Friday, November 14, 2014

Hojo Teas

Hello everyone, this week we have some HOJO TEAS, from Japan. Except these aren't grown in Japan - they're grown in Taiwan and China. Hojo is a bit controverisal regarding their pu'erh storage method (vacuum sealed), but their oolongs seem to be universally acclaimed, especially their Dancong. Thank you so much to Akira Hojo for generously providing these samples to me.

First up I tried the Mi Lan Xiang (honey orchid fragrance) Dancong from 100yr old trees. It's been a minute since I had some good Dancong, and as soon as I smelled the dry leaf I knew I was in for a treat. So sweet, so delicious, honey, floral. I loaded it up into the gaiwan with a smile on my face. 5g/60ml, we don't mess around here at Drinking Teas, only the realest water/leaf ratios for us. So I rinsed it - and then smelled the wet leaf. Whoaaa boy, that's GOOD. You better believe I'm drinking that rinse. This tea is floral, but not in that perfumy fake way.  Smooth, natural (like wild flowers?) floral. Nice honey/fruity sweetness there as well. Incredible aftertaste, some hui gan, very lasting. Good mouthfeel. This tea lasted me about 15 steeps, giving me a good amount of tea. I really loved this tea, definitely lives up to the reputation of Hojo. Considering this is their 2nd cheapest Dancong out of 20 or so, I can't imagine how the others are. I'm seriously considering purchase (as in, give up some of my money) of this dancong, possibly the more roasted version instead.

Second is their 30 year old aged oolong. Right off the bat, the dry leaf smells fan-tas-tic. So sweet and jammy. Wet leaf smells normal, leafier. Steeps to a nice reddish brown. This tea is medium-thin bodied with a roasted aroma. I know this tea was re-roasted, but I believe it was pretty slight. I still get some nice herbal notes with a background of plum. It's pretty weak, although I did use 6-7g in my Yixing. This isn't really a great tea, but this might have to do with the brewing session this time. Sometimes things just don't work out.
Still, considering this is more expensive than that fantastic Dancong, you know what I'll spring for in this case. Again, big thanks to Hojo Teas, I enjoyed tasting these teas a lot.

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