Hortissimo Houji-cha Latte

Country of Origin: not given
Leaf Appearance: light brown powder
Ingredients: as stated on their site “powder T with milk and creamy foams”
Steep time: instant
Water Temperature: 212 degrees
Preparation Method: ceramic mug
Liquor: milk chocolaty brown

Every once in a while I stumble upon a tea that I love but cannot locate or that I am unable to replicate at home. This tea was a case of both. At the New York Coffee and Tea Festival I was offered a “houjicha cappuccino” by a very sweet girl from a company that I did not recognize. It was really more of a latte but it turned out to be one of the yummiest and most unique things that I tasted there. It had a wonderfully nutty flavor while also being full of foam and everything that I love in a matcha latte. I thought that it was the perfect tea based latte for a chronic coffee drinker.

They were selling little sample packets so I snapped up one of the houjicha and one of the matcha. However, I was a little crestfallen when I tried to make it at home. There was no foam and the taste was weak. Then I realized that the instructions on the package were a bit odd. It said to use 1 tsp of powder when it really meant for you to use the entire packet. You’ve got to love awkward translations. I made another attempt using much more powder and it was infinitely better.

After all of that, I tried to find the tea while I was writing up this review but it was next to impossible to find it. The distrubtor on my sample is listed as Iconnel Spa out of of Denver, CO. Apparently they are owned by Hortissimo. I’m still entirely sure but both sites have a spammy look and the same annoying background music. I was pretty disappointed because it’s a product that has some real potential. Hopefully I will have better luck with the matcha version.

Nicole has been writing about her love of the leaf since 2008. Her work has been featured on World Tea News, The Daily Tea, Tea Journey, and other publications. She is the winner of the 2018 World Tea Award for Best Tea Blog.