The Tea Spot has perfectly described this tea (read below); however I would like to share my experience of this beautiful tea with you. Although the title is pretty descriptive, this delicious mint green tea is enhanced greatly by the roasted Hojicha tea which gives this tea a smoky, toasted flavor.
On top of the deep smoky flavor of the Hojicha lies a refreshing, smooth mint taste.
The Tea Spot describes this tea as:
This refreshing blend consists of peppermint and Hojicha, a roasted Japanese green tea. Hojicha is naturally lower in caffeine than other green teas, while peppermint aids with muscle relaxation and digestion. Together they create a warming, tawny taste that is relaxing when hot and amazingly refreshing when iced. This brews into a clean, amber liquor with an inviting smell. The roasted green tea creates a nutty base that is brightened by the vibrant peppermint leaves.
Hōjicha (ほうじ茶 ) is set apart from other Japanese green teas because it is roasted in a porcelain pot over charcoal. The tea is fired at high temperature, altering the leaf colour tints from green to reddish-brown. The roasted flavors are extracted and predominate this blend. The roasting replaces the vegetative tones of standard green tea with a toasty, slightly caramel-like flavour. The roasting process used to make Hōjicha lowers the amount of caffeine in the tea.
The peppermint they use perfectly compliments the Hojicha tea, making it an excellent after-dinner tea. Also tastes good iced; however, it loses some of the “roasted” flavor of the Hojicha when served iced. The Tea Spot offers up two great recipes for this tea:
Green Tea Chicken Noodle Soup
INGREDIENTS: 8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken, cut into1/2 inch pieces; 2 teaspoons GREEN ROASTED MINT leaves steeped in one half–cup (4 oz) water; 5 ounces dry bean thread noodles; 4 cups chicken stock; 2 (1/2 inch thick) slices ginger root, lightly mashed; 1/2 cup oyster mushrooms, cubed; 3 cups packed spinach leaves, large stems removed; Salt and white pepper, as desired
PREPARATION: Place the chicken in a large bowl and add the green tea. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour to marinate. Cover the bean thread noodles with warm water. Soak until softened, about 10 minutes. Drain. In a big pot bring the stock, ginger and mushrooms to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer 2 minutes. Add the chicken, including the GREEN ROASTED MINT marinade, and noodles. Return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 3 minutes. Add the spinach and boil for 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
This most distinctive and flavorful rice dish complements fish, chicken and tofu beautifully. Try it with a mango salsa on the side.
INGREDIENTS: 3 tablespoons GREEN ROASTED MINT leaves, 10 cups water, 2 cups rice, 2 cloves garlic, 4 thin slices fresh ginger, 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil, 1 tablespoon sea salt
PREPARATION: Add ten cups of boiling water to the tea in a four–quart pot. Cover and steep for five minutes. Strain the tea to remove the leaves and set aside. Heat the sesame oil in a 12–inch heavy–bottom iron skillet on high heat. As soon as the oil begins to smoke, lower the heat to medium. Add the rice, garlic, ginger and one cup of tea at a time. Sauté and simmer, carefully adding more tea as needed to prevent the rice from sticking to the pan. Cover on simmer and set aside. Cooking time is 45 minutes. Serves: 4 – 6