Not sure what Hojicha is all about? We would love to share our love for this delicious Japanese Tea with its one-of-a-kind roasted and toasty flavor!
Hojicha tea is classified as green tea, which may come as a surprise because when you make a cup, it yields a reddish-brown color. This is because the Hojicha goes through a process, unlike any other green tea.
The meaning of Hojicha is literally “roasted tea”. The tea leaves are harvested, steamed, dried, and rolled. Then it goes through an extra step where the leaves are roasted over charcoal. This changes the leaves from green to brown and at the same time, it also gives a distinctive smokey, nutty, and toasted flavor.
Hojicha was first brewed into existence around the 1920s in Kyoto, the green tea capital of Japan. It is believed that hojicha was invented by a merchant who had some leftover tea leaves and steams and rather than letting them go to waste, he tried roasting them over charcoal.
There are various grades of green tea. At the top of the green tea, tier is gyokuro, which is followed sequentially in terms of quality by sencha and bancha green tea. Sencha is harvested early in the season and is the most widely consumed green tea in Japan. Bancha is a lower-grade tea made with leaves harvested later in the season. Most Hojicha is made using sencha tea leaves, though there are also some made with bancha.
If the unique toasty and almost caramelly flavor isn’t enough of a reason to add Hojicha to your tea routine, here are more reasons not to love it!
Has a Mellow Flavour - Due to the steaming process, green tea leaves are generally less bitter, especially in comparison to black teas. Hojicha’s additional charcoal roasting process not only changes the color of the tea leaves but also makes the flavor milder and easier to drink.
It plays well with others - Since Hojicha has a gentle flavor, lacking the “grassy” profile of stronger green teas like gyokuro, it pairs well with pretty much anything. Additionally, because Hojicha is low in caffeine, it is served in Japan to kids and the elderly.
Great for coffee lovers - The roasted, nutty flavor and aroma are often well-received by people who love a cup of Joe but are shy about teas. If you’re just starting to explore Japanese teas or have a tea-skeptic friend, we highly recommend trying out Hojicha.
Great all-year-round -Hojicha tastes great hot or cold!