Making Houjicha with Tea Grower and Tea Master Takatomo Katagi

Mr. Takatomo Katagi comes from a long line of tea growers in Japan's Asamiya region of the Shiga Prefecture. The seventh-generation head of Katagi Kokaen tea garden, Mr. Katagi is building on his family's legacy. Some forty years ago, his father converted the garden to organic production. As Mr. Katagi explains, "Unlike vegetables, tea leaves … Continue reading Making Houjicha with Tea Grower and Tea Master Takatomo Katagi

What Is Japanese Kuki Hojicha?

The NRDC claims that "up to 40 percent of the food in the United States is never eaten," which is staggering, especially when you consider how many people worldwide, including in the U.S., don't have enough to eat. We ought to emulate those cultures that avoid waste as much as possible, either by necessity—such as … Continue reading What Is Japanese Kuki Hojicha?

What Is Japanese Hojicha?

Love Japanese green teas? Or hate them? If you're simply not a fan of the vegetal nature of steamed Japanese green teas—perhaps deeming them seaweed-y or even swampy—you really ought to at least try hojicha (or houjicha). You will find that it is quite different! From the photo here, you can already see that these are … Continue reading What Is Japanese Hojicha?

One Japanese Tea Garden, Many Teas

Matcha and Japan. Although these seem synonymous, around three-quarters of the tea produced in Japan is actually sencha. And while matcha and gyokuro are highly prized by the Japanese (see earlier post to see why these teas are so valued—and pricy!), the country's everyday tea is sencha. However, this doesn't mean that sencha is a low-end … Continue reading One Japanese Tea Garden, Many Teas