I’m pretty sure this is what was the tea that came with my meal tonight in the Japanese restaurant. A very acceptable brew for a restaurant in a small southern town.
“I’m pretty sure this is what was the tea that came with my meal tonight in the Japanese restaurant. A very acceptable brew for a restaurant in a small southern town.” Read full tasting note
“I just roasted my own tea using the loose YamaMotoYama sencha. I don’t know if this is something that others do, but I’ve been wanting to try hojicha for a while now and I couldn’t find it...” Read full tasting note
“This was the first green tea I ever tried. I make it every time I roll my own sushi. It goes perfect with Japanese cuisine. A perfectly nice unassuming green tea. Very plain, vegetal and...” Read full tasting note
“Had a rather greasy lunch, typical of local hawker foods. With the heat and the grease, i was feeling really lethargic. Popped one of these little fellas in a mug of hot water and felt much better.” Read full tasting note
This is a common store bought brand of green tea bags for the lazy/impatient drinker. Not pricey, not fussy and surprisingly, quite nice for something that comes pre-packed in a box of 20 teabags.
Company description not available.
Green Fig Green TeaPekOe Sip House
Green Paradise Green TeaMark T. Wendell
Green Sample - Green teaBeijing Wuyutai Tea Company
Green TeaTen Ren
I just roasted my own tea using the loose YamaMotoYama sencha. I don’t know if this is something that others do, but I’ve been wanting to try hojicha for a while now and I couldn’t find it available for a reasonable price. So, I roasted it myself. (Why not, right?)
I read a comment about hojicha somewhere which said that some hojicha had a more complex taste and scent than others. It was entirely by accident that I ended up setting aside tea that had been roasted to several different degrees. One batch started smoking and really roasted. The other batches I roasted more gently. I decided to combine them at the end, and it is my theory that this is what makes for a more complex flavor. Even the scent is complex like this.
I roasted the tea on top of a gas stove on a cast iron pan that was cleaned and dried, thoroughly beforehand. I used a heat-tolerant spatula to move the leaves around to make sure they got heat as evenly as possible. Though smaller leaves and pieces invariably ended up roasting much faster.
I used 3/4 tsp of tea for 4 oz of water which was heated to about 170F. The scent at first is like roasted barley tea, coffee, with complex notes underneath them.
After a 3 minute brewing time, the color is a gentle amber color and the scent is very reminiscent of mugicha (roasted barley tea), though there are other notes there as well (perhaps from the less-roasted tea). There is a great sweetness to the scent, it’s sugary but in a light way, like a medium-colored agave syrup.
The taste is more roasted or toasted than the scent. It truly tastes a lot like mugicha, but with a light smokiness that’s more reminiscent of coffee. It doesn’t taste or smell like coffee, it’s just that it shares that roasted or toasted element. There’s a dimensionality that I don’t remember from mugicha. It is light, but at the same time, has depth from the roasted flavor and other light notes. It’s complex, but not overcomplicated.
There isn’t so much of a dry mouth feeling or astringency which the YamaMotoYama sencha and genmaicha tend to have. But, there is a subtle peeking out of that feeling. It’s extremely gentle. The taste of the roasted tea doesn’t stay in the mouth very long. It’s very unobtrusive. I can see why this tea is recommended for children and the elderly. I also feel little or no effect from caffeine. Any of the relaxing feeling is subdued and much more gentle. The roasted flavor, as others mentioned about hojicha, is very reminiscent of autumn and the winter months. It’s the kind of taste that gives you pause. Yet, it’s not a taste I often hunger for, so I think that I would set this aside for special occasions (I do have plenty left).
I’m not sure that everybody would like this roasted taste, but it’s an interesting experience. I was glad that I tried this. I would love to try the YamaMotoYama hojicha to see if their roasting methods come out the same as mine.
Note: Since I roasted this myself and it is not evident of the typical sencha experience, I am not changing any of my ratings or adding any notes in the form. This way it will not impact the rating system for typical sencha.