Country of Origin: Japan
Leaf Appearance: dark, somewhat coarse with a large number of stems
Steep time: 30 seconds
Water Temperature: 194 degrees
Preparation Method: kyusu
Liquor: dark amber
When Tea Thoughts sent me their fall Steep It Real Box last year, I was super excited to see a big bag of their Dark Roast among all of the goodies. Hojicha Co. had just started making the rounds in my Instagram feed. They are definitely the first tea company I’ve seen that specialized only in Hojicha, a type of Japanese green tea. What a super cool niche!
The base tea was a summer harvested bancha. It was fairly rough and broken in appearance with plenty of stems. This is by far the darkest hojicha I’ve ever had. The leaves appeared more brown under my bright photography lights, but the color was even darker to the naked eye. I was reminded of mulch or fallen leaves, perfect for fall! They had a robust roasted aroma.
Hojicha Co. Dark Roast brewed up a deep shade of amber. If I didn’t know better, I definitely would have guessed this was a black tea. The taste was woody and sweet, with a pleasant smokiness. Don’t let that scare you! It was not quite on the level of Lapsang Souchong. This is the perfect tea for fans of coffee and whiskey.
I opted to brew this tea in my kyusu for this review. The taste was fairly consistent regardless of how I brewed it. Hojicha Co.’s brewing parameters are fairly conservative, so I was surprised to find that this tea was quite forgiving. Extended infusion times and hotter water did not bring out any unpleasant bitterness. I couldn’t resist letting my nose linger in the bag while the leaves were steeping. The toasty aroma was very comforting.
Have you ever tried Hojicha Co. Dark Roast? Tell me your thoughts in the comments below!