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The Balto (Hoji Cha)

$ 36.00


Hoji Cha

  • 1.5 oz., sold in a black tea caddy, or .75 oz. sold in a copper bag
  • Green
  • Japan, Shizuoka-prefecture
  • Organically grown

Behind the Name

On February 2, 1925, a dog named Balto led a sled carrying medicine to Nome, Alaska when no other mode of transportation could deliver the precious cargo. Traveling through the night in a blinding snow storm, Balto’s guidance brought the life-saving remedy to ward off Diphtheria. We named our Hoji Cha after this brave canine. With a fresh, toasty aroma along with a sweet cleansing flavor, this popular Japanese tea is often served after a meal. Due to its low caffeine content and comforting character, it is also served to those in hospitals or to children. The production of our top quality Hoji Cha is overseen by Tea Master Sugimoto in Japan where it is made with young baby stems.


Tea Sommelier's Notes

One of Japan’s most commonly enjoyed beverages, Hoji Cha was created by award winning Tea Maestro  Hiroyuki Sugimoto. (see Gen Mai Cha and Sen Cha Assamushi).  Eschewing the common practice of using low quality Bancha leaves, Sugimoto starts with young baby stems. After drying, stems are roasted over low heat to evoke a sweet flavor. Roasting results in tea with a reddish color and light cup with an exotic character.
In the cup: Fresh, toasty aroma along with a sweet cleansing flavor.
In the mood: This is a green tea that stimulates the senses, so let your fancy be your guide. Hoji Cha pairs excellently with the food of its heritage: Asian-inspired meals that love to end with a cleansed palate. Remarkably, this tea is excellent over ice.
In the know: The caffeine content in our gourmet Hoji Cha is particularly low. Due to this, Hoji Cha is commonly served to children and patients in hospitals.
In the brewing vessel: 2-3 Tsp. (2-2.5g)/ 8 oz. water (240ml)/ Temperature 168-175 F (80 C): Crab Eyes or Fish Eyes  (Please see “Five Stages of Bringing Water to a Boil.”)/ Steep time 1.5–3 minutes. Up to three infusions possible. Consider using a tetsubin or a lidded Gaiwan for the brew.

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