Much like roasting vegetables, roasting tea by hand gives it an extra sweet and toasty flavor.
Buy hand tea roaster from Mauna Kea Tea.
Made of heat resistant ceramic, this roaster withstands high temperature and direct contact with the heat source. The high walled shape of the roaster prevents spilling as you agitate the tea during roasting. The handle is hollow with an open end to pour the finished tea out of the roaster. You can use an electric stove or direct gas flame and even roast over open fire. The roaster gets hot during use, so protect the handle, and if necessary consider heat protective gloves. Most of all, PROTECT YOUR HANDS!
Hand roasting is a simple process once you gain a little experience. You may get a few over or under-roasted teas in the beginning but this will be your practice to develop skill in the right degree of roasting. Practice with success and you will enjoy precise control over the flavor and aroma of your tea.
Basic Instructions for use:
- Pour tea in
- Empty out
Drink and enjoy and store the roasted tea as you would normally.
Here are detailed directions:
- Preheat the hand tea roaster to a desired temperature. I recommend heating the roaster hot enough. When you add tea leaf, it should start smoking in 5 seconds without agitation. Also WEAR GLOVES. PROTECT YOURSELF FROM BURNS. Even though there is a small section of handle with holder, you can easily burn yourself from just a touch on the wrong part.
- Add tea. Have a funnel or a vessel with a spout to avoid spilling. Pour tea all at once and start agitating right away.
- Agitate. Start agitating as soon as you add tea to the roaster by swirling the roaster in a circular motion to avoid burning. Also, you can experiment with flipping and shaking. The goal is to roast evenly.
- Empty. When a sweet, toasty smell arises from the hand roaster, you pour the tea out from the handle. It should look darker than when you started, and in some cases brown to dark brown. Too much roasting will make it smell and taste burned and smoky and you will find some black pieces.
Select leaf material that is broken into small pieces for they will roast more evenly. Larger leaves have less surface contact with the roaster, therefore it tends to give uneven roasting. Our Sweet Roast Green Tea or Island Green Tea are excellent for the hand roaster, if they do happen to get old in the cupboard. Less fine teas from tea bags also seem to work fine. Fine particles tend to stick to the roaster with static and burn easy. If this happens frequently, try to separate fine particles with static board or lightly blowing dust off the main tea. Do this outside or over a sink. You could make a big mess.
Brewing Roasted Tea
Once tea is roasted, it is very simple to enjoy. Just pour boiling hot water (or slightly cooled, ex. 195F if too bitter.) Steeping for even a short period of time will give you a strong flavor. Generally much of the original bitterness softens. Enjoy freshly roasted or store in sealed container for future use.
Cleaning the Hand Roaster
Simply clean the roaster by wiping with a dry cloth or a paper towel once it cools. The ceramic roaster is glazed with a smooth finish to make it easy to clean. Make sure to wipe all the dust off before you use next time because it could add burned taste to your tea. If the hand roaster gets dirty, you can rinse or wash it too.
Not ready to buy a hand tea roaster yet? Try a frying pan. Follow the same steps, but be extra careful if you want to flip and swirl. It’s not perfect but it works, and you can refine your skill and develop your taste preference in the process.
If you have questions or comments, please let us know.