I think this is a really cool photo! I like how the small glass teapot has steamed up and framed the steeping stalks.
Hojicha - This tea is a novelty. In the world of tea, many things are old, ancient. Tea has been consumed a looong time. Yet hojicha is relatively new on the tea scene. It was created as a by-product of mechanized tea picking (which began in the '20s). The leaves get used for bancha and sencha, the twigs remain, and that's what this is - twigs of tea. This tea is roasted over charcoal. Very different from its steam-fired Japanese green cousins, and an entirely different flavor and aroma profile.
I'm drawn to the metaphor that is offered to us in each sip. I like how the creators of this tea looked for a way to use the leftover materials, what many people would throw away, and make them into something useful.
In his tasting book, Michael Harney recommends this tea as a good one for coffee drinkers. While I don't drink coffee, I understand the comparison. It's darkly roasted in flavor and color. What I found most interesting is the sweet aftertaste and very dry tongue feeling.
Hojicha is not very known to those of us in the US. If you get the chance to try it, do!