Hey there, fellow tea drinkers! Today’s post is another The Taste of Tea entry in which I’ll relay my notes from my tea-tasting journal entry for the Hojicha Genmai loose leaf tea from The Cultured Cup. I came across this tea back in November while visiting The Cultured Cup’s shop in Farmers Branch, TX (in the DFW area). I had had a regular Hojicha before then, but I’d never seen a Genmai version at any of the shops I’d visited before or on my typical online shops, so I was excited to try this one. Luckily, I visited the shop on Saturday when they do some open tastings and I had the opportunity to try a little of this tea in the shop before buying it. It was great, so I picked up a couple of ounces to bring back home with me.

A quick bit about Hojicha Genmai: Hojicha Genmai is a charcoal roasted green tea from Japan. It is like a normal Hojicha, but with the addition of toasted rice, much like a Genmai Cha.


Type of Tea: Green Tea, loose leaf

Tasting Notes 

Dry tea: Out of the package, the scent off of the dry tea was sweet, sort of grassy, but also with some roasted, semi-medicinal, herbiness. The tea had pieces of broken leaves with stems and some veins. There was, of course, some of the toasted rice (the genmai), but I think it was in a little bit smaller proportion than in the Genmai Cha I’ve had before. The leaves were all shades of brown, but some had a bit of redness in the color. There were also a few bits of popped rice in the mix.

I warmed the teapot and added the dry tea to help further activate its scent. The scent was still sweet, but the roasted notes were much more prominent, and I got more of the scent from the toasted rice.

Preparation: 1 heaped teaspoon in approximately 170 mL of just boiled water for 30 seconds.

Tea liquor: After infusing, the scent coming off of the liquor was a nice combination of sweet, roasted, and toasted rice notes, as well as a light popcorn-like quality. The color of the liquor was a pleasant golden honey color.  

The tea liquor had a warm, toasty, and slightly nutty flavor. As with the Hojicha that I’ve had before, it also had a sort of light medicinal, herby, quality to the flavor, as well as some hints of seaweed and sesame oil. Overall, the toasted rice blended surprisingly well with the flavors of the Hojicha, resulting in a brew that tasted like a normal Hojicha with just a subtle hint of popcorn. The finish was sweet with a bit of toasted rice, and it tended to linger for a while.

Quick Summary

  • Tea: Hojicha Genmai, loose, green tea
  • Pick and Processing: leftover leaves and stems — charcoal roasted
  • Season: Summer (2018)
  • Origin: Japan
  • Retailer: The Cultured Cup
  • Current Price: $12.10/2 oz
  • Flavor Notes: nutty, medicinal/herby, seaweed, sesame
  • Finish: sweetness that lingers

Final Thoughts: I very much enjoyed this tea. The toasted rice wasn’t overpowering and blended well with the flavor profile of the Hojicha. The warm flavors and sweet finish made this Hojicha Genmai a pleasant tea experience.

Thanks for reading! As always, these are my tasting notes, and your experience will likely differ from mine. But regardless, I hope this post inspires you to get out there and to keep trying new teas. And I encourage you to make your own tasting notes as you do!

Do you have any tasting notes of your own that you’d like to share? Or maybe you have a tea you think I should try? Drop a line down in the comments to let me know.

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Blake A. Wilson, PhD

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