Hojicha is a roasted green tea that has a sweet and roasted flavour. Hojicha is a unique tea that is low in caffeine so it’s perfect to wind down with before bed. Hojicha is available as loose leaf tea and also as a powder for making Hojicha lattes.
What is Hojicha Tea
“Houji” (焙じ) means “roast” and “cha” (茶) means tea. Hojicha (which is also sometimes spelled Houjicha) is a roasted green tea. Regular green tea is simply steamed and dried. Hojicha tea is made from green tea leaves that have been roasted at high temperatures. This process removes much of the bitterness and astringency found in Green Tea and also changes the colour of the leaves to a deep brown.
While you can find Hojicha teas that are produced world wide, traditionally Hojicha comes from Kyoto. The story goes that a Tea Merchant in the 1920’s wanted to make use of the leaves, stems and stalks that are leftover from the mechanical harvest of green tea leaves. He roasted these products over charcoal and Hojicha was born.
What does Hojicha Taste Like?
The roasting process of Hojicha removes the bitterness that that is found in Green Tea. Hojicha has a sweet, nutty and smoky taste. Green Tea has a vegetal taste where as Hojicha has a roasted and nutty taste.
Hojicha Brewing Guide
Here is how to brew Hojicha tea:
How to Brew Hojicha Tea
Hojicha tea is best brewed with 80°C water. Even though Hojicha is roasted, it is still a delicate tea and will become bitter if brewed with water that is too hot. It’s best to use a variable temperature kettle. If you don’t have one of these kettles, just let the regular kettle sit for a bit before brewing.
Hojicha is quite a loose tea, it will take some experimentation to get the correct amount. To be precise you would be looking at using around 8 grams per 240mls of water. Generally I just use my tea spoon and make sure it is generously heaped.
Steep Hojicha for 30 seconds. Just like green tea you can make and extra cup(s) from the leaves. Just add 30 seconds to your next steep time.
How to Cold Brew Hojicha Tea
Hojicha tea can also be made into a delicious cold brew tea. I use a Hario Cold Brew maker which is the perfect size and includes a built in strainer.
To cold brew Hojicha tea, use approximately 10 grams of tea to 1 litre of water. This translates to 2 or 3 scoops using a tea spoon in a 1 litre Hario Cold Brewer. Leave the Cold Brew in the fridge for 6-8 hours before enjoying.
How to make a Hojicha Latte
A Hojicha Latte can be made with Hojicha Powder. Whisk 1 teaspoon of Hojicha powder with 60ml of 80°C Water. A matcha whisk can be used. Top with steamed or heated milk.
Where to Buy Hojicha Tea in Australia
Hojicha is becoming more and more popular in Australia. You can buy Hojicha from Japan as well as locally grown Hojicha.
The Best Hojicha Tea’s in Australia:
Australian Tea Store TheTeaCentre sells Hojicha from Japan.
Yamasan Hojicha Tea
If you’re looking for Hojicha from the Kyoto prefecture than you should try this Yamasan Hojicha. This tea is certified organic and uses the traditional roasting method.
Hojicha Tea Bags
Although you can’t beat the taste of brewing loose leaf tea, if you’re looking for a more convenient option, you can also buy Hojicha tea bags.
How much Caffeine is in Hojicha Tea
The average cup of Hojicha tea will contain around 7.7mg of caffeine. This is less than in regular green tea which has around 20mg of caffeine. Because Hojicha has such a small amount of caffeine it is perfect to be enjoyed at anytime of day.
Does Hojicha Tea Contain L-Theanine?
The roasting process doesn’t destroy L-Theanine. L-Theanine is the chemical compound in green tea which has a relaxing effect. Many people take L-Theanine in supplement form to help them relax and stay focused.
Is it Hojicha or Houjicha?
You will often come across two different spellings – Hojicha and Houjicha. The more accurate English spelling is Hojicha. Both spellings indicate the same type of tea.
How do you Pronounce Hojicha
Hojicha is pronounced with a long “O” and “cha” is pronounced like Matcha. You can listen to the pronunciation here.
How to Store Hojicha Tea
The unopened leaves will keep for around 1 year. Once you’ve opened Hojicha store it in an airtight canister or caddy. The leaves will maintain their flavour once opened for about 3 months.
What is a Hojicha Latte
A Hojicha latte is usually made with powered Hojicha. It is similar to a matcha latte.