Sunday, February 15, 2009

Cup 8-- Houjicha Gold (Roasted Bancha)

There is a certain type of cereal of which i am fond of. It's Puffed Brown Rice. While many people do not like it because it's rather bland, i find it crunchy a good snack food. Houjicha Gold reminds me of Puffed Brown Rice.

The leaves have a slightly sweet, but definite rice smell. The leaves themselves are chopped pieces of leaf with stem. They produce a dark gold or amber liquor that is smooth and has a mild rice and nutty taste. It reminds me of sitting in the woods, with the sun filtering down thru the leaves and a good book in my lap. Very comforting.

Perhaps it's how Houjicha is made. Houjicha is made by roasting Bancha over high heat. Bancha, also known as 'common tea', is made from the thick bottom part of the tea leaf of the second flush, the leaves come from the same tea trees that are used to produce Sencha. Because it is made of wide, second flush leaves, Bancha is considered lower quality and as such, is less expensive.

'Second Flush' simply means that it was in the second season for picking. The first flush, or first picking season, typically happens in March. The second season usually begins in May or June. Usually for higher grade teas only the bud and the two leaves below the bud are picked. However for Bancha the older leaves are picked.

Houjicha is reportedly low in caffeine since it is made of green tea, and then roasted. This is in addidtion to the other reported helath benefits of tea, such as reducing cavities, enhancing memory, preventing sickness of many kinds etc. It has a taste that would go well with any type of food. In Japan it is commonly drunk after dinner and is popular among the elderly and children. I will confess that it's easily becoming one of my favorites.

Kind-Green Tea
Brew Time-Less than a minute
Water Temp-170* or there abouts
Color- Dark gold or amber
Fragrance- roasty toasty rice and nuts
Taste-a bit sweet and toasty
Best during-meals and after dinner (before bed?)
Style- Loose
Price per oz- $2.00
Place bought- Den's Tea
Overall- will buy more as soon as it's in stock :3

1 comment:

Let me know what you're drinking and thinking!