Twig Tea by Wild Orchard Green Tea
Green Tea / Straight
$10.00 for 55g
Twig Tea was a 2020 Vancouver Tea Festival purchase from the Seasonglass Green Tea booth – the same organization that was behind the Belcarra Seasonglass Green Tea Festival that I attended last year. While Twig Tea was described to me as being roasted green tea made with stems of the tea plant, I asked how it differed from hojicha as some types of hojicha are made using the stems of the tea leaves as well. I was told that the flavour was different, but it wasn’t available to taste test at the time. But for $10, where could I go wrong?
Teas from Wild Orchard Green Tea are washed following harvest, and before the tea leaves are processed. Not surprisingly, Twig Tea appears to be a bunch of little twigs or stems, all brown in colour. There’s a delightful nutty aroma to it, and it does remind me a bit of hojicha. Twig Tea consists of organic green tea stems from South Korea.
Wild Orchard Green Tea recommends steeping Twig Tea at 85°C (185°F) for 1 minute. I followed the steeping instructions. They also say that the leaves can be steeped up to 2-3 times… but more on that later.
Twig Tea steeps to a lovely light golden orange. I did steep this in a tea pot that has a stainless steel infuser basket – as you can see some little bits of the tea got out (so if this bugs you…. use a filter bag? If not, just carry on as usual). Twig Tea has a delightfully smooth mouthfeel to it, very pleasant and smooth. There’s a slight thickness to it that almost makes it feel savoury. There is zero bitterness or astringency, Twig Tea has a nice roasted and nutty flavour to it, I quite like it. It reminds me of a milder version of hojicha, which is not necessarily a bad thing (since I know some people don’t like an over-the-top roasted flavour).
A Second Cup?
So the packaging suggests steeping 2-3 times, which means 1-2 resteeps. I opted to try 3 resteeps (so 4 steeps total), adding an additional 30 seconds for each subsequent steep. I found that the flavour was best at the first resteep (best = strongest). The second resteep was a bit weaker than the initial steep, while the third resteep was a bit weaker than that. Still drinkable with plenty of flavour and colour though, so definitely push those limits and get as much tea as you can out of your leaves!
My Overall Impression
I loved Wild Orchard Green Tea’s Twig Tea. While it doesn’t pack quite as big of a punch as hojicha does for me, Twig Tea does exhibit a lot of the qualities that I enjoy in hojicha in a milder, well-mannered format. A lovely drink with ‘leaves’ that resteep quite well with a good amount of flavour, so I really haven’t anything negative to say. It’s definitely a green tea that I would drink again (and again) because it’s smooth and could be a great tea to have while studying or doing a task – tasty, but doesn’t make me stop and think about what I’m drinking.