As with all my Japanese teas, I started out tasting the ones sold at the local Japanese markets. Hojicha intrigued me for being a “toasted green tea” something I found it to be quite unique. I bought the “family pack” as it was cheaper than the other alternatives, so here it is, the review.

The tea has a toasty smell with maybe a nutty hint hidden in between. The leaves look like little logs, made up of stems and broken leaves with a reddish brown color.

I prepared this tea using a kyusu, 185F water, and 1 min steep time.

My first cup was a clear dark brown cup with a faint toasty aroma. Taste-wise I found this tea a bit bland with maybe a hint of green tea flavor ending with a strong, almost overpowering, toasted flavor, almost as if the leaves were over-roasted. Second cup remained pretty much the same, but the toasted flavor was not as overpowering as in the first cup.

Wet leaf was nothing special, same bits and stems with a darker colored brown.

Overall, having since moved on to other hojichas in the market, I can tell this tea is quite bland compared to others. I feel this tea has almost no flavor aside from the toasted finish it delivers and even then, it is quite strong to the point that you feel you just ate a burned plant. The second cup was ok, again, no other significant flavors aside from the (now tolerable) toasted flavor. So I would rate this tea just as it is, an OK cheap hojicha from the market.

185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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SoCal native and Tea addict.

Looking to try every single type of tea the world has to offer.

I’m not too fond of flavored tea or blends, but every now and then, there will be one that I like.

I enjoy all types of tea, but my absolute favorites are Japanese Greens and Oolongs.

I am much more familiar with Chinese and Japanese teas. I’m looking to get in to Korean tea next and then Indian/Ceylons. Herbals are good too, but I don’t pay much attention to them (except rooibos).

Ti Kuan Yin (or Tie Guan Yi, whichever you prefer) Is one of my favorite teas. I’m trying to taste many offerings from different vendors to find the absolute best batch I can find.

My “Tea-Dream” is to one day make a cultural-tea trip to China, Taiwan, and Japan.

Ratings Guide

0 – 19 = Bad.
20 – 49 = Meh.
50 – 59 = It’s Ok.
60 – 69 = I like it, but…
70 – 79 = Good.
80 – 89 = Very Good.
90 – 100 = Amazing.


Los Angeles, CA

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