Green tea has been consumed for over a thousand years and is popular in many parts of the world. Hojicha is a kind of green tea that is roasted to produce a unique flavor and aroma.
In this article, we’ll look at how hojicha is made and how it promotes health.
What Is Hojicha?
Hojicha is a type of Japanese green tea. While many green teas have been enjoyed for hundreds of years, Hojicha has only been around since the 1920s. This type of tea originated in Kyoto.
The main difference between Hojicha and other green teas is that Hojicha uses roasted leaves. The name comes from the Japanese words for roasted (hoji) and tea (cha).
Roasting the leaves gives Hojicha a distinct reddish-brown hue instead of the typical green color you see with other green teas. While many green teas have a grassy aroma, Hojicha has a smoky, earthy scent.
How Much Caffeine Does Hojicha Have?
Hojicha is low in caffeine, making it a popular tea to enjoy in the late afternoon and evenings. The mature leaves used to make Hojicha have a lower caffeine content than younger leaves. The roasting process also lowers the amount of caffeine present.
The exact amount of caffeine in beverages is difficult to quantify since it is dependent on the amount of leaves used, the length of brewing time, and other factors. Overall, Hojicha has significantly less caffeine than coffee. It also has less caffeine than other types of green tea like matcha.
Hojicha tea can vary in caffeine content, depending on which type of tea leaves are roasted. Bancha or kukicha leaves will produce a tea that is lower in caffeine than one made with sencha leaves.
What Does Hojicha Taste Like?
Hojicha is less bitter than other green teas due to the way it’s made. Catechins, a type of flavonoid found in tea leaves, give some tea their bitter taste. When tea is roasted the catechins are lost.
The mellow taste of Hojicha is nutty, toasty, and smoky. It has a slightly sweet, caramel-like flavor.
How Is Hojicha Produced?
Making Hojicha starts with using mature tea leaves. These can be bancha, kukicha, or sencha leaves. They are first steamed and then dried.
The next step is roasting. The dried tea leaves are placed in a porcelain bowl and roasted over charcoal at a high temperature.
How To Brew Hojicha
There are three main ways to make Hojicha: using powder, hot brew, and cold brew.
Making Tea With Hojicha Powder
To make tea using Hojicha powder, put 1 teaspoon of powder in a cup with 2oz (60mL) of water. The water should be around 176 degrees Fahrenheit (80 degrees Celsius). You can use a spoon and simply stir to mix, but a whisk is recommended.
Vigorously move the whisk side to side in the cup–this will create a foam on the top of your tea. Whisking in a circular motion will not produce this foam.
You can then add more hot water, or if you want to make a Hojicha latte you can add milk. Sweeteners can be added according to taste but are not necessary.
To brew Hojicha, use eight grams of leaves for each cup of water. It’s recommended to measure the leaves based on weight since there can be a big difference depending on the size of the leaves, how tightly they are rolled, and the presence of stems.
If you don’t have a scale to weigh the tea, you can use 3 teaspoons per cup of water. Your water should be at 176 degrees Fahrenheit (80 degrees Celsius). If the water is too hot, it will make the tea bitter.
Hojicha does not need to steep for long. Let your tea sit for just 30 seconds, without stirring. After your tea has steeped, letting it cool slightly will increase its sweetness.
Cold Brew Hojicha
To make a cold brew, place 10 grams – or 4 teaspoons – of tea leaves in a strainer, then put in a glass or ceramic pitcher. Add one liter of clean, filtered water and refrigerate for six to eight hours.
You can add sweeteners like honey or sugar to your cold brew if you desire.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Hojicha?
Hojicha doesn’t just taste delicious, it can also provide mental and physical health benefits.
Hojicha tea contains polyphenols, micronutrients that are found in plants which contain antioxidants. These antioxidants help fight against the free radicals in your cells that can cause cancer and other diseases.
Lower blood pressure is another benefit of drinking Hojicha. Having a lower blood pressure reduces your risk of heart disease and stroke.
Hojicha can also help to strengthen the immune system and offer some resistance to illnesses such as the influenza virus. Drinking this tea may provide protection against Alzheimer’s and other degenerative diseases.
There are anti-inflammatory properties in Hojicha as well. Consuming this tea can help with the inflammation associated with asthma, arthritis, and diabetes. It can also help with blood sugar control.
L-Theanine, an amino acid, is found in Hojicha. It has been shown to improve relaxation and reduce stress. L-Theanine can also help ease symptoms of anxiety and reduce insomnia. This amino acid may also improve immune system functions and lower blood pressure.
What is the difference between matcha and Hojicha?
Hojicha is produced using roasted tea leaves, while matcha is not. Matcha has a green color and a grassy aroma and flavor, while Hojicha has a reddish-brown color and an earthy taste and scent.
Matcha is a powder form of green tea. Hojicha is sold as both a powder and as a loose leaf tea.
Is Hojicha the same as green tea?
Hojicha is a type of roasted green tea. It can be made from a variety of green tea leaves including bancha, kukicha, and sencha.
Can I steep Hojicha more than once?
You can use Hojicha tea leaves a second or third time, but you will need to steep for 60-90 seconds to get the full flavor.
Scott is the founder of TeaMinded. He enjoys tasting and discovering teas from across the globe, with green teas and ceremonial matcha from Japan being among his favorites. He’s grateful to be immersed in the tea community, always learning and sharing along the journey.