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Recent Tasting Notes
Just steeped up a mug of this to sip while working on some tasting notes tonight and it’s just the most perfect cozy cup of tea! Deep roasted hojicha with tons of barkley/buckwheat notes and a nice nuttiness to it – made even deeper and more toasty by the presence of the rice in the blend. It’s not the most complex tea in the world but it really doesn’t need to be because it knows what it’s trying to deliver in terms of flavour and it is not failing!
Couldn’t wait to steep up the Kyobancha from my most recent Hojicha Co. order!
I think this is the first kyobancha that I’ve tried, and it’s really interesting – sweet and slightly smoky, but with a bit of a greener “sap like” undertone and edge! It reminds me a little bit of Guayusa, but much nuttier. It steeped out faster than expected, maybe more leaf next time – but overall really nice!! I’m continually impressed not just with the quality of their teas but the incredibly fast shipping turn around!
Keeping it classic this afternoon with a pairing of some older “Carnage Classic” comics and a Western steeped mug of Hojicha Co’s Classic Hojicha. Toasty and comforting with more lightly roasted sweet nutty notes – a bit like a handful of peanuts lightly tossed in golden syrup!
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQ2c0nbZR8A&ab_channel=MICKEYDARLING
Cupped this one today when I got home from work…
Even though the name clearly takes reference from what is a typical “classic roast” for this style of green tea, I had a good laugh that the newest tea in their assortment is called “Classic” when usually, for a company, the Classic ‘flavour’ is typically the first or one of the first they carry. It’s nice, though the most overtly “green tasting” of the line up, in my opinion. Reminds me of those roasted seaweed snacks you can get at the Asian Market, with peanut or sesame paste notes too.
The Dark Roast is still my favourite, though the one I tried a few days ago was damn good too. For those keeping score, yes I do own this company’s entire catalog of tea now. I really like Hojicha…
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1U2-4OBl08
Steeped this in my hojicha yixing pot, and I’m just obsessed with how rich & sweet this session was!! While this started off with some darker roasted notes, which gradually grew more golden, the real star of this session is the sweet and coating notes of hazelnut, anise, and cocoa that are so strong with each steep! Combined together, this is practically like drinking Nutella in the form of Hojicha and there’s something so magical and delicious about that!!
I’ve been eyeing this and the Hanamitsu for a while, and recently Hojicha released a “Classic” roast so I caved and just ordered myself one of each – so now I happen to own the entire Hojicha Co assortment. That’s a whole lot of Hojicha!!
The order arrived today, so I broke into one of the bags straight away. This is definitely different from what I normally go for in Hojicha (I like a DARK roast) but I’m surprisingly enjoying it a lot. It’s described as tasting kind of like a cozy log cabin, and I sort of get that. There’s a sweet nuttyness to the top notes of this hojicha, but then the body has a really unique flavour/feeling that I’ve not experienced in hojicha so much. It’s like there’s just a hint of cinnamon/cassia oil! It’s a subtle and quite woody tasting cinnamon flavour but with that kind of “hot” feeling on the tongue that you only get with intense cinnamon oils/flavouring. It’s strange how I’m getting the sensation while the flavour is a lot calmer. It works really well with the roasted notes and nuttiness, and deeply feeds into the log cabin kind of vibe.
On instagram Hojicha Co always posts the most delicious latte drink recipes made from muddle fruits/fruit compote and hojicha powder so I decided to take a stab at making my own. I made a thick muddled infusion of cherries and strawberry using sugar and then added that to the bottom of a cup. Then I topped with coconut milk and, finally, some whisked up hojicha powder. I wish I’d captured a photo because it was very pretty. The resulting drink was thick and creamy with lots of deep roasted barley and peanut notes and just a hint od dark red fruit sweetness from the fruits. I definitely want to try this again – it was very tasty and very pretty!
Technically this isn’t matcha, but it’s pretty darn close and I’m gonna count it for the day. I was kindly gifted this hojicha powder by the delightful TeaWithJann ! She’s so sweet!
It’s unsurprisingly amazing. Everything I’ve had from Hojicha Co. has been fantastic so far. It smells sweet, toasty, nutty and inviting and all whisked up it’s easy to build up a thick froth. The taste first struck me as tasting like popcorn, but upon deeper reflection and more tasting I realized it was more that it reminded me of sweet, caramelized and nutty tasting Cracker Jack popcorn – but heavy on the peanut. Very toasty and smooth, and quite cozy for a chilly morning where the weather seems unable to decide if it wants to rain or not…
Can’t wait to experiment with this one even more!
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSsHCZbDKRo
I have to say I was afraid of this one in comparison to the gold roast since I thought it would be more roasty and more akin to coffee. However, trying them side by side, I think this is actually smoother than the gold roast somehow. I think because the overall sip is that roasty, smokey, vegetal quality vs. the gold roast where the roastiness comes in more to the end of the sip and lingers in the aftertaste.
This, to me, is less umami and more nutty and the consistency of the flavor makes it seem like I am drinking a liquid version of roasted nuts. Of the two Roswell Strange so kindly shared with me, this is surprisingly the one I like a lot more. In fact, this mug is done and I am still working on the gold roast. Thank you Roswell Strange for the chance to carry out this fun experiment!
Roswell Strange is awesome and shares all the teas with me so when she exploded my cupboard in December, this was among the tea explosion. In addition, she also gave me the Hojicha Dark Roast from the same company to try so today I am trying them side by side.
I steeped them according to Hojicha Co’s instructions: 8 g/250 mL in 80C water for this one and 90C water for the Dark Roast for 30 seconds.
Hojicha is not my favorite but as far as they go, this one is quite nice. It’s got the classic hojicha roastiness of course but it is very smooth. It is sort of two note in the sense that the front of the sip is a sweeter/umami flavor and the back end of the sip is when the roast pops up and lingers in the aftertaste. I think that makes the roastiness stand out a bit more so if that’s the quality that you want in a hojicha, this has it in spades.
The website boasts caramel sweetness for this one but I am not really getting that. Unless it is umami caramel, that is a little burnt.
Thank you Roswell Strange for sharing both teas. Of the two, I thought for sure this would be my preference but while I can tell it is a good quality hojicha, I much prefer the dark roast.
The flavour of the dark roasted Hojicha is everything I had hoped it would be. It’s earthy and grassy but the smoky roasted flavour is a larger note. To me, this flavour profile is extremely cozy and soothing. It’s extremely rich and strong.
Flavors: Dark Wood, Earth, Grass
No notes yet. Add one?
Made this western style with some of my new infused maple syrup. The brand WytchWood has been on my radar for awhile, and they just came out with a pumpkin spice infused syrup, so I caved and placed an order. I also got their Gingerbread Marshmallow infused maple syrup as well, which is what I used here. SO GOOD. The caramelization of the hojicha is really amplified by the syrup and creates such a cozy, comforting tea experience. This hojicha continues to be my favorite.
It was cold and rainy all morning and afternoon today, and all I wanted was to curl up in mass amounts of blankts and drink Hojicha – the plus side of working from home, however, is that I was able to do exactly that in between meetings/conference calls.
This is my favourite of Hojicha Co’s offerings – so it should be no surprise that this is what I brewed up. I can see a bit of a field from my apartment, and all the foliage is turning orange and red now so sipping this while listening to the rain and watching the field was pretty picturesque “Autumn vibes”. I felt cozy and happy!
Flavors: Chestnut, Roast Nuts, Roasted, Roasted Barley
Western style mug!
This is still super good as a Western brew, but admittedly it’s leagues better when prepared Gongfu – it definitely feels a little richer and when nuanced when prepared that way. That said, this is still deep and toasty with a caramelized sugar and roasted hazelnut sort of vibe. I love me a good mug of cozy Hojicha!
Had a mug of this last week but I did the thing where I just guzzled the mug and didn’t really take mental note of it, and now I don’t remember exactly what it tasted like aside from the fact that I definitely really liked it and the finish was a little mineral/metallic.
I’ll make this again and be more observant, though!
H is for… Hojicha Gold Roast!
I was far too excited for “H day” because I realized right away that would mean getting to indulge in plenty of Hojicha for the day – in fact, I seriously debated doing an all Hojicha day because I definitely have enough Hojicha in my stash to support that, but I did diversify a little bit though…
This is one of my favourite of the different roast styles carried by Hojicha Co – it’s got the depth that I want in a Hojicha but is still sweet and nutty. I found this mug had a lot of notes of caramelized grains/sugars and nuts along with that rich roasty body. I do really like dark roasted hojicha – but ignoring heavy roasts, I would say this might be the best example of a hojicha I love on a more light end of the spectrum.
Though, this is still more of a “medium” roast versus actually being light roasted.
Yixing pot gongfu!
Toasty Gold Roast session with green mango, cilantro, and mint chutney salad! Perhaps not the most natural tea and food pairing I’ve ever done – especially because this salad is actually so fucking spicy but I’m still enjoying the caramelized peanut notes of the tea, and with long steeps it has the intensity to stand up to the heat of the salad.
Gongfu – trying it out first in something ceramic before I start drinking it w/ my Hojicha dedicated yixing pot. This company was one I found on instagram, and I noticed a few teaple who’s taste I trust had ordered from them, some come Autumn and the change of season I decided to bite the bullet and do a trial order. I actually think they seem well priced, and shipping was very reasonable as well. Order showed up quickly, too!
Does looking at rabbit fur glaze make anyone else emotional or is that just me!? Very happy to finally have a rabbit fur glaze piece of teaware in my collection – picked this one up from Camellia Sinensis! Broke it in this afternoon with this trial run Gongfu session.
This tea is actually amazing though!! It starts off very smooth and toasty, with sort of a medium-ish roast and plenty of grilled peanut/hazelnut brittle notes and caramel sweetness! There’s a mild and pleasant astringency, which hits at the side of the mouth. Soft undertones of a sweet juicy/ripe red currant type of note transition into a more prominent finish. The delicious aftertaste of raw hazelnut and a coppery/mineral taste lingers for so long!! As the session progressed it just got more and more hazelnut heavy in taste. Damn this is gooooooddd!!
Makes me very excited to try out the dark roast, as well!
Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5XajZNGbHo
Special shout out to my coworker Steven, as well, who has been helping me tackle The Mountain Goat’s very expansive discography…