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Your Questions Answered - Houjicha

What is houjicha?

It's 100% green tea stems that are dried and then roasted in big clay pots over a charcoal fire until they turn brown and very aromatic. They then get milled and turned into fine powder and consumed whole, like matcha.

What does it taste like?

It's delightful -- toasty and roasted flavors meld with classic green tea flavors. It's mellow and nutty and almost sweet, with caramel notes. We especially enjoy it after dinner / before bed.

How to prepare it?

Video tutorial is here.
* you don't need to sieve it -- it just dissolves without sieving and doesn't clump, so that's good!
* you do use the same quantity in principle -- one gram, or about half a teaspoon. A scant half teaspoon. If that tastes too intense, use a tad less next time. Our Japanese growers use probably about a third of a teaspoon.
* water temp -- same, don't go above 170, and certainly not above 180.
* water quantity -- start with just a quarter-cup (2 oz) of hot water, and froth with the tool. Taste it -- it will taste thick and likely far too intense. Stream in another 1/4 cup hot water, taste again. Should taste very good, but still possibly too thick. For a thinner brew, add more hot water, a little at a time, for a total of about 6 to 8 oz. Keep tasting -- you might like it even thinner.

How much caffeine?

Almost none! About the same as decaf coffee, or around 2mg per serving. By comparison, a cup of brewed coffee has about 150mg.

Can you make a latte with it?

Yes! Just froth up a gram (1/2 teaspoon) of houjicha with 1/4 cup hot water, and add steamed milk to taste. Also works well with altmilks like oat, hemp, cashew, almond, etc. We don't think it needs sweetener, but add some maple syrup if you like it sweeter.