 tasting notes

I thought this tea smelled like and tasted like dirt. I steeped it less than 2 minutes because the smell overwhelmed the kitchen. Definitely not for me!

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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67
33 tasting notes

Scent of leaves/stems: very strong notes of roasted edamame, straw, and grain/nuts

Infusion: golden amber with a scent of popcorn kernals

Potent brew. The tea is good, but the flavor is a bit powerful. Makes the room smell heavily of edamame and popcorn kernals. Tastes about the same. Smooth with no bitterness or astringency, but very powerful. I’d drink it if it was offered, but I wouldn’t brew this myself…way too aromatic

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

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60
107 tasting notes

OK, I do like houjicha. That being said, it seems the houjichas that are made with a lot of stem* are not for me . I brought something similar to this back from Japan and didn’t like that either. The woodyness, hay? flavor of this type of houjicha is just not for me. I don’t like the taste it leaves in my mouth. There are some other notes in this tea that are pretty pleasant. There is a caramel taste somewhere in there, that LIES to me and says “oh, this tea is actually pretty good”, right before the taste of wood punches me in the face.

*Is there actually a difference in houjichas being made from stems vs leaves? I feel like I’ve had hojichas before that I have LOVED, but they weren’t like this. What is the difference here? Am I confusing the “leafy” hojicha with something else?

Angrboda

There is something called kukicha (or some such) which is made from stems. Perhaps the stem-y hojichas you’ve had were made from roasted kukicha instead of bancha? I don’t know anything about this, actually, it just strikes me as plausible.

Andie

Hmm thanks for that thought, Angrboda. I will have to do some research on that when I get a chance.

CHAroma

Houjicha is roasted green tea. It’s my understanding that you can take bancha (green tea leaves) or kukicha (green tea stems) and either would produce houjicha upon roasting. I personally like both varieties. But it is perfectly plausible that you prefer one over another.

Andie

Thanks CHAroma!

CHAroma

Glad to help. :) You have the cutest dog ever, by the way. “wow. much class.” LOL! I love it!

Andie

Hehehe thank you :)

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