Ryo’s Ichibancha Hōjicha offers a delightful sipping experience with its full-bodied, sweet profile and intense roasted flavor that later transitions into a pleasant, nutty aftertaste.
Hōjicha is often served in Japan to greet visitors as a gesture of hospitality. The tea has a minimal caffeine content which makes it suitable for enjoyment at any time of the day. Despite its roasted brown hue, Hōjicha is essentially a green tea. Most market varieties of Hōjicha derive from the more astringent Bancha, harvested in the second season and industrially roasted. Ryo’s Ichibancha Hōjicha stands out, not just for its authentic charcoal roasting method but also for being made from the far superior spring-harvested Sencha.
Ryo-san selects prime, first-flush leaves, infusing the brew with refined sophistication and depth that I haven’t experienced in any other hōjicha I’ve tried. This genuine, charcoal-roasted Hōjicha is thus crafted from first flush Sencha (一番茶ほうじ茶) and offers a robust, nutty, and vibrant taste.
Originating from Tokyo, Ryo Morisaki is a former IT/Environmental engineer turned tea cultivator in Wazuka, Kyoto. He specializes in small-scale, innovative tea production and opts for high-quality Sencha over the commonly used, less expensive second-harvest Bancha for his unique charcoal-roasted Hōjicha. Committed to eco-friendly practices, his tea fields shun pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and herbicides, relying on indigenous Uji plant varieties and natural “Zairai” tea bushes.
Use a glass or a mug instead of the kyusu. Add 3g of hojicha to the glass
Heat water to 100ºC (212ºF)
Pour 70ml into a small tea cup. This cools the water to 90ºC and preheats the cup.
Add the water to the glass or mug. Steep uncovered for 30 seconds.
Strain into the tea cup. Transfer the tealeaves from the strainer and back into the mug. You can re-steep many times. Add 70ml water like before.
Use 3 g Hojicha. Add the tea leaves to the kyusu.
Heat water to 100ºC (212ºF)
Get your tea cup and add 70ml water. This cools the water to 90ºC and preheats the cup.
Add the water to the Kyusu. Steep uncovered for 30 seconds.
To serve, place the lid on the kyusu and pour. Enjoy the first steeping.
You can re-steep many times. Add 70ml water like before.
2 x 0.42 oz 12g. 24g total
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