No, I havn’t added to Thés du Japon such a dream hôji-cha, but only made it myself with the kama-iri cha from Fujieda, Fuji-kaori cultivar.
Indeed, hôji-cha, a too much underestimated type of tea, can give very varied aromas when it is made based on particular cultivars. Unfortunately, these kinds of cultivars being very rare, it is almost impossible to produce and sell such hôji-cha. So just let’s do it at home with a hôroku or why not a clean (new) pan.
Inzatsu type cultivars (Inzatsu 131, Sôfû, Fuji-kaori, etc.) are ideal for this type of experimentation. But others will of course be very interesting, like Kôshun, some also speak of Tsuyu-hikari, giving a slight scent of cinnamon.
The kuki-cha is by far the easiest tea to be roast in hoji-cha, but finding a kukicha based 100% on a cultivar other than Yabukita is almost impossible. It is therefore necessary to privilege the sencha with whole leaves, without too much powder, or even a kama-iri cha.
Here, it is this choice that I made, with a light roasting, and another with stronger roasting.
It is necessary to preheat the hôroku well, then place the leaves (6g maximum), and first proceed by tilting the hôroku, and making the leaves turn constantly. When they start to change color, the tool should be placed horizontally and continue to heat, stirring continuously. The leaves will swell and get brown even more. It is important to obtain homogeneous roasting, but this is particularly difficult in the case of leaves. In general, it is better to rely on a light roasting. When approaching the desired roasting, one can stop the fire and possibly continue to roast a little with the residual heat.
It is certainly quite natural to want to consume a freshly roasted hôji-cha, but in reality, it is better to wait several days for the aromas to be refined, or rather to calm down in some way.
If it will be difficult to obtain a result as good quality as with the machines used by professionals due to the lack of uniformity of heat and its diffusion into the leaves with a hôroku, trying to roast several teas remains very fun and full of surprises.