Like bancha, hoji-cha has a completely different personality and taste from sencha. At one point I was somewhat addicted to this tea, but I have not consumed any in a long time. Happily, in my recently discovered cache, I found a full, hermetically sealed bag of this tea, in addition to the remains of another bag. This tea is roasted (and looks like little pieces of dried wood!), so I decided to brew up the remains since roasted tea generally holds up better over time than unroasted.
The result was good. The liquor is a dark apricot color and the flavor is exactly as I recall hoji-cha having been. I’ll report back once I’ve opened the other bag, which should produce an even better pot.
This tea is very inexpensive (hoji—cha in general, but also this brand in particular), yet the flavor is unique and appealing to me. It’s not that I like everything, mind you. I dislike the taste of barley tea, for example. People who are expecting something along the lines of sencha or another green green tea may be disappointed with this beverage, as it bears little resemblance to anything but itself!