Tea Review: Hojicha

Hojicha is the roasted Bancha leaf, basically the lowest of the low when it comes to Japanese tea.  It's classified as a "green" tea, but could not be farther from the general association with green tea.  The smell of the dry leaf has cocoa and cereal (more on that later).

I went with a 15 second infusion in 175F water and it was still bitter.  The smell of this tea as soon as the water hits it is the familiar smell of breakfast cereal.  Maybe Chex Mix? 

Ok so how does it taste?  Not very good.  There is definitely going to be a niche audience for this tea, much like Lapsang Souchong and Genmaicha (I'm totally in that audience).  I, personally, do not enjoy this tea and unfortunately am stuck with about 20 more grams of it!