10 Mar 2017
A cup of hot tea has got to be one of my favorites ways to conclude a long meal. It's not necessary or even desirable to choose a strong-flavored, assertive tea - it's just nice to have something warm to sip on and reflect back on the meal. I've been served tea twice at the end of a long dinner, both times in cups without handles. This is a delightful presentation that almost forces you to hold the cup closely with both hands - it's cozy by design. As a result I went in search of teacups without handles, finding some at CB2.
The tea I chose to serve is similar to the tea I had at Mosu - hojicha, or Japanese green tea that has been roasted. It has a subtle, almost smoky flavor, is relatively low in caffeine, and I think the roasted aspect makes it a little interesting and special. I was able to find looseleaf hojicha from the Shizuoka Prefecture in Japan at a tea house near me (no luck at a more popular tea store); see if your nearest tea/coffee shop sells hojicha, or serve any tea that you like.
Note: it's often a good idea to warm mugs with hot water before serving tea in them. In my case I found the tea, prepared with boiling water, retained more than enough heat and so I skipped this step.
For 4 servings.
1 1/2 Tbsp hojicha leaves
2 cups water
Teapot with looseleaf insert