January 30, 2009

Hibiki-an Houjicha

If you've never tried Houjicha your in for a bit of a surprise. I think if a coffee drinker was forced to drink tea this might be the one they would like. Houjicha is Japanese green tea that's been roasted in an oven turning the green leaves into a toasted brown color. The aroma of the brewed tea in some ways smells more like coffee than tea. The Japanese are known for being frugal (not wastefull) So they found a way to utilize every last bit. Typically after the spring tea has been harvested whats left is the leaves that are maybe a little older and larger unsuitable for Sencha. Or what re-grows after the harvest is roasted and becomes Houjicha. Usually a mixture of leaves and stems although some Houjicha,s are made with nothing but the stems. Houjicha is very inexpensive and also very easy to brew. You need to use a lot of leaf, say for an eight oz. teapot I would put in about four Tab. of tea, boiling water and a 45 second brew time and you've got a good pot of tea. I re-steep the same leaves and find I get two good pots out of it. Hibiki-an,s Houjicha sells for $18.00 for 200 gms. Ive had Houjicha from many different company's and I liked them all. There are subtle differences between them but for the most part Houjicha is Houjicha no matter where you get it from. But just as with any other tea freshness is a factor so choose your vendor wisely. Hibiki-an,s is roasted a little darker than most so the flavor is a little less rich but deeper. A good everyday chug-a-lug tea. Also makes great iced tea.
P.S. Yes, that is a Kyusu made by Hokujo


  1. I've been out of town. I love the photos, the lighting, the color, in this one.

  2. Thank you Eileen. Almost looks as though there were a reddish filter on the camera, what I liked about these pics is that the colors are pretty accurate. That's pretty much the true color of the clay on the Kyusu. Ah, theres no place like home eh?

  3. Well, there I go asking questions about Houjicha before getting completely caught up on your blog. In my defense, how was I supposed to know you'd follow up a post about sencha that briefly mentions Hibiki-an Houjicha with a full-fledged post about Hibiki-an Houjicha...? *facepalm*

    Anyhow, previous question still applies. ^__^


  4. Dont worry about it. I do stuff like that all the time (I think we all do)

  5. Bret,
    Is the Houjicha as critical about storage as sencha? Do you store yours in fridge?
    I am loving the sencha from Hibiki-an. Thanks for all the tips last week!

  6. Howdy Chris, from my experience, no it,s not as demanding when it comes to storage. Unlike Sencha, freshness is not as critical. I just leave it in a tea jar out on the counter. When it comes to storing teas in the fridge, you should only do this with teas that have been nitro flushed and the bags of tea must be un-opened. When you are going to use the tea take it out of the fridge and leave it sit out un-opened for several hours. If you open the bag immediately the tea will form condensation (water) not good! All of Hibiki ans teas are nitro flushed. I only keep them in the fridge when Ive bought such a large qty. that I know I wont be drinking them for a while. But with Hojicha I dont worry about it. Glad your enjoying your teas and tea ware Chris. Thanks for reading.