Do you know what Hojicha is?
It's roasted tea (in Japan, generally roasted green tea)
If you have heard about it, do you know how to make Hojicha, then? Not how to steep or prepare hojicha but literally, how do you make it? How is it roasted?
We've started developing Hojicha products with Ogura-san, owner of Ogura tea garden.
I visited Tea Factory Joshunen located near us in Odawara, Kanagawa to see Ogura-san. He has a small roasting machine there.
This is the roaster. It kind of looks like a cannon ready to shoot out delicious tea...
He showed me how to make Hojicha.
Firstly, turn the roaster on and put tea leaves in the rotating drum when the roaster gets warm.
Check the leaves with the scoop if the leaves are "done" or not.
Take the leaves out when you feel they are "done".
What a nice aroma !!
Roasting aroma in the air.
Give some air to the leaves to cool down and leave them for a while.
This is Hojicha !!
This is the first time for me to see Hojicha roasting.
It is very interesting and I learned many things.
What I learned today
How you roast depends on the tea leaves, the quantity, the conditions of the weather that day...these things affect how long you roast and at what temperature. And the temperature changes as you roast for 1-2 minutes so it’s not exact.
You can't say......
"Take the leaves out at X℃ to make a nice Hojicha."
"Tea leaves can get the brown color when the temperature reaches X℃."
So, even if you roast the same type of green tea, for example first flush sencha, it will still not taste the same each time unless you adjust. Perhaps larger industrial roasters are different...
That is why Ogura-san checked the leaves often while roasting.
It is also interesting to hear from Ogura-san that tea leaves with fertilizer and tea leaves without fertilizer, they roast differently creating a different flavor, although I am not exactly sure why or how the flavor changes.
It seems that making hojicha will be very interesting to do.
We tried making 3 types of hojicha this time.
I will write about it in the next article.
Today's Hojicha Selection
Hachimanjyu: Organic Roasted Hojicha - Lightly roasted, refreshing flavor