Summer red houjicha (夏紅ほうじ茶) – Tozaka Chaen 50g
‘Summer Red’ Houjicha (夏紅ほうじ茶), 50 grams
Yabukita cultivar, ichibancha (一番茶) harvest: late May
This Summer Red Houjicha comes from tea farmer Koichi Tozaka (東坂幸一), who claims houjicha as his favourite type of tea.
Tozaka has many great teas, but it is his different houjicha teas that we have fallen in love with first.
Many houjicha in Japan are either created from the stems or irregular leaf sizes leftover from the production of other green teas, sometimes a houjicha is a way of reviving green teas that are a few years old, or other times houjicha is made from the late harvests with leaf quality that is seen as lesser in quality. It is not often we encounter a tea farmer who chooses to harvest leaves from his first harvest (ichibancha) to dedicate to make houjicha.
This Summer Red Houjicha is made from Yabukita cultivar, harvested in late spring (end of May) with leaves that have been left to mature more than standard compared to the harvest for a tamaryokucha (steamed green tea).
This results in a tea with chunky leaves and a lot of stem, that gives an incredibly smooth tea full of character.
The aroma of the tea is woody, has strong sweet notes of caramel, vanilla and dried fruits (raisins & apricots).
The taste is endlessly smooth, full-bodied, fruity with perhaps a touch of pine wood.
The smell of the empty cup is a joy just to sniff with an incredible brown sugar sweetness, which also lingers long in the aftertaste.
If you are a fan of houjicha, we think this tea is an absolute must to try! (And even if you generally aren’t a big fan, we think this tea might convince you to join the roasted tea fan-club!)