Hôji-cha & genmaicha

Two teas produced by reprocessing finished teas.

The hôji-cha 焙じ茶 is a very common Japanese tea, reasonably priced, often served free in restaurants, a tea that could be called popular. But its quality depends on the raw material used, and with very good sencha, we can get a high end hôji-cha.

焙じ茶Contrary to appearances, this is indeed a green tea, a non-fermented tea (non-oxidized actually). Only its brown color (the leaves as the liquor) is due to the fact that the hôji cha is obtained by roasting, bancha, sencha, or even gyokuro sometimes. It is composed of roasted green tea leaves or stems, sometimes a blend of both. hôji-cha compounds of stems only is sometimes called bô-cha 棒茶.

We obtain in this way a very fragrant tea, sometimes reminiscent of coffee aromas with sweet note, without astringency, sometimes with a very light and pleasant bitterness, especially soft sweet touch. It is a very easy to drink tea, hot or cold, in large quantities.
According to the roasting strength, we get a very different hôji-cha, from very heavily roasted hji-cha, almost black leaves, the intense and invigorating aromas reminding coffee, to those only slightly roasted, with light yellow or brown leaves, soft and smooth aromas, with vanilla note sometimes.
The light roasting is rather reserved for premium quality teas.

Light roasted kuki-hôji-cha (made from sencha stems)

Light roasted kuki-hôji-cha (made from sencha stems)

There are hôji-cha made from gyokuro stems, obviously more expensive. In general, the taste of them to not radically different from conventional hôji-cha.

Formerly, the scent after the production of the hôji-cha used to indicate the presence near of a tea merchant. Today, there are still some shops making his hôji-cha but it is very rare.
Also, with sencha stems (kuki-cha 茎 茶), you can make your own hôji-cha at home in a simple frying pan if it is very clean, but ideally in a hôroku. With leaves, it’s a little more difficult. With a quality tea and little technique, one can obtain a divine hôji-cha, especially using rare cultivar with unique fragrance for example. If it is missed, it at least gives off a pleasant scent perfect example to remove tobacco odors …

Containing extremely low tannins, this is a Japanese tea that can be drunk safely by people with sensitive stomachs. Containing very few caffeine, it is also recommended for young children and the elderly.

In a large teapot, put 3-4 grams of tea per person, and then pour boiling water, about 120 cc per person. Leave to infuse for 30 seconds (a little more for a hôji-cha composed of stems).

Genmaicha 玄米茶 is a tea compound in half of bancha or sencha (low quality most often) and half roasted rice. Sometimes, there is also puffed rice, purely decorative purpose. Whatever he does, it is not popcorn, contrary to what I’ve read here and there!
Although we talk about genmai, actually this is white rice (mochi rice or classic rice) which is grilled, not the genmai which is brown rice, whose flavor is not strong enough.
In this way, the light flavor of tea is added the special aroma of toasted rice.

It is said that in the 20s, a Kyoto tea merchant put small pieces of mochi (glutinous rice paste) in green tea for the New Year celebrations. Later, Osaka merchants took up the idea, but this time with toasted rice.

The genmai-cha is often cheap tea, for mass consumption, nice warm in winter, which may well be preparing ice for the summer for its refreshing taste.

There is also genmai-cha in which it is added matcha, which comes to add flavor and sweetness, but whose role is mainly to give a prettier color to tea. We have a slightly more expensive product, whose the price will vary depending on the quality of matcha used.

Finally, as for the hôji-cha, quality varies enormously depending on the quality of the tea used as a base.

High grade genmaicha made with 1st harvest mountain tea

High grade genmaicha made with 1st harvest mountain tea

A brew with water to over 95 ° C for about 30-60 seconds.

Categories: Types of tea

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