Houjicha brews a brownish liquid, but it is still green tea. Houjicha is produced by roasting Bancha or Kukicha over high heat. The result is a savory tea with a refreshing, roasted taste and virtually no bitterness. It contains the lowest level of caffeine of any Japanese green tea.
Den's Houjichas are made from several sources. Houjicha gold is first flush Bancha. Karigane Houjicha is lightly roasted Karigane Kukicha which is a kukicha made from Gyokuro. Tencha-Kuki Houjicha is made with only the stems of high quality Tencha. See more information about each tea on the individual product page.
Needless to say, the roasting technique is the most important factor in making a flavorful Houjicha. It is not as simple as roasting with high heat. In roasting Houjichas, a radiant heat technique is used which expands the green stems into a longer and fatter shape. This makes its aroma elegant and its flavor sweet.
Den's Houjichas have a spectrum of flavors beyond just the toasted flavor; one has Umami, the other has vegetable flavor; one has an earthy taste, the other has an elegant aroma. Houjicha's flavors are not that simple.
Name Background for Karigane Houjicha:
"Karigane" is a Japanese term for a wild goose. Folklore says that some of these wild geese often hold small branches in their beaks while they fly. They then put them on the water and sit on them. The branches they carry resemble twigs from tea bushes and Kukicha (twig tea) has been called "Karigane" in some areas of Japan.
Additional Health Benefit:
The roasting process used in manufacturing Houjicha produces "Pyrazine". Pyrazine is an aromatic organic compound known to improve blood flow within the blood vessels and overall blood circulation in the body. This could help prevent the formation of blood clots. Additionally, the improved circulation gets blood to more parts of the body thus warming you from the inside.
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Hot Brew Houjicha Iced Tea:
- Put one and one-half teaspoon of Houjicha tea leaves and 4oz of boiling water into a teapot.
- Steep as directed for hot tea.
- Fill a glass with ices cubes and pour Houjicha on them to lock in the aroma.