Hojicha - The Red/Brown Green Tea - Chado September 2022
The leaves are falling...Hojicha Weather
So, it must be Fall (In Vancouver it sure is)
According to an unscientific poll (conducted by us asking people we know), Fall is the best season in BC. The dreaded torrential rain has not arrived yet and the leaves are changing color and the air is crisp.
If you live here you have the leaves to pick up so it's not great but it beats the dreaded rain which is just around the corner...
Hojicha - The Red/Brown Green Tea.
Hojicha is a brownish-red green tea.
Green tea is green because it is made from the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis tea plant which like most plants is green.
Black tea is also made from the same plant. All ‘classical’ teas, not herbal teas for example, are made from the same plant which goes to show what a versatile plant it is and how skilled and ingenious tea makers are in crafting the different varieties we enjoy.
So why is black tea black and green tea green?
The reason is oxidation. When the tea is harvested it turns brown by virtue of the air oxidizing the leaves.
Green tea is processed right after it is picked to ensure it keeps its green color. This process involves a few steps but the step that stops the oxidation is heating. Most Japanese green tea is steamed, in comparison, most Chinese teas are pan-fried. Both steaming and pan frying stops the oxidation.
So you might be thinking that Hojicha is a green tea that has been left to oxidize and hence get the brown-red color.
In actual fact, Hojicha is indeed steamed to stop the oxidation but is then roasted at a high temperature, this roasting changes both the color and the taste of the tea. One of the teas presented below is slightly different - the tea material for “Organic Sannen-Bancha” is oxidized for up to three years then it is roasted; please see more details below.
Hojicha has a sweet umami flavor, it has a slightly nutty, roasted flavor. Hojicha also has less caffeine than most green teas because of the roasting.
We have three varieties of Hojicha available.
Hojicha Lightly Roasted Stem Tea
We are excited to present this tea, it is a lightly-roasted first flush, stem tea Hojicha that has a touch of Sencha taste.
The first flush stems are roasted to produce a rich flavor with sweetness, this is a very satisfying Hojicha tea.
This tea is not a typical Hojicha roasting tea. The roasting time for this variety is less than normally found in a Hojicha and only first flush premium stem teas are used. The appearance of the tea shows as light brown stem tea.
Hojicha Roasted Green Tea NISHIO Classic
Hojicha is known for its mellow, nutty flavor with a toasty aroma. This particular Hojicha is roasted at high temperatures after the leaves have been steamed. This process alters the leaf color from green to a reddish-brown appearance and produces a nutty, roasted flavor.
Organic Aged San-nen Bancha Hojicha Roasted Green Tea
Tea leaves for this tea are from the later harvests in the autumn to winter. The leaves are dried in the sun well and then allowed to mature for up to three years. This ripening process breaks down tannins in tea and leads to a mild taste. The leaves are then slowly roasted. The appearance is similar to Hojicha roasted tea. The difference therefore between Hojicha and San-nen Bancha is whether the tea is processed right after harvesting or ripened.
The late, Great Bernard Cribbins.
Chado Tea House is a company with its roots firmly in Japanese culture but we have one member of staff from England. He brings his strong, black tea (with milk and sugar no less) background to Chado. We are converting him to the pleasures of green tea, but he does occasionally bring to our attention interesting aspects of tea from his old stomping ground.
He introduced us to Bearnard Cribbins, Mr. Cribbins was a fixture in British comedy for 50 years, he passed away peacefully recently in England.
We present this video as a tribute to Bernard Cribbins and because it's good fun.