Tea Review: Obubu Tea Farm Houjicha Gold Tea

Obubu Tea Houjicha Gold

  • Region: Obubu Tea Farm, Kyoto
  • Dry tea leaves: Mostly dark brown long tea leaves
  • Liquor: Bright golden
  • Price: $15 for 80 gr

For those who are new to Houjicha tea, it is a very special Japanese roasted green tea that is generally made out of bancha tea leaves. To be honest I’m not a fan of this tea yet I try to keep drinking more of it in order to develop my tea experience.  And When I come across really good one I’d like to share it with you.

This week I’ll introduce you one of these teas: Houjicha Gold from Obubu Tea Farm. This is first houjicha I really like of all houjichas I’ve drunk so far. It’s complex, refreshing tea. The reason for that might be the fact that houjicha is normally made of bancha tea leaves (which is considered as the lowest grade of all Japanese teas) whereas in this one Sencha tea leaves were used.

I brew it Gongfu style using 5 grams of tea for about 200 mm water at about 90 degrees Celsius. First brew took 25 seconds, adding another 10-15 seconds for following brews. When it’s brewed it’s produced a liquor reminiscent of Dancong oolongs. The liquor is crystal clear as well.

First thing that hits you even before you take your first sip is the dominance of roasted and nutty aroma in this tea. It’s very well balanced, it does not bother you as in some other houjichas. Similar to aroma taste is dominated by roasted and nutty flavors too. It’s refreshingly sweet, with no sign of astringency. The mouthfeel is delicately sweet.

In a nutshell, this houjicha from Obubu Tea Farm is by far the best houjicha I’ve tried so far and it’s suggested to anyone who want  to try this tea first time or looking for a great example of this tea.

Obubu Tea Houjicha Gold
Obubu Tea Houjicha Gold Liquor
Obubu Tea Houjicha Gold
Obubu Tea Houjicha Gold Spent Tea Leaves

Is Turkey addicted to tea ?

Turkish Tea - photo is courtesy of Alexander M.
Turkish Tea – photo is courtesy of Alexander M.

No argument there! When a dear colleague of mine sent me link of a post including per person tea consumption of countries, I could not have guessed that Turkey comes first had I not already known it. My first guess would probably have been China or Japan, even England but not Turkey.  We consume almost 7 pounds of tea per person per year, way ahead of other countries. That’s said if you’ve been to Turkey before, you already know that you do not need statistics to figure out this country is crazy about tea. Tea is everywhere from dawn to midnight. Even if you’re not a tea person, you can not call it a day without drinking at least 3-4 glasses of tea.

where the world's biggest tea drinkers are?

It’s mostly black tea though. Other types of teas such as oolong and white teas are hardly known. As for green tea, demand has been increasing but compared to black tea it’s nothing.

I’m quite happy living in a country where you do not have to show any effort to get a cup of tea, sipping is the only action you need to take:) Having said that I’m looking forward to seeing other types of teas as popular as black tea. Just kidding. No way!

What is Gyokuro Tea ?

To tell you the truth when it comes to green tea, I’m more inclined to China than Japan. Yet there is one type of green tea from Japan that I do always crave. which one? Yes, you got it right! it’s Gyokuro green tea which is mostly produced in Fukuoka and Kyoto.

Gyokuro Green Tea on Flickr
Gyokuro Green Tea – photo courtesy of Dimitri Fedorov

What makes Gyokuro so unique ? It’s shaded for about three weeks prior to harvesting with a structure called Tana. This process gives Gyokuro its rich aroma and flavor. Following shading process tea leaves are picked by masterful hands for making Gyokuro. This tea is definitely not for beginners (you should go for Sencha), but for aficionados. Brewing requires much more careful handling, too. It’s suggested not  to use water hotter than 60 degrees celsius.Traditionally it’s brewed with Japanese Kyusu teapot but it’s ok to use any other brewing device.

If you’re looking for something refreshing and invigorating on a sunny or rainy day, this tea definitely fits the bill.  Especially if you’re into green tea and haven’t tried Gyokuro yet, you better hurry!