Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms’ Hoji-Wakoucha | Tea Review

by Tea in Spoons

One of my favourite teas from Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms is the Wakoucha (a Japanese black tea), so when I saw this wakocha roasted like a hojicha (roasted green tea), I had to taste and share!

Description: “A perfect choice if you want a milder and a more exciting version of Hojicha or cleaning your palate after a savory meal.”

Instructions: 5g / 200ml / 90°C / 45 seconds*

* I noticed on the website that the recommendation was 5g /200ml/90-100°C/ 5 min, but this is what is listed in the accompanying video.

Review: Every few months, I get a new shipment of Japanese tea from Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms since I am subscribed to the quarterly Tea Club and I like to support the farm since I was a former Intern! While Obubu has staple teas, every so often are new variations of classics such as this roasted wakoucha. I tend to favour black teas on the sweeter side with notes of malty, cocoa, and fruits, and wakouchas encompass all of that. Therefore, I was curious to see how the roasting would affect the taste profile of the black tea. Obubu also mentioned this roasted variation may be a first for wakouchas!

The dry leaves were needled shaped like a sencha and shades of dark brown and black. It smelled roasted with an underlying hazelnut and dark chocolate profile, like a hazelnut spread.

After pouring the hot water on top of the leaves, the liquor slowly became a dark amber colour with dusting at the bottom of the cup, which is common with roasted teas. The liquor smelled roasted, earthy, and warm. The taste started prominently of charcoal. The roasted note faded away and mellowed into more nutty chestnut, sweet malty cocoa, and earthy notes from the black tea. The roasted flavour reappeared at the top of the mouth and lingered. The tea left the back of the throat drying.

Since both the dry leaves and the liquor had a strong charcoal/roasted smell and taste, I had expected that from the wet leaves as well. But the wet dark brown broken leaves smelled most earthy.

Overall, I always like seeing variations on teas that I am familiar with. I tried the roasted black tea with homemade buttery shortbread cookies which softened some of the charcoal notes and brought out sweeter, nuttier, and woodier notes from the black tea. In the future, I’ll try this with a savoury dish!

I also like that Obubu created an accompanying video outlining how the tea was picked, processed, and even a tasting session! That being said, I did find the charcoal/roasting process hid some of the sweeter, malt, and cocoa notes I know that are in other Obubu’s various wakouchas. This tea would be nice for people who like black teas with a roasted quality (3/5 rating).

  • Type: Black tea
  • Origin: Japan, Wazuka-cho
  • Caffeine: Unknown
  • Ingredients: Roasted black tea
  • Company: Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms

The question of the post: Have you ever had roasted black tea before?

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Tea in Spoons is where I share my love of teas through tea reviews, tea travel, tea tips, information, and more. New tea adventure every Thursday!