The popular green tea – Hojicha, was discovered in the 1920s by a tea merchant who wanted to make the most of the leftovers from tea leaves, stalks, stems, and twigs. He roasted the remains over charcoal, and a reddish-brown tea was incidentally produced. This is what is now known as Hojicha.
Let’s see some of the most frequently asked questions about Hojicha.
What type of tea is Hojicha?
Hojicha is a Japanese green tea made by roasting green tea leaves over charcoal. It has a unique smoky aroma and is reddish-brown. It is prepared from bancha tea leaves and sometimes Kukicha twigs and Sencha leaves. Hojicha comes in two different forms – powdered Hojicha and loose leaves.
What does Hojicha mean?
Hojicha is derived from the Japanese verb ‘Houjiru,’ which means ‘to roast.’
Hojicha means roasted tea, and it can also be spelled as houjicha. It is pronounced with a long ‘O’ and ends in ‘cha.’
What does Hojicha taste like?
Hojicha is roasted at a very high temperature of about 200°C (392°F), unlike caffeine and black teas. As a result, it has a smoky and earthy flavor. Hojicha tastes quite a bit like freshly roasted coffee.
What is the best way to preserve Hojicha?
If you buy Hojicha in a small resealable bag, keep it in its original packaging. However, if you are buying large quantities in a large bag, it is advisable to transfer it in a small airtight container to keep it fresh for longer for daily use.
Avoid storing Hojicha in the refrigerator as it can alter its natural taste and aroma. Also, like other food products, store Hojicha in a cool, dry, and dark place.
Do I need to add sweetener to Hojicha?
The choice is entirely up to you, but you can enjoy Hojicha without adding any sweetener. Hojicha has a naturally sweet taste.
Why is my Hojicha smokier than sweet?
Hojicha has a natural smoky taste as it is produced through a process of roasting. However, it tastes smokier when hot and less smoky when sipped at a cool temperature. To best enjoy the natural sweetness this tea gives, allow it to cool for some time before drinking.
Does Hojicha contain caffeine?
Hojicha contains a lesser amount of caffeine than most green teas. In every 100g pack, Hojicha contains only about 0.13g of caffeine. You can attribute its low caffeine content to the type of tea leaves used in its preparation.
Hojicha is produced from mature bancha harvest leaves, and kukicha twigs have very little caffeine content. Also, the roasting process involved in its preparation lowers the overall caffeine level.
Since Hojicha has a negligible amount of caffeine, you can sip it anytime.
How is Hojicha different from Matcha?
While Hojicha and Matcha are both Japanese green teas and undergo the same steaming process, there are still some differences.
- Matcha is derived from tencha green tea leaves and has a bright green color. Hojicha, on the other hand, is derived from bancha leaves and has a reddish-brown color. However, its color can vary slightly depending on the type of green tea used, the roasting time, and the harvest time.
- Fresh Matcha has a vegetal smell, while Hojicha has a smoky aroma.
- In terms of the caffeine content, Matcha contains more caffeine than Hojicha. A cup of Matcha contains as much as 70mg of caffeine.
What are the health benefits of taking Hojicha?
Just like other green teas, Hojicha has impressive health benefits. Some of them are:
- It is rich in antioxidant which helps to eliminate radicals which cause diseases from the blood. Antioxidants also help to slow down the aging process, thus giving you a fresh and youthful look.
- It can help to alleviate joint pain and inflammations.
- It improves oral health; it helps to protect the teeth.
- It is an excellent stress reliever. Its leaves contain L-Theanine, which helps to calm the nerve and muscles, thus reducing mental stress.
- The steam produced from brewing Hojicha also gives a calming effect to the body when inhaled.
- Hojicha leaves contain catechins that help to control the cholesterol level in the blood.
Want to get Hojicha for your family? Here’s a premium bag of Hojicha green tea.
Hojicha recipes to try
Below are some delicious recipes to try out with your Hojicha leaves and powder;
- Hojicha affogato.
- Iced hojicha frappe
- Sparkling hojicha
- Iced hojicha latte
- Cold-brewed hojicha
- Strawberry hojicha latte
- Hojicha pudding
- Hojicha rose tea latte
- Hojicha bubble tea
- Spicy hojicha crinkle cookies
- Hojicha hot toddy
- Maple hojicha latte
- Mango hojicha latte
- Whipped hojicha
- Hojicha topped with frothy coffee
- Hojicha hot chocolate
How to make Hojicha
- Use a teapot with an in-built filter. Make use of a stainless steel tea infuser if you have one.
- Add 8 grams of roasted green tea into a teapot
- Soften hard water.
Japanese green teas taste best in soft water (water will low amount of minerals). Also, the minerals contained in hard water can alter the taste of the tea. To do this, filter the water to be used and boil till about 80°C (175°F) before using it to steep your tea. Some minerals will settle at the bottom, so leave some water behind and steep it out.
- Add 240 ml of water to the Hojicha in a circular motion.
- Allow the Hojicha to steep for 30 seconds.
- Pour your Hojicha into teacups and serve.
Hojicha can be steeped for a second and a third time so that you can save the tea leaves for your next steep. If you use the leaves a second time, steep Hojicha leaves for 30 seconds longer than the last time. This will ensure its rich flavor.
If you use Hojicha powder, add a teaspoon of Hojicha and dissolve in 60ml of filtered water. Stir the powder until it is fully dissolved.
Hojicha green tea is a safe substitute for caffeine, and you can enjoy it at any time of the day. You can enjoy your Hojicha with chocolates, vanilla, sweet potato, caramel, and sesame.