Hōjicha is a deep roasted green tea. The roasting process adds smooth nutty layers to the flavour, complemented by refreshing endnotes of Japanese green tea. Distinctly different from English black tea and Chinese teas like Oolong and Pu’er, the overall feel of hōjicha is likened to that of coffee.
This hōjicha was grown and processed by Fumiaki Iwata* and his team in Tsukigase, Nara, and made from tea leaves that were harvested in early summer (after spring harvest) and in autumn. Compared to other Makijima teas that are all made from spring harvest (the first young shoots after winter, ichibancha), its appearance is on the rough side. This tea comprises of pieces from the tea plant resulting in its unique sweetness and elegant complexity.
All tea leaves in this hojicha were grown according to the organic farming requirements set by Japanese Agricultural Standard (JAS).
* The Iwata family are 17th generation farmers in Tsukigase, Nara and made the transition to organic farming 40 years ago. They represent a quietly radical force in revitalising many abandoned tea farms scattered around the region by bringing them back to their former glory. Ageing population in the rural region means many micro to small scale tea farms can no longer be operational, threatening the future viability and existence of the tea farming community itself. The added benefit of tea leaves from these tea farms is that, when combined with the Iwata family’s knowledge of natural farming, the tea will be honest to the terroir.