Houjicha question -need help again!


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Houjicha question -need help again!

Postby augie » Jan 22nd, '08, 15:32

I am getting nothing done at work this afternoon. My order came from o-cha today. Since I am working alone today I washed all my cups and my Ingenuitea and started a fresh pot of water so everything would be great.

I ordered Houjicha from O-cha after having ordered organic Houjicha from Rishi three months ago. Loved the Rishi Houjicha. OPened my O-cha Houjicha today. It's gorgeous, irridescent green and a little gold color to it. SMells fabulous, smoked, carmelized and almost good enough to eat from the pkg!

However, after brewing it for the 2 min suggested time at 175, I drained the tea into my cup and smelled the spent leaves. . . YUCK! :shock: OMG, this wet/soggy cardboard odor and slight hint of spoiled veggies hit me in the face. Smells nothing like it did dry!

Water temp was not my problem, maybe too much tea, though. I will take it home and temp the water and brew it in my tokoname teapot.

Now that it has cooled, the smell/taste isn't as nasty. This ever happened to anyone?

I also have my daily sencha to look forward to trying. :cry: I'll have to go see how low my postage scale goes and try weighing next time.
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Postby Buzz fledderjoh... » Jan 22nd, '08, 17:14

I've never had O-cha's houjicha but I thought houjicha was supposed to be brewed with boiling water for very short steeps...15 - 30 seconds?
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Postby Chip » Jan 22nd, '08, 17:30

Buzz Fledderjohn wrote:I've never had O-cha's houjicha but I thought houjicha was supposed to be brewed with boiling water for very short steeps...15 - 30 seconds?


...so says hibiki-an!

Let us know Augie if this alters your results, I am curious.
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Postby Space Samurai » Jan 22nd, '08, 18:38

The houji-kukicha I just had from Den's benefited from boiling water. I don't know about short steeps, though.
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Postby Ed » Jan 22nd, '08, 21:29

You might try shorter steeps. My Houjicha Gold (from Den's) tastes fine with a 15-30 second infusion and boiling water.
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Postby augie » Jan 23rd, '08, 13:26

First of all, may I ask what Den's is? Thx in advance.

Here's what I came up with. Brought my gaiwan to work and used that along with less tea. Was much better, only the slightest hint of wet corrugated fiber. I still used less than boiling, around 175-180.

The page of instructions sent along had nothing specific for Houjicha. I thought all green tea was less than boiling? Not so with Houjicha? I will try boiling and see what that does. Thanks - I would NEVER have gone to boiling.

Then I looked at my utilitea and dang it stinks, peeusa. I was brewing pu ehr in it before the houjicha. I rinsed it with hot, but not boiling water first, however. It still smells nasty after rinsing it w/boiling water and taking it apart and drying thoroughly. So, I can't tell if it smelled from the previouis batch or if the new stuff messed it up.
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Postby Chip » Jan 23rd, '08, 16:17

Augie, it is denstea.com, they sell Shizuoka prefecture teas. They are home based in Japan, and Dens is the American subsidiary.

Did you mean ingenuiTEA, not utiliTEA for brewing your tea? utilTEA is a kettle intended to heat water only. I am curious if that is what you are doing?
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Postby augie » Jan 23rd, '08, 16:44

Chip wrote:Did you mean ingenuiTEA, not utiliTEA for brewing your tea? utilTEA is a kettle intended to heat water only. I am curious if that is what you are doing?


Right, the clear, plastic thingie. I was trying to type the message, answer the phone and do my bookwork at the same time, sorry. I think my days of using the IngenuiTEA are numbered. It seems that it is taking on the taste/fragrance of months and months of brewing too many different teas in it. I'm gathering quite a cumbersome collection of teaware at work.

QUESTION: Would you use the same Tokoname to brew Houjicha and regualr Sencha? Or do y'all use separate vessels for each kind of tea? Houjicha has a carmelized, smokey roasted scent/flavor and sencha is very fresh and green.

Good thing I don't have any serious problems! :D
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Postby Chip » Jan 23rd, '08, 16:52

Personally and IMHO, I would advise against brewing it in the same tokoname as sencha. A possible exception would be if it is fully glazed.

I think with houjicha, I would keep it more casual and use a cup and infuser, something I would do mainly for blacks. But houjicha is a really casual tea.

LOL, I hear you about the teaware collection at work. I have a whole file drawer filled with tea and teaware.
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Postby augie » Jan 23rd, '08, 19:11

Chip wrote:Personally and IMHO, I would advise against brewing it in the same tokoname as sencha. A possible exception would be if it is fully glazed.

I think with houjicha, I would keep it more casual and use a cup and infuser, something I would do mainly for blacks. But houjicha is a really casual tea.

LOL, I hear you about the teaware collection at work. I have a whole file drawer filled with tea and teaware.


Hmmmm, file drawer . . . I do have an empty file drawer. Thx.

I have the adagio glass cup with metal insert. I hate it because the metal insert is solid on the bottom and 1/4" at the bottom of the sides. Difficult to get all the liquid out.

Doing OK with the gaiwan. Only drank a few solids so far!
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