Roasted Green Tea….Beef….Oatmeal

I’d like to make an acronym out of that title, but can’t think of one.

Was up to Huckleberry’s, our local pretentious yuppie organo-exotic food store (kindof like Trader Joe’s, without the stage direction). It’s off our normal routes, so we don’t go there often. Their Asian food selection is better than Safeway, which is damning with faint praise. E’en so, they have lots of good stuff, at only moderately high prices, and I usually come away with a wide selection of goods. This month it included a box of bancha hojicha, roasted green tea. That’s a doubling up of the names. Bancha (番茶) is green tea. Second pick, lower quality. Hojicha (ほうじ茶) is roasted green tea. That repeated 茶 is the kanji for tea. BH tastes nothing like green tea. Its flavor is dominated by the roasting (so making it with a lower quality tea isn’t a problem), and it has, so Wikipedia tells me, less caffeine than regular green tea, which of course has less caffeine than black tea. It tastes like a wartime tea substitute.

I, of course, tried it in oatmeal. Two ways. First, plain tea (made with water), with sweetener. Second, using beef broth instead of water when making the tea.

Setup: 1/3 cup of stone ground rolled oats, two dinner teaspoons of potato flakes, one cup of tea, made with water or beef broth, salt.  Cook for 10 minutes or so, depending on the exact style of oats.  Add the potato when you take it off the stove.

Results: The plain version was really needful of something. The sweeter helped. The beef version was better, with the tea adding a roasty overtone to the hearty beef flavor. A few grinds of pepper helped. Neither one was great, but I’m likely to do the beef/tea combo again, maybe once per box of teabags.

Rating: *****

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