Okay, out of all the matcha and hojicha from 3 Leaf Tea this is hands down the most unique of all of them and I fully expected it to not work.
I don’t have the warmest of feelings towards the Lemonade Matcha so I expected the lemon flavour here to be similar to that one – and I didn’t see how that could possibly be complimentary to the dark roast and caramelized nutty flavours of the hojicha. Thankfully, the lemon flavour itself is much better than what is used in the matcha. It’s actually very bright and lively, and almost has a playful tartness to it.
It’s certainly really strange to have such a sharp high note contrasted against all of the deep low notes and cozy flavours of the Hojicha – the juxtaposition is crazy. My first impression was only confusion, and after more sips and more mental processing I decided that as weird and harsh as the contrast is… I like it a lot!
They’re like foils of one another with the initial wave of sweet and punchy lemon highlighting the toasted grain and sweetly caramelized nut notes of the hojicha and those more mineral and bake-y dark roast notes pushing the sunny qualities of the lemon even higher and more to the forefront. On top of the unique taste, this is just really more of an experience and I like teas that excite me and make me feel like I’m trying something brand new a lot.