We couldn’t resist adding this modern, elegant take on a classic Japanese houjicha (also spelled as hojicha) to our loose-leaf collection. Organic Egyptian chamomile adds a sweet, yet gentle floral uplift to this classically comforting and warm tea. Not only is this is one of the most beautiful-smelling teas we have ever experienced — it’s also naturally low in caffeine.
What is Houjicha?
Houjicha is a Japanese tea made from later harvest tea leaves that are roasted as a final processing step. All teas are exposed to some heat (whether it be steam or roast) to "kill green" or halt oxidation and reduce moisture in the leaves. Houjicha differs in that it is exposed to a secondary roast, which brings out different flavor characteristics (understandably warm and toasted notes!). Roasting the tea also reduces the caffeine content and astringency, which makes houjicha a very approachable and gentle tea to drink all day. Though very common, the blend of chamomile elevates this everyday experience into an enchanting tea time.
Aroma: This is one of the most beautiful-smelling teas we have ever experienced. Bright and joyful, this sweet-smelling tea has notes of ripe cantaloupe, milk chocolate, and of course, well-balanced chamomile.
Flavor: Smooth, well-balanced. Dark cherry, chocolate, almond. Medium body, velvety mouthfeel.
Harvest Season: Late harvest, autumn.
Cultivar: Seasonal mix, predominately yabukita.
Process: Harvested leaves are steamed to halt oxidation. The leaves are then dried and rolled, similar to sencha, and are introduced to a final, strong roast on the pan.
Amount: 5g (5tsp) Chamomile Houjicha
Water: 250ml (8oz) water at 195ºF
Time: 2 minute steep (although, we also enjoy up to 4 minutes! Find your favorite brew.) Traditional houjicha will generally be steeped for 30 seconds - 1 minute, with 30 seconds added at each subsequent steep. However, because we have the beautiful chamomile mix, we suggest a longer steep to allow the flowers to fully lend their flavor to the infusion.
Food Pairing: This is a bedtime brew in our household, so it's generally taken after dinner to help digestion. However, this tea would also be delicious at an afternoon tea gathering with smoked salmon or egg salad sandwiches! Pairs best with dishes that are light and delicate.
Sold in 75g or 50g bags. Store in a cool, dark location. Best consumed within 3 months.