Tea type
Green Tea
Green Tea Leaves
Burnt, Cedar, Coffee, Fish Broth, Mushrooms, Roasted nuts, Smoke, Toast, Campfire, Marshmallow, Ocean Air, Seaweed, Roasted, Walnut
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Loose Leaf
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Edit tea info Last updated by pkmnnerdfighter
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 45 sec 6 g 10 oz / 286 ml

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11 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Additional notes: Recently, I saw a tasting note that said cream houjicha! Well, I don’t have a cream houjicha but it sounds delicious. I had to try this with some cream… some Bailey’s Cheesecake...” Read full tasting note
  • “Tea #30 from HHTTB2 Thumbing through the reviews, I was glad to see I wasn’t the only one getting the Sencha flavor still coming through in this cup. It’s definitely a unique experience, as I’m...” Read full tasting note
  • “Tea #1 from Here’s Hoping Travelling Teabox I was quite excited to brew up a Houjicha. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a Houjicha tea and I was craving one. I thought at first that there was...” Read full tasting note
  • “Muppetlove THANKS for this! This is a mighty fine Houjicha but it’s a tad different than your standard Houjicha…it just has that little extra something-something. Sure – it has that robust roasted...” Read full tasting note

From Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms

This Hojicha is quite unique. Made by roasting summer Sencha instead of the traditional Bancha leaves, Hojicha Amber reveals a much more intense firewood flavor, with a walnut aftertaste. Low in caffeine, it is a delicious nighttime tea.

Taste: Astringent
Body: Rich
Texture: Sharp
Length: Long
Harvest: June
Tea Cultivar: Yabukita
Origin: Wazuka
Cultivation: Unshaded
Processing: Lightly Steamed, Rolled, Dried, Roasted

About Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms View company

Company description not available.

11 Tasting Notes

2414 tasting notes

Additional notes: Recently, I saw a tasting note that said cream houjicha! Well, I don’t have a cream houjicha but it sounds delicious. I had to try this with some cream… some Bailey’s Cheesecake cream!! What?! I decided to forgo the higher caffiene tea today, just because I wanted to try this with cream. I have learned since the last time I had this one that all tea except rooibos and herbals have caffiene in them. Even though I only slept 4 hours last night, I wasn’t that sleepy. I think the steep time must be boiling and you can’t really hurt it with the steep time, especially if you love more of the roasted toasty flavor. The cream is delicious, of course. It tastes like a cheesecake, and the toasty houjicha is the delicious crust (otherwise, I think the cream flavor is just cheesecake filling without the crust.) It is reminding me of the milky coffee my parents gave me when I was three years old… which isn’t good because I only put a bit of cream in it. I assumed the coffee was mostly milk, but now I think there was only a little milk added! Yikes! I love this tea.

Boiling 8 min or more
Obubu Tea

wow, i haven’t check the steepster account for a while, and come back to see this review? Talk about a wonderful way to end the afternoon! THANKS!! (Overseas business manager, Ian Chun)


You’re welcome! I’m glad you read it. If you’d like more reviews, I’d be happy to try more Obubu teas… though this one would probably be my favorite.

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615 tasting notes

Tea #30 from HHTTB2

Thumbing through the reviews, I was glad to see I wasn’t the only one getting the Sencha flavor still coming through in this cup. It’s definitely a unique experience, as I’m used to that flavor being blitzed away through the roasting and replaced with something wholy different.

In any case, this tastes like heavily roasted veggies with a definite nutty and toasty quality. Vegetal, but warm and savory.

And it made me crave smashed parsnips with rosemary and garlic. Huh.

205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec

Man, now you’ve got me craving that! Ha.

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511 tasting notes

Tea #1 from Here’s Hoping Travelling Teabox

I was quite excited to brew up a Houjicha. It’s been a long time since I’ve had a Houjicha tea and I was craving one.

I thought at first that there was something wrong with this tea, like maybe it has been affected by other tea flavors in the box. I detect a strange sort of generic fruitiness in the back ground. Aside from that, it certainly doesn’t taste like the Houjicha teas I’ve had before. I don’t know quite how to describe it, but I don’t like it. Reading the other reviews here, I can see that it should taste unique, but I don’t know how much of what I taste is the tea or how much is tea box ‘pollution.’

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec
BrewTEAlly Sweet

you got it!!!! yay!!! I WAS GOING TO TRY THIS ONE, BUT ran out of time. Looks like its a good thing I passed it up.


i just posted in the forum that I got the box, and posted pictures. And commented on the awesome candies you included ٩(^ᴗ^)۶


Aw, I don’t know what happened to this one. I thought it was the best hojicha I’ve ever tried. I’m going to brew some up soon and see if it’s the same as I remember it.


hey TeaSipper, it could be just me too. What are your brewing parameters? I might try it again if you do something much different than I.


I had to check my note.. apparently I went boiling for over 8 minutes?


Oh, but I’m glad the box got to you! And hopefully you like the others you try way more than this one…


I was thinking maybe, since its been so long since I’ve had any houjicha that maybe I forgot how to brew it. I know that it is a green tea, but as a roasted green tea, I thought near boiling should be ok, so that’s what I did, but certainly not for 8 minutes! yikes. besides the fruity flavor that I attributed to other teas’ influence, I thought it was a too bitter, which would be caused by wrong temp, etc. Of course, as some of you might already know, my tastebuds are in some other dimension from most of you here. lol.

BrewTEAlly Sweet

All of the candies were German:) even the marshmallows


the marshmallows were labeled something like “chamomile blend” (I cant remember, i don’t have the bag in front of me now) so I first thought, “hmm, maybe it’s like space-age astronaut tea” and I pondered whether I should stick one in a pot of hot water or eat it. :p Did you get all that in Germany yourself, or do you have family suppliers? (either way, super lucky!)

BrewTEAlly Sweet

Chamallows :) and I have family:)


Looking forward to all your tea box notes :D

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6770 tasting notes

Muppetlove THANKS for this!

This is a mighty fine Houjicha but it’s a tad different than your standard Houjicha…it just has that little extra something-something.

Sure – it has that robust roasted flavor and notes of woodsy/nutty goodness but it has a sweet-mineral type flavor to it too! I like it!

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4847 tasting notes


This is my last backlog for this evening … I’m gonna try to do a little bit every night and hopefully I’ll get caught up eventually!

This was a very interesting Houjicha … I could still taste the vegetative tones of the Sencha in this tea, as well as some of the floral tones of the Sencha … usually, it’s been my experience that with the roasting process, the houjicha becomes an entirely new flavor but here, I taste notes of the Sencha still … I like that though!

The vegetative notes taste a bit like roasted vegetables … and I like this unique taste. There is a slight creamy tone to this cup too … it’s a little bit nutty, a little bit toasty and warm, a little bit vegetative and savory, and a little bit sweet and creamy! A really nice cuppa.

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27 tasting notes

This tea is much darker than I remember! It’s sharp too – a bitterness that is very coffee-esque. This would definitely slap me awake in the morning. Very woodsy scent in the dry leaf, very smoky in the warmed kyusu, and a “burnt toast” smell in the wet leaf.

Full bodied. Left a nice mouth feel. Not sure if the lingering sweetness is from this or the sencha I drank earlier. I wish I had more to experiment with, but I don’t. I don’t think I’d order more Amber, but I would definitely drink more if it was offered to me.

Flavors: Burnt, Cedar, Coffee, Fish Broth, Mushrooms, Roasted nuts, Smoke, Toast

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 5 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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921 tasting notes

You know what is just crazy awesome to me? The tea group that I created back in early 2013 on facebook is 12 members shy of 600. That is mind boggling! I started it at my friend’s insistence as a place for us to babble about our shared obsession and as a place for me to teach them about tea, or at the very least point them to the books and websites I used to learn stuff. It started out pretty slow, just some friends and friends of friends, and then it really took off. Before long I enlisted the help of my mom as an admin, and it was only a couple of weeks ago that I was telling the group how awesome it was that we hit 500 members. It is a labor of love, I get frustrated with it at times but my little tea group is awesome, I have met some amazing people because of it.

So, remember back in June when I reviewed Sencha of the Summer Sun? Well, I am drinking the same tea, except this time it has been roasted into Yunomi: Obubu Tea #14 Houjicha Amber Roast. This is really exciting to me, it is like visiting a new friend who got complete facial reconstruction and is still the same person but is also totally different. Ok, that analogy failed utterly, but I hope the gist of what I am saying comes through. Unlike my experience with Obubu’s Smoky Roast and Dark Roast I did not get to know the tea pre-roasting, so being able to taste and smell the pre-roasted Sencha is pretty amazing. Enough of my tea geeking out, on to the sensory analysis of the tea leaves. Ok, the aroma of this Houjicha is fun, it starts off as sweet roasted marshmallows and a touch of campfire, it then transitions to toasted sesame, burnt grass, and lastly a tiny wisp of distant sea air. I very much so had a vision pop into my mind of roasted marshmallows on a beach, the fire made from driftwood and sea grass. What is it with roasted teas and their ability to send my brain to such wonderful places?

I decided to brew the tea in my trusty basket inside a teacup, I know I am betraying my kyusu, but when I took the tasting notes for this tea it was really close to me leaving to come out to PA and my breakable teapots were packed away, must keep safe from the cats! The nicely steeped tea smells like a seaside campfire, complete with the slight aroma of toasted seaweed. It is not as sweet as the dry leaves, mostly savory and toasty with a distinct umami. The liquid is a blend of soothing toasted sesame, a touch of seaweed (kelp, specifically) and a bit of smoke. As smoky teas go this is pretty mild, none of those strong char and burning things notes, more like a fire in the distance.

Ah, this is a nicely savory Houjicha. There are, at least that I have experienced, two kinds of Houjicha, the ones that taste sweet like roasted marhsmallows, and the ones that are savory and rich. Obviously this greatly depends on the tea, and since Sencha of the Summer Sun was not a sweet Sencha, this totally makes sense. Yunomi uses the word robust to describe this tea, and I agree, it is a good description, the umami mixture of roasted kelp and campfire washes over your tongue, again it reminds me of a seaside bonfire. At the very finish transitioning into the aftertaste you get a touch of toasted marshmallow, this delicate sweetness with a bit of smoke lingers for quite a while. I can see this being the perfect end of summer beginning of autumn tea, it reminds me so much of that last visit to the ocean before summer is over, but you can start feeling the chill in the air at night.

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2014/12/yunomi-obubu-tea-14-houjicha-amber-roast.html

Flavors: Campfire, Marshmallow, Ocean Air, Seaweed, Smoke, Toast


What’s the FB group?


OMG, campfire, marshmallow, ocean air, smoke?! All it needs is some chocolate and grahmcrackers to be smores on the beach! Makes me a little homesick.


Ok, the idea of smores on the beach sound AMAZING. I have had them on a lake beach, but never by the sea…must do!


OMG I derped SO HARD!!!! I read 548 as 584…I was very confused why we were suddenly at 555…I really should never be allowed near numbers.

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294 tasting notes

This houjicha has a really noticeable bitterness in the aftertaste, and seeing that it is made from Sencha of the Summer Sun, it’s understandable. That tea also has a bit of bite to it. It’s hard to describe what sets this houjicha apart from others. It has a bit of that bitter green tea taste that you get from more bitter/robust sencha.

To be honest, I don’t really prefer this to the simplicity of the regular houjicha made from bancha. I like my houjicha to be mild, or maybe just slightly robust, but this one is really robust and smokey/bitter in the finish. The scent has notes of cedar and mustard and the tea itself tastes roasty like a houjicha usually does, but maybe with a bit more of a coffee-like bitterness in the finish. The bitterness really lingers a bit, but it also has a cooling sensation and it is a clean kind of bitterness. It is similar to the subtle bitterness of walnuts.

Not bad stuff, but I think I like the simpler kind more.

Flavors: Cedar, Coffee, Roasted, Smoke, Walnut

185 °F / 85 °C 5 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

Houjicha shouldn’t be bitter, IMO. I probably would rebel against that too. If I’m drinking houjicha, I want a sweet, possibly caramelly, roasty, smooth tea. I’d be happy with smokiness, but not bitter. Sad.


Yeah, Obubu even advertises their Sencha of the Summer Sun as having “a bitter taste that is strong at first”, and it comes through in this houjicha version of it. I’ve had the sencha by itself and it definitely is robust. It’s good, but it’s sharp unless you brew it with less tea than you might usually use for sencha. Unfortunately, using less tea didn’t really make the houjicha lose its bitterness, though it wasn’t too bad, just not really my thing when it comes to houjicha.

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2815 tasting notes

Backlog from yesterday, Steepster was acting really slow and would not allow me to do much.

This was a nice houjicha, definitely very roasty and earthy with a slight smoky note. I tried it hot and also over ice, it was good both ways but I wish it was a bit sweeter somehow.

Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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863 tasting notes

Sipdown! I’m kind of proud of myself for clearing out my cupboard so well. Although I probably will make up for it as soon as I get my Obubu shipment.

I’m not sure if my notes are really reflecting this at all but I’ve been on a big Japanese culture kick of late. Literature, food, tea, everything. I decided to do my first tea subscription with Obubu tea just because I’ve bee having so much fun with it all (that and I like that the subscription also has some benefit to the community).

Anyway, this was a free sample with my Sencha order and I’m drinking it in my new DAVIDsTEA double wall glass tumbler (12 oz volume). I steeped up the whole sample since it was around 8 grams and the instructions said to use 5 g for 5 oz. I used the below parameters and no additives.

The dry leaf smell was of an almost burnt sencha. I know I’ve had houjicha before but I am pretty sure it used bancha leaves as I remember huge brown leaves, and not the blade of grass sized leaves that characterize sencha. I’m not a fan of outright burnt or ash tasting teas so I’m hoping this tones it down just to a pleasant toasted rice-esque note once it steeps.

Despite being sencha based, this tastes a lot like the houjicha I remember. Very genmaicha like, really. It is also very smooth and not bitter in the slightest, with discernible hints of seaweed. Sometimes teas take me a while to drink because my brain likes to ruminate over the flavors. But this – I’m not sure how to really explain it other than for a hot tea it is surprisingly refreshing and slides down your throat like water. Maybe its the minerality I’m trying to describe? Because that is a savory/umami quality I really enjoy in tea as well.

Anyway, I like this. I’m excited to see what my spring tea from Obubu will be because I’ve quite enjoyed their offerings so far!

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 45 sec 8 g 12 OZ / 354 ML

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