Every 6 months or so, we spend a day with our tea master in Vancouver, British Columbia to discuss new blends, suppliers, ingredients, etc. During the day, we will brew various “recipes” and sample each one, fine tuning the blend profile. This sampling process is called a “cupping” in the tea world and is just like a wine tasting. It is one of our favorite things to do!
The day before our last trip to Vancouver, I was doing a cupping at a boutique hotel in Seattle. One of the buyers mentioned Hojicha. Embarrassingly, I knew absolutely nothing about Hojicha, so I added it to my list of cuppings for the following day in Vancouver with our Tea Master!
After many customer requests, we knew we needed to create a chai. But, we wanted to come up with a chai that was a little more interesting than the others on the market. Before working on chai blends, I told our Tea Master I first needed to cup Hojicha.
Has anyone ever had Hojicha tea? Hojicha is a Japanese green tea, distinctive from other Japanese teas, because it is roasted in a porcelain pot over charcoal -- whereas most teas are steamed. You can find Hojicha in tea houses, but not very often on your local market shelves. It is AMAZING! From that first cupping, I knew we needed to include a Hojicha in our blend lineup. So, naturally we thought…well, let’s make a Hojicha chai!
Our Hojicha Chai has a really rich, aromatic, nutty, roasted flavor that comes from dry roasting the leaves without oil. It also has traditional chai ingredients, consisting of a blend of cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, pepper and cloves. I’ll admit that I have never been a big chai tea drinker myself, but I LOVE our Hojicha Chai! It has become one of my favorite blends! The chai is flavorful enough to drink hot or poured over ice with or without milk.
When choosing the artwork that goes onto the canisters and cartons, I ask myself questions like “what are my surroundings like when I taste the tea, where am I drinking it?” “What do the flavors remind me of?”
Our Hojicha Chai was paired with the fox because they are persistent and energetic, a creative problem solver. That’s exactly what this tea drinker looks like, someone who is ready to seize the day! The weekend warrior! Being that our chai is low caffeine, it is a great alternative for anyone who needs that extra boost in the morning before a weekend hike or yoga class, but does not like the punch of a black coffee. Think of it as a healthy energy source!
If you like green tea and chai tea, this might be the perfect blend for you. Those of you that have read through this and are thinking how you have never been too fond of chai’s, you should give this one a try. Just like me, the Hojicha Chai might just become one of your new favorite teas! Perfect for this weekend, whether you are getting outdoors or just need a little pick me up!
Check out our Hojicha Chai HERE