Sakura Houji

Tea type
Green Tea
Cherry Wood, Nutty, Roasted, Roasted Nuts, Sakura, Wood
Sold in
Loose Leaf, Sachet
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Mastress Alita
Average preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 16 oz / 487 ml

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From Lupicia

We are happy to announce the arrival of our seasonal SAKURA HOUJI: the comforting, toasty aroma of quality Japanese houjicha (roasted green tea) is blended with an abundance of salted cherry blossom leaves. Recommended for enjoying with Japanese style sweets and for a special springtime ochazuke (tea poured over hot rice).

Our package depicts a blooming cherry blossom branch decorated with the “Ichimatsu moyou” checkerboard pattern, finished in gentle and warm colors which matches the roasted character of Houjicha.

Ingredients: Roasted green tea, salted cherry leaf (cherry leaf, salt, aluminium potassium sulfate)

About Lupicia View company

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6 Tasting Notes

1220 tasting notes

I’m going to do a couple backlogs of new stuff now too. Someone on the tea subreddit works at Lupicia and offered to send me some of this after I said I couldn’t believe sakura leaves were salty. I have really learned a lot about cherry blossom trees this year.

I should have probably looked around to see what a good water temp for a houjicha is but didn’t. I kind of probably went with something higher than I’d typically use for green tea, though doesn’t really matter, it tasted fine, but I think it could be improved.

The taste was interesting, mostly it tastes like houjicha, but then it’s just a bit salty, a little floral, and just faintly cherry. It’s definitely a unique mix of flavors.

I have enough for another couple cups to experiment with it. I’m just really excited I was able to try this without having to order it. Nobody else has written a note on it, so it was definitely unchartered waters for me.

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1023 tasting notes

I’m still trying to work through the very old Lupicia sakura teas in my stash. Most of them just aren’t for me, because despite how much I like sakura, I’m really turned off by the “salty” taste in the cup from the salt preserves they use. (I’m also really upset to learn that the Ume Vert I ordered on my birthday order has… salt-preserved ingredients. If Lupicia would just freaking disclose the ingredient lists as printed on their bags on their actual website, I never would have ordered it…)

The Ume Vert will, undoubtedly, have to be rice-flavoring tea for me to use up the pouch. The sakura ones are at least sweet enough that I have found I can usually hide the salinity of the salt by making sweet lattes using a vanilla plant milk (vanilla almond or vanilla oat, depending on what I have on hand). Which is how I’ve prepared this cup. 3 parts tea to 1 part warm, frothed vanilla oat milk. I used two heaping teaspoons of leaf and steeped in 205F water for 5 minutes.

The aroma is warm wood and sakura. The sakura is getting overpowered a bit in the flavor by the houjicha, though. I’m getting a strong woodiness, some roasted nuts, and only a subtle hint of sakura sweetness left on my tongue after the sip when some of the deeper, roastier houjicha notes start to fade.

It’s a nice enough latte, but I honestly could’ve made a plain houjicha latte and probably wouldn’t have noticed much difference. Not my favorite execution of the flavor. Maybe it’s stronger in a plain cup, but then I’d just be turned off by the salt, so I guess I’ll have to make do with plain houjicha with a sprinkle of sakura flavor. Not a favorite, despite how much I love both houjicha and sakura.

Flavors: Cherry Wood, Nutty, Roasted, Roasted Nuts, Sakura, Wood

205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML
Cameron B.

I guess I find sakura a bit savory in general, so maybe that’s why the salt doesn’t bother me?

Also, let me know if you end up wanting to rehome that Ume Vert! I had hoped to order it this time around, but it’s not on the website anymore. (grumble)

Mastress Alita

To me, florals in general (including sakura) give me a “sweet vibe” and the only thing that makes it savory is the salt preserve.

And sure, you can have the Ume Vert. It’s still sealed and everything. The ingredients look very spot on for the Ume Shiso Bancha I just sipped down, and the only way I found I could stomach that tea was making rice with it.

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116 tasting notes

Steeped this less than 2 minutes, so I think I got a lighter tea than usual; a light roasted green tea with a sakura finish, nice.

185 °F / 85 °C 1 min, 45 sec

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5 tasting notes

The tea contains salted cherry leaves, not cherries themselves, so the cherry flavor is more subtle than one would normally expect from “cherry” items. The aroma lingering in the empty glass is sweeter and has more cherry notes than the tea itself, so it adds an interesting contrast altering between drinking each cup and wafting the aroma.

I didn’t follow these instructions, but this is what the label says for reference:
One 150ml (5floz) cup
Tea leaves: 2.5-3g
Water temp: boiling water
Brewing time: 1.5-2min
Infusion: 1-2 cups
Ingredients: roasted green tea (hojicha), salted cherry leaves, aluminium potassium sulfate

190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 30 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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307 tasting notes

I’ve been enjoying the bag I got last time I found this in stock. Imagine my surprise to go back to the listing and find it was one of the very first teas I reviewed, but apparently not too favorably! Huh, how things change… or maybe I was wrong on the name of the tea. Who knows.

This tea is has a lovely sweet and mellowly roasted liquor that isn’t too overwhelmingly sweet like some of Lupicia’s other cherry teas, but isn’t very roasted either. It’s a very comforting taste to me and I wish it lasted longer than 2-3 steeps, as I think it’s a limited edition or perhaps seasonal thing. I wasn’t on their website last time I looked.

It reminds me of my love for roasted teas, that’s always good too. Yum.

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