Premium Houjicha by Tsujiri
Green Tea / Straight
$9.50 for 20g
Tsujiri is a restaurant that features matcha related desserts, and while I was there waiting for my dessert (more on that soon!), I spotted loose leaf tea for sale… Which of course meant that I had to buy some! I ended up picking out a trio to purchase, and this is the first of the three. Premium Houjicha comes in a a really pretty packaging. A cardstock loop acts as a sleeve over these linen paper with gold and silver splatter marks all over. It definitely feels like a luxury item despite being wrapped in paper.
Inside the linen paper is a silver packet that’s sealed and not resealable (think like the packaging for a bag of chips), along with a piece of paper that has the whole list of tea types that they sell with a brewing guide. Simplicity at its finest? I do wish that the silver packet did indicate the type of tea because there is nothing on it that indicates to me that there is Premium Houjicha inside of it. That said, opening the packet was an experience. Premium Houjicha has a strong roasted note to it, woodsy, earthy, and nutty. The dry leaf is a mix of green and brown, but mostly shades of brown. Not a lot of information on the packaging regarding the exact origin, but the only ingredient is green tea from Japan.
I am disappointed that the packaging isn’t resealable – since exposure to air (as well as moisture, light, and heat) are ways that tea can go bad. And considering the price per gram, I don’t think it’s too much to expect some kind of resealable packaging.
Tsujiri recommends steeping Premium Houjicha in 80-90°C (176-194°F) with a step time of 1 minute. I opted to do an initial steep at 85°C (185°F) for 1 minute (60 seconds).
Premium Houjicha steeps to a lovely golden orange, as seen below. There was a bit of dusty tea bits that did managed to sneak through my stainless steel strainer, so if that’s something that does bother you, I would recommend using a filter bag instead for a more clear tea without sediments. The aroma of the tea is a mix of earthy and woody. There’s definitely the roasted notes that make me thing of roasted nuts, a hint of mushroom-y earthiness, and I just find it quite enticing. It has a nice finish to it – smooth, hint of sweetness, and just a lot of flavour in a sip.
A Second Cup?
I resteeped Premium Houjicha three times (four steeps total), adding an additional 30 seconds for each subsequent steep. I found that the flavour remained fairly consistent throughout. The nuttiness is a bit strong in the first and second resteep, which is nice. It lends itself to a nice earthy flavour and a good finish – with just a hint of sweetness.
My Overall Impression
I loved Tsujiri’s Premium Houjicha. As far as hojicha goes, it’s definitely on the pricier side. This one is nice because it is of a good quality so you can get a good number of steeps from the same leaves. That said, I think if you’re not the biggest hojicha fan, it’s probably not going to be for you. It’s at a higher price point, but if you are a hojicha fan, I really think Premium Houjicha is worth the try. I really like the experience of tasting it, but I do wish that the packaging was resealable to keep the tea from going stale. Especially at the price point, it would have been worth it to provide resealable packaging. That said, it has a great flavour and I really think it is a good hojicha.