Let’s say matcha is like rose wine - tasty, trendy, Instagrammable. Then hoji is like pinot noir - smooth, dependable, and understatedly sophisticated. It’s easy to drink and a great entry point into the complex world of teas.
Hoji is humble. It’s not flashy and its chestnut-brown color might make it look like a “just another tea” to the unknowing eye. But let me tell you, it is delightful and in its own class.
When I opened up the bag of loose tea leaves, the warm and familiar roasted fragrance of hoji filled the air. And then a waft of something unexpected. Was that...cocoa? The earthy sweetness made me do a double take and I checked the label to make sure I hadn’t opened up the wrong tea. But no, it was just pure roasted hoji-cha.
Once brewed, it had the typical characteristics of hoji and any hint of cocoa that I might have detected, disappeared. The tea is smooth, toasty, and comforting, finishing off with an ever-so-slight sweetness. The gentleness of hoji makes it easy to gulp down cup after cup - this is not a delicate tea that puts on airs. Grab yourself a nice, hefty mug that you can wrap your hands around, sit back, and let the tea slip down your throat as it slowly warms you up from the inside out.
Flavorful and robust, yet gentle and soothing...this is the tea you’ll keep coming back to time and time again.
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