Thank you to Yunomi for this sample.
I’m often not a huge fan of roasty teas – some are good, but far too often for me the roastiness dominates all the other flavours, and the teas lack nuance.
I was worried about that with this tea, until the end of the first sip. It starts off very roasty tasting, with a slight char note, but then there’s a burst of vegetal tang, and some lovely caramel and cream sweetness. The roastiness almost has a barley quality to it.
This is definitely one of the more complex and enjoyable houjichas I’ve tried. There’s lots going on to prevent it from being one dimensional.
I made a latte with the second steep of my leaves which was delicious – very autumny, like being outdoors amongst the dry, fallen leaves.
The dry leaf is brown and very broken – my sample contained some larger pieces but also lots of fanning sized bits. Dry it smells much like it does steeped – charred and roasty.
Flavors: Caramel, Char, Creamy, Roasted, Roasted Barley, Sweet, Tangy, Vegetal