Seikoen Tea Factory: Echigo Bocha, Roasted Stem Tea (Hojicha) with Toasted Rice 越後棒茶

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Food Green Blend
Hojicha, Popped Rice
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Loose Leaf
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Edit tea info Last updated by Martin Bednář
Average preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec 6 g 10 oz / 300 ml

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  • “A few weeks ago, Cameron B. (if I am not wrong) had hojicha with roasted rice. That sparkled my interest that much that I just started to search for something similar — available for me. Luckily,...” Read full tasting note

From Yunomi

Winner of the Monde Selection Silver Award (2009 & 2012), this award-winning but humble Echigo Bocha is a pleasant combination of bocha (stem tea), hojicha and genmaicha. To process this tea, the stalks from the tea were aged in Seikoen’s snow cooled warehouse (called a “yukimuro”) and then roasted over low heat. The mixed in toasted brown rice is regional, from Echigo and Joetsu of Niigata prefecture. ​An original product from Seikoen, please enjoy the aroma of the roasted tea mixed with the sweetness from their Koshihikari cultivar brown rice. This tea will bring you a sense of warmness, perfect for the autumn and winter months. Seikoen has also received compliments on this tea that it pairs wonderfully well with high quality chocolates!

About Snow-aging

Seikoen’s snow cooled warehouse is like a big igloo which refrigerates products only with the cold air from the snow, without using any electricity (completely natural). The room is kept at 100% humidity and about 5 degrees Celsius for one entire year. While the mechanism needs more research, something about this unique aging process (perhaps due to the temperature which hovers just below zero in a state in which water is neither freezing nor liquid) causes the tea to increase multiple chemical components that make up the tea leaf’s umami flavor. Specifically, an increase was measured from 632 mg/100g to 810.7 mg/100g of 15 amino acids according to their tests.

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2 Tasting Notes

1889 tasting notes

A few weeks ago, Cameron B. (if I am not wrong) had hojicha with roasted rice. That sparkled my interest that much that I just started to search for something similar — available for me. Luckily, Yunomi when it comes to Japanese teas, they have almost everything, including this interesting combination.

This tea perfectly fits autumn season. Not only on its expected flavour profile, but (and not only) its aroma, colour (dry leaf and liquor), mood, style, preparation, et cetera. I have prepared it western, 7 grams for my favourite 300 ml glass mug. They suggest 5 g / 200 ml. I was trying to use temperature around 90°C, but I haven’t used thermometer (as it seems it is very off). And steeped for minute (and with later steeps some seconds extra). 3 steeps as suggested. However, I am drinking the last steep and I think one can do more steeps.

This golden liquid is made from roasted tea, roasted rice and tastes, roasty. However, the aromas — as they are the first you notice, as it is too hot to drink; are somewhere between autumn leaf, roasty, definitively popcorn but also green tea notes appear such as floral notes and I am thinking about meadow and hints of petrichor maybe as well. Last one can be affected by weather outside.
In flavour, it’s more straightforward, however not boring at all. I already mentioned roasty notes, but also nutty, cereals and sweet notes, however not honey-like, nor sugar-like.

Well, this tea hits all the marks for autumn cuppa. I need more. Hopefully it will be available next year again.

195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec 7 g 10 OZ / 300 ML

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