ahhhhh that would make more sense rdl...I was just really perplexed at how different it was from sencha.
rdl wrote: Genmaicha and Houjicha do have a place, but you have to remember that these teas were created to make bad or old tea drinkable, not because people thought adding toasted grains to their sencha would make great tea better (which I am sure it does not).
It would all depend on the mind of the maker and drinker wouldn't it...I imagine there is a % out there that really enjoys genmaicha (to the point where they want the best they can get). There are also people who enjoy tea but cannot handle the sencha on its own (older, caffeine sensitive etc) This then would require good first flush leaf right? Made with great care?
I once had the brief opinion that houjicha and genmaicha were 'lower' teas but that whole idea is kinda flawed with my way of thinking as of late.....
Add to that the fact that I have blended some delicious sencha with genmai and the two married very well and one did not destroy the other.
And then a certain genmaicha I had about two years ago shifted my opinion even further. It was made with good first flush, very very very fine and soft kukicha, and rice. Amazing to brew with very cool water on the first few steeps then step up the temp and let the rice shine through and enhance the later infusions when the sencha is starting to fade.
I still haven't found a houjicha that was wow (to me), but I am sure there is one out there for anyone who desires it (the tencha kuki houjicha at den's is pretty nice though)