Like many of the world’s great teas, Hojicha was discovered through a process of curiosity and innovation. During the 1920s, a tea master living in Kyoto Japan discovered the method for producing the tea using common materials he found around the house. Rather than steam a batch of freshly plucked leaf – the traditional method of Japanese style green tea production – the master decided he would roast it in a porcelain pot over burning charcoal. The result, as history would attest, was delicious. Until recently, the Kyoto region was still home to much of the world’s Hojicha crop, and served as the source of 100% of Metropolitan’s stock.
A little more about how Hojicha is produced:
Hojicha is produced using a 3rd flush Bancha style leaf known in the tea business as Sanbancha. The plucked leaves are steamed and dried in a style similar to that of Sencha. Next the dried leaf is roasted over a low heat – the low roasting temperature imparts a sweet taste and nice fresh aroma. (Hojicha that has been roasted at too high of a temperature will lose much of its sweetness.) This roasting process results in a tea with a reddish color and light cup with a very unique flavor. Try pairing our Hojicha with Asian themed meals and notice how well it cleanses the palate – a refreshing tea that is as good hot as it is poured over ice. What’s more, the roasting process removes much of the tea’s caffeine, making it a great tea to serve to children. Enjoy!