Maybe it’s been a while since I’ve had houjicha, but the aroma that came from the teacups was excellent, and mostly, a lot stronger than I expected. Usually I have to put my nose in the teapot to take in a nice aroma— here, it felt like the whole kitchen had been filled (at least momentarily) with a delicious roasted aroma.
And this houjicha is perhaps the best example I’ve had of a tea that has been successfully roasted to the point of caramelization. The first cup or two I drank hot, but used the majority of the kettle I brewed to make a big pitcher iced. It is delicious either way, but I almost think I prefer it hot, since the aroma is even better. Either way, this is definitely some of the best I’ve had.
As for Ippodo as a whole, this was my first order, and everything about them is really impressive. The way they wrap the teas, the info. packets they provide about brewing, about the company and products… they are all excellently and professionally made. You can tell they put a lot of care and thought to every detail.