If you have ever tried Karigane, you will know that stalks give sweet flavor.
Houjicha tea reportedly originated in 1920 in a tea shop in the city of Kyoto, when the local vendor did not know what to do with the large quantity of tea in storage and came upon the idea of roasting the tea leaves. Houjicha is usually produced by roasting Bancha tea leaves (harvested at the end of summer, when the tea leaves are too large for higher classes of tea) at high temperatures. In the case of our tea however Sencha tea is used for roasting (Ichibancha from the first harvest of the year). Through the roasting process the tea attains a brown colour and a distinctive roast aroma with nut to cinnamon elements. Like Sencha tea, Houjicha is cultivated under direct sunlight. A large quantity of catechin is thus produced in the tea leaves as protection against UV rays, with a range of antiviral and anti-oxidant properties. The tea is suitable not only as prevention against cancer but also as support for the human digestive and circulatory system. The process of roasting virtually eliminates caffeine in the tea, and as a result Houjicha is suitable for evening drinking.