Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur

The Brewing of Hoji-Cha

Just in case anyone was curious about the resolution of the iced tea question: the answer appears to be "follow the bloody directions". After doing several experiments in both hot and cold brewing, the best solution seems to be the one that had the most support among the commenters -- *lots* of tea, the right temperature, and a quick brew.

The details of the current recipe: bring the water to a boil, then let it cool for 5-6 minutes. Put 10 tsp of hoji into a ball (in practice, this mostly fills our large tea ball), and put the ball into the carafe. Slowly pour the water in to fill, and steep for 2 minutes, agitating gently (basically just raising and lowering the ball slowly, to get some circulation). Take out the ball, cool to room temp, and chill.

The result is a lovely iced tea: dark as a "green" tea can imaginably get, strongly-flavored without major off-notes. It took a while to get past the idea of using that much tea, but it's still pretty cheap: 3.5 oz of basic Hoji (enough for about 5 32-ounce carafes) costs about three bucks at China Merch, compared with $1.50 per 12-oz plastic bottle of the commercial stuff. I'm not *quite* as good as the Ito-en variety yet, but I'm getting close enough to be more than worth the almost-tenfold price difference (and reduced garbage).

Now I just need the right travel cup to drink iced tea out of when I want to grab some for the road...
Tags: tea

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