First developed in Kyoto 100 years ago Hojicha is, by tea standards, a relatively new tea. As Japans tea exports grew, machines were increasingly used for harvesting. While this was much faster, it created larger amounts of debris in the form of twigs and leaves. In the 1920s one farmer decided to do something about this. Prevention of waste is important in Japanese culture so he collected the unwanted leaves, stems and twigs and roasted them. The experiment was very successful! Once people tried the mellow, smoky taste of Hojicha they never looked back. It also proved a useful way of enticing customers to your tea house as the woody, nutty scent is hard to resist.
How is Hojicha processed?
Most Hojicha’s are made from leaves known as Bancha, which are lower quality tea leaves from the autumnal and winter harvests. However, AVANTCHA’s Organic Japanese Hojicha uses spring leaves, resulting in a fresher infusion. The colour, aroma and taste makes Organic Japanese Hojicha unique.
Instead of the vegetative taste and smell of most Japanese green teas, Hojicha has a chocolatey, nutty flavour. This is due to the leaves being roasted over charcoal after they have been steamed. Roasting removes the catechins from the tea, which create astringency.
This is the dry sensation in your mouth and can be mistaken for bitterness. The result is a beautifully smooth infusion that can be enjoyed throughout the day. Roasting the leaves also reduces the caffeine content. This, combined with the nutty flavour, makes Hojicha a good alternative to coffee.
Organic Japanese Hojicha is perfect on its own but the unique flavour also lends itself well to other ingredients. Delicious as an accompaniment to both sweet and savoury dishes, we find that Hojicha is particularly suited to rice and fish.
How to make Hojicha latte?
Alternatively, substitute your morning coffee for a creamy cup of Hojicha! Have a look below at our recipe for the popular ‘Hojicha Latte’.
(For 1 cup)
– Brew 2 tbsp Organic Japanese Hojicha with around 50ml of hot water (80 degrees) for 2-3 minutes.
– While the leaves are brewing heat up a milk of your choice. Froth the milk once warm
– Strain the leaves from the Hojicha infusion. Pour into the cup of your choice and pour the milk on top.
– Sprinkle with cinnamon to taste