Yakushima Island, Japan
This is one of five teas I sourced from my journey to Yakushima Island in January 2023.
This unusual tea is made from second harvest sencha that has been roasted, hojicha style. This is not something we see very often, as sencha is a steamed tea! To make this tea the sencha, or the steamed leaves, and the finer leaves are roasted over low heat while the stems are roasted over high heat. The sum of all of these kinds of tea and techniques creates a mysterious and fragrant hybrid that we can only call, hojisencha. As odd as it sounds, for many Japanese people this tea is nostalgic, and speaks of rural areas that historically have made tea in this manner.
The remote farm on Yakushima that produces this tea does so using natural farming methods, without pesticides or chemical fertilizers. Because the tea leaves are grown naturally, the taste is rich in catechins and thus slightly astringent. The flavor and shape of the leaves varies from year to year on account of different weather patterns and insect populations.
This tea can be brewed hot or cold, the latter only requiring a bit more tea and a bit more time submerged in water at a low temperature. Either way, hojisencha offers a warmer, more subdued experience of green tea. The roasting process grounds it and brings out the sweetness of the stems and leaves. But this is not to say it isn’t still an intense tea – hojisencha has strong, uplifting energy and a fascinating, full bodied flavour that keeps you wanting for more.
Net weight 100g
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|Steep time||10 sec - 90 sec
|No. of infusions||6