So we meet again, Mister Donut Meets Tsujirii.

Look, it’s not like we ever really need an excuse to eat donuts. Those little rings of joy justify their purchase simply by existing, and thanks to the Mister Donut chain, we’re never very far from a supply in Japan.

Still, some extra enticement is always nice, and so we marked March 24 on our calendar, because that’s when the second round of Mister Donut’s new Kyoto hojicha donuts went on sale.

These donuts are the second round of the new Mister Donut Meets Tsujirii collaboration between the chain and Kyoto-based tea merchant/confectioner Tsujiri. Hojicha is the Japanese term for roasted green tea, and what makes these donuts special is that they use Tsujiri hojicha, grown in Uji, the Kyoto Prefecture town famous for producing some of the finest-quality green tea in all of Japan.

The two new donuts making their debut are the Nama Pon de Ring Uji Hojicha (220 yen [US$1.45]) and Nama Pon de Ring Uji Hojicha Kinako (242 yen), which means we’ve got a little more terminology to unwrap as we unbox. Pon de Ring is Mister Donut’s super-popular series of donuts where connected spheres of dough form a ring, and nama, where baked goods are concerned, refers to an extra-soft and chewy consistency.

▼ Nama Pon de Ring Uji Hojicha

Roasting green tea to make hojicha turns the leaves a deep brown, which is also the color of the tea once it’s brewed. Since the Nama Pon de Ring Uji Hojicha has hojicha leaves kneaded into its dough prior to baking, it’s got an earthy hue too. That’s not all the hojicha action going on here, either, as Mister Donut and Tsujiri have also produced a special hojicha glaze that’s exclusive to this donut.

Compared to regular green tea, hojicha has a slightly nutty, toasted flavor, and still retains noticeable bitter notes. The hojicha flavor is definitely noticeable here, but there’s also enough sweetness to the glaze that the overall flavor profile is pretty balanced on the sweet/bitter scale. Special mention has to go to the Nama Pon de Ring Uji Hojicha’s aroma too, which, like the flavor, gives a stronger sensation of hojicha than a lot of other sweets that use roasted green tea.

Now let’s move on to the Nama Pon de Ring Uji Hojicha Kinako.

Here we’ve got another vocabulary word with kinako, or roasted soybean powder, which has a flavor that’s something like a more delicate sweet cinnamon. There’s one more term we’re going to need to be familiar with too, though, and it’s the one written on the packet attached to the box: hojicha mitsu.

Mitsu originally means “honey,” but it also shows up in kuromitsu, a kind of molasses-like brown sugar sauce used in traditional Japanese desserts. This hojicha mitsu is a hojicha-infused version.

As-served, though, the Nama Pon de Ring Uji Hojicha Kinako has no sauce on it. Like the Nama Pon de Ring Uji Hojicha, there’s Uji hojicha mixed into the dough, but this time there’s a dusting of kinako instead of a baked-on hocjicha glaze.

So for the full flavor, you have to open up the hojicha mitsu packet and pour some on before you start eating.

We suppose this might seem like kind of a hassle, but there’s a good reason for it. The hojicha mitsu is pretty messy, but because of how flavorful it is, once the sauce mixes with the kinako, the donut would get soggy if left in a display case until someone came along to purchase it, so to let customers enjoy the maximum flavor without aversely affecting the texture, Mister Donut gives you the ability to add it just before you take a bite. This also, ostensibly, allows you to tailor the taste to your precise preferences by using as much or as little of the hojicha mitsu as you like.

▼ As you could probably guess, we used all of it.

In addition to the Nama Pon de Ring Uji Hojicha and Nama Pon de Ring Uji Hojicha Kinako, three other members of the Mister Donut Meets Tsujirii lineup, the Pon de Double Uji Matcha, Pon de Uji Matcha Crispy Arare, and Pon de Uji Matcha Wasanbon Warabimochi, are still on sale, with a combo pack of all five for 1,100 yen. Just make sure you’ve got a napkin handy if you’re snacking on the Hojicha Kinako.

Photos ©SoraNews24
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