I was at a Japanese restaurant today, and the tea they served was rather interesting — a roasted kukicha, supposedly aged. I could tell right away it’s an aged roasted tea — tastes just like stuff you can buy in Taiwan, aged a few years and heavily roasted. This is pretty much what it is. The tea itself is not very strong or particularly complex, but it does do the job very well, and confirms two of my pet theories- 1) roasted teas all taste very similar if the roast is strong enough, no matter the origin of the leaves, and 2) aged roasted teas are rather sweet as long as it’s not messed up.
What someone should do now is to buy up a lot of hojicha and then hoard it to make a fortune out of selling aged hojicha, or something like that.