You have already had your swift morning kick in the gonads – both metaphorical and actual – in the form of a beltin’ breaky brew that even Fergal the Cowboy Builder would be proud to sup on whilst laying your tarmac drive and flouting all health and safety regulations. This caffeinated smash in the knackers – literal and figurative – has powered you through your 5am housework splurge consisting of braving the hairs down the plug hole, realising that your novelty Muppet sock collection of 19875345 pairs are no longer indeed in pairs, and embarking on the most horrific household quest known to man: the ironing. Yes, your brew induced banal-chore bravery has helped you seek out the dust bunnies that always hide behind the l-shaped bit of the sofa, dealing with the inevitable bin bag split and leaking last nights chow mein all over your recently hoovered wooden floors (not a euphemism), and remaining madly in love with your partner despite pulling out their skiddy Miss Piggy knickers from behind the beanbag in the bedroom. Romance clearly isn’t dead.
But now you have finished your Nigella Lawson-esque housewifery for the day (minus her enormous…talent, obviously talent), and need something soothing to celebrate your successful descent into the catacombs of household drudgery, deeper than the mesmerising blue eyes of Christina Hendricks. Human Tea-gue come on the radio, screeching the question that you are also asking yourself: ‘Don’t you want tea baby? Don’t you want tea, ooooOOOOOoooh?’ (I have been waiting 29 days to shoehorn this in, let me have it). With Phil Oak-tea as your witness, you DO want a brew. Perhaps not the caffeine crazed teagasm of your early morning punch in the privates – realistically and imaginatively – but a gentler, more sensual caress of a teagasm to soothe your skiddy pants frazzled nerves. You have just the ticket: a low caffeine Tea Studio Hojicha.
Alas, lovely readers, this was the housework hell that led me to bang at the door of Tea Studio Hojicha’s flat. I spent the first five minutes of my time at its luxury London penthouse apartment decorated with hipster artwork pieces (probably from Here Design), trying to work out how not to murder the pronunciation of its name. Hoy-chee-jar? Hovie-kar? Horatio Charles, acclaimed American physician? No, Ho-jee-cha apparently. Nice to meet brew Horatio.
Hojicha is a naturally low in caffeine, Japanese green tea made from the twigs of the camellia sinensis (the tea plant for the heathens among you). Yes, you read correctly – the twigs, those spikey bundles of fun that you used to put down your siblings’ shorts in summer so they could experience what sitting on razor blades felt like, a necessary and invaluable life experience. However, aside from prac-tea-cal jokes, when roasted over a charcoal fire these nature’s twiglets brew up to make a rather pleasant, mellow infusion. Hojicha is also low in tannins, which Wikipedia helpfully tells me is essentially the pus that comes out of plants and bark, similar to that nasty blemish you squeeze on your chin when you are ‘on the blob’. It’s alright though, tannins are ORGANIC pus. Even cyanide is good for you if it is ORGANIC. Anyway to reiterate, Hojicha is low in said tannins, so you needn’t worry about a mouthful of teen acne fluids. Yay!
If you are strapped for precious time and need to work, take your dog to the vets after swallowing a tea pot or simply have to cram another episode of Mad Men into your gills without wasting precious Joan Holloway viewing time, then Tea Studio’s Hojicha is ideal. It only takes two minutes to brew and can be infused a whopping THREE times; I like a brew (and a lover) with stamina and a true infusion for Conservative austerity…or if you are a bit of a tight arse. I was shocked to find as I was with Tg’s Jujube and Osmanthus Green Tea, that Tea Studio’s offering DID NOT taste like Yoda’s special love juice post a romantic night in with Brewbacca. AT ALL. It had a creamy mouth feel similar to a well brewed dark roast coffee, the distinct savoury and earthy green tea taste but with a caramelly subtle sweet kick as you swallow (*ahem*). It tasted how I imagine the grass at Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory would taste; grassy yes, but sweet sugar paper grass drizzled with molten Cadbury Dairy Milk Caramel. I know it sounds like an odd combo, but then so does marmite and cheese on crumpets. Both somehow work, are seriously delish but will divide opinion.
I am questioning my morals – the Tea Studio Hojicha is yet another green tea that I enjoyed, and went on to have a further two cups of (if it says three infusions, I am damn well getting my kahuna’s worth). It was even better the second time around as the flavour mellows slightly into a subtle, nutty taste – like watching The Matrix for the second time, finally understanding the plot and deciding that Carrie Anne Moss is actually fit in it despite her sharper-than-machete cheekbones. This Hojicha is calming, creamy and feels like a cheeky treat with its sweet undertones. Combined with the removal of the impending caffeine come-down of your standard black tea (and even strong green brews), this is my new favourite evening sup…despite it posing as an eighteenth century American biologist and taking credit for the Treatise on Therapeutics.