What is Hojicha (ほうじ茶)
Hojicha is a type of Japanese green tea that is basically roasted at a high temperature. Usually, Bancha, Kukicha, or sometimes Sencha leaves are roasted over charcoal to get Hojicha. The process of roasting tea leaves first came to Kyoto, Japan, in the 1920s. Some speculate that it was a way to use leftover tea leaves and stems, and make low-grade tea more desirable. By roasting, leaves turn dark brown and emit a smoky aroma, which becomes quite popular among people.
Roasting is done in a porcelain pot over charcoal. The leaves go through the usual process of steaming, drying, and rolling, but in the end, they are roasted to get the nutty flavor and Crismon brown color. In factories, tea leaves and stems are put in drums that rotate and roast at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. It is later cooled and packed. Some manufacturers also grind it with the same process as Matcha to get the fine powder form to use as an ingredient in beverages and cooking.
Hojicha has the least amount of caffeine in its leaves due to the roasting process and mature leaves. Mature leaves and stems contain small amounts of caffeine due to being exposed to the sun for a longer time, and by roasting them, it sublime even further. In 250ml of coffee, there is 95mg of caffeine, other green tea types have 50mg, and Hojicha comes in last with only 7.7mg of caffeine. Therefore, it makes the best alternative for coffee and other beverages and can be drunk at any time.
Prepare Hojicha in a traditional way, just like other green teas. Add 8 grams or three teaspoons of Hojicha leaves in kyusu with a built-in strainer at the spout. Pour 250ml of 90-degrees temperature water over tea leaves in a circular motion. Let the leaves steep for only 30 seconds at first infusion. Pour the Hojicha in small cups evenly to the last drop and keep the leaves for the next infusion.
These roasted green tea leaves bring out different tastes and fragrances compared to other Japanese green tea types. Enjoy the smoky and roasted aroma and flavor of Hojicha. To get the natural sweetness when flavor deepens, let it cool down a bit.
For later infusions of the same Hojicha leaves, use the 90-degrees water and let the leaves steep for a longer time to get the rich flavor. You can have at least three infusions from the same leaves and enjoy with your company.
Make cold-brewed Hojicha at home with simple steps. Add 10 grams of Hojicha leaves in 1 liter of water. Refrigerate the mixture in a bottle or jug for about 6-8 hours. Enjoy the cold-brewed Hojicha and savor the delicate caramel-like and nutty taste of green tea. You can also make it on the spot if you do not want to wait that long. Simply brew Hojicha, pour it over ice cubes or let it chill for a few minutes in the fridge, and enjoy a refreshing drink in summer.
Benefits of Hojicha
Hojicha has a wide range of reasons in which it is beneficial for your health, just like other green tea types. It has many beneficial nutrients and minerals that make your body healthier and gives you refreshing energy.
- Hojicha is rich in antioxidants, which helps remove oxidants and radicals in your blood and keeps your body from harm. These antioxidants also work as anti-aging agents and slow down cell aging and thus keeping you youthful.
- Tea has stress-relieving property due to L-Theanine present in the leaves. This nutrient gives the tea umami flavor and reduces mental stress by calming your nerves and muscles.
- The steam by brewing Hojicha can also be inhaled to relax your mind, and the process is known as aromatherapy.
- It helps control your cholesterol level in blood with the help of catechins in the leaves. Also, it prevents blood clotting and saves you from many cardiovascular diseases.
- Due to the minimal caffeine level compared to other green tea types and roasted aroma, it is often drunk as a substitute for coffee. It gives you energy for a whole day without any jitteriness.
Here are examples of roasted tea we carry:
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