Any Monday where I get to try a new tea type is an exciting Monday! Today, I’ve got my hands on Tea People Hojicha, which is a type of roasted green tea from Japan. Unlike most Japanese green teas, which have a fresh grassy flavour from the way they are steamed, Hojicha is roasty and rich with nutty tones.
In this review I will explain what this tea tastes like, how to brew it, a little info about Tea People, and some links to buy it. If you want to explore other tea types and get to know green tea or Japanese tea in more detail, head to my Tea Review Index.
Now, let’s put the kettle on and delve in.
Tea People Hojicha at a Glance
- Origins: Uji, Japan
- Flavour: Mellow and subtle roasted green tea, with notes of cashews and popped brown rice
This tea has a vibrant aroma with deep, caramel and roasted nut notes. The flavour is also pretty great, although more subtle. Notes of roasted cashews and popped brown rice are utterly yummy. If you like buckwheat tea or genmaicha, you will love hojicha.
Full Review – Hojicha Japanese Green Tea
- Type: Loose leaf
- Tea: Hojicha (pan-roasted Japanese green tea)
- Origin: Uji region of Japan
- Flavour Notes: Smooth, roasted cashews, popped brown rice, mellow, subtle
- Aroma: Rich, caramel, popcorn, twigs, molasses, salt, nutty, roasty, mellow, chestnuts, woodsmoke
- Milk or Lemon: Neither
- Where to Buy: Tea People or Amazon UK
Opening the loose leaf packet, I’m met with a gorgeous aroma. It’s delicious! Notes of rich caramel-coated popcorn meets my nose, with a depth and richness that reminds me of molasses or black treacle. There’s also a twiggy wood note and a hint of salt too, which only adds to the luxuriant assault on my senses.
Once brewed, the aroma develops and mellows a little. I can detect a nutty and roasty aroma that reminds me of chestnuts roasting on the fire – you can find little hints of woodsmoke too.
As for the flavour. Wow. It’s so good, but not in the same way as the aroma. The intensity and richness fade away and you’re left with a subtle, mellow beverage. Smooth, roasted cashews and popped brown rice mingle with notes of hay. It’s utterly delicious.
Unlike the aroma, which really permeates through your nose, the flavour is much lighter. I don’t feel like I’ve eaten too much dessert at the end of it (which is a problem I’ve had with luxuriant teas in the past).
I also really liked that there’s a slightly drying sensation in the aftertaste, which gave this tea a refreshing edge.
Overall, I would happily drink this tea every day. It’s hard to fault.
How to Brew Hojicha
Tea People recommend brewing 1 teaspoon of this loose leaf tea in 250ml of water for 3 to 4 minutes. 90°C to 95°C water is the best temperature, but I would edge a little cooler rather than hotter. I started at 90°C but dropped down to 85°C while the leaves were brewing.
The timings are spot on, however. You need to let the twiggy leaves steep for a minimum of 3 minutes to get a subtle flavour, so try to be patient!
There is very little caffeine in this particular hojicha tea. Tea People estimate there is no more than 8mg of caffeine per cup, while standard green tea tends to be closer to 30mg and black tea edges towards 50mg. So, you can drink this tea as an evening blend after dinner without worrying about sleepless nights.
Why Tea People Hojicha Japanese Tea?
Tea People are a wonderful brand if you want to explore teas from around the world at an accessible price. I have reviewed several of their blends and continue to be impressed by the quality and freshness of them.
This blend, Tea People Hojicha, is also known as karigane. Instead of the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant, this tea makes use of the stems that hold up the high-grade leaves. This is what gives the tea that distinct roasty and sweet flavour. Tea People also claim to find hints of cocoa in this tea.
Interestingly, this tea was only invented in the 1920s! Unlike other teas that have been developed over centuries, hojicha was first made by a Kyoto merchant just over 100 years ago.
I have no hesitations when recommending Tea People Hojicha to beginners and experienced drinkers alike. It’s delicious in flavour, amazingly appetising in aroma, and pretty friendly on your wallet too. Like many loose leaf drinks, you can reuse the tea leaves (or stems in this case) multiple times.
You can find this tea available to purchase directly from Tea People. The company also has a page on Amazon, which sometimes stocks this tea among many others. You can find a link to it below. If you use the link and make a purchase, I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you – it helps us keep our blog running!
To enjoy this tea slowly over an afternoon, which is how I recommend sipping it, then check out my new Japanese Ceramic Teapot Warmers. Powered with little tea lights, you can keep your tea warm in your glass teapot while you take your time savouring Tea People Hojicha.