Good morning, dear tea friends! It’s a busy weekend here in artandtea land so I’m sharing a tea post from last fall. Enjoy!
Are you wondering where the tea leaves are today? Well, this morning’s tea is a unique beverage greatly enjoyed in Japan, called Ku-Ki Ho-Ji Cha, which translates to roasted twig tea.
The stems, stalks and twigs from the Camellia Sinensis plant are used for this beverage. Usually, they are unoxidized and green with small bits of green leaf mixed in. In this particular version, the “Ho-Ji” part refers to roasting, like Ho-Ji Cha tea, which is roasted bancha tea, a common green tea that has been roasted. So, these twigs have been roasted, giving them a toasty flavor.
I steeped the twigs for 3 minutes in 180 degree F water. The steeping tea filled my kitchen with a warm, toasty aroma.
Most Japanese green teas are steamed. I have read that Ho-Ji Cha tea is roasted over charcoal at a very high heat.
The whisky-colored liquor is creamy smooth and woody/toasty with nutty notes. Because most of the caffeine in the tea plant is located in the leaf, especially the new growth, the twigs contain a negligible amount so this tea is very low in caffeine.
I’ve read that this tea is one of the beverages recommended in a macrobiotic diet, an eating lifestyle that concentrates on natural grains and vegetables, avoiding highly refined foods.
There’s something about the flavor of this tea that reminds me of coffee, maybe even chicory. Perhaps it’s the toastiness that fills my mouth with each sip. Please keep in mind though that I’m not a coffee drinker at all. I much prefer its wonderful aroma to the jittery feeling I get when I drink it.
I’ll be back next Saturday with a brand new tea post. Have a wonderful week!