Houjicha is a roasted tea, usually made from bancha leaves. It brews into a dark brown liquid with a smokey, mellow taste. Few people realize that this is a type of green tea, because it doesn’t really look nor taste like one. In fact, it’s easily confused with a black tea. However, most people find this tea pleasant. It’s also very affordable.
You can easily make this tea at home by roasting a green tea, such as sencha or bancha. There are two good reasons for doing so:
1. If you have a green tea that has lost its freshness, roasting it will give it a stronger and more enjoyable flavor.
2. Roasting your own tea give it personal value. Your friends and family will be happy to try out your creation.
Home roasting process
Put your green tea into a pan at low heat. Make sure that the pan is clean, and don’t use any oil.
You’ll notice that it begins to give off a roasted aroma. You may be tempted to increase the heat, but it’s best to leave it at a low temperature. It’s very easy to burn your green tea, so you must be careful.
Move the green tea leaves around with a wooden spoon, and pay attention to the color. If it’s turning brownish, you’re almost there.
Once you can see a faint smoke coming out of the tea leaves and the color looks good, bring your roasted tea into another container to cool. If you leave the tea leaves on the pan, they will most likely become over-roasted.Freshly roasted green tea have a wonderful aroma, so why not go ahead and brew some of it. Just add 4 oz of boiling water to a teaspoon of tea, and steep for 30 seconds.
You can also re-steep it for another 30 seconds, or longer if you wish. It won’t become bitter even if you leave it for a long time.
As a bonus, roasting decreases the amount of caffeine in green tea. That makes it a good tea to drink after dinner.
You can also roast tea just for the comforting fragrance.