Picture brown wedge-shaped needles-like leaves that, when steeped in hot water, reveal a reddish-brown green tea, unlike the green Matcha tea, pale yellow Genmaicha, or the vibrant green Sencha tea. The attractive color, complemented with a niche earthy scent of the Hojicha tea, creates the most enjoyable and palatable experience.
Besides Hojicha tea's ability to aid digestion, soothe your stomach, and antioxidants, does something set it apart from the other revered Japanese green teas? Yes, there is.
What is it? Find out in this blog as we explore what makes Hojicha special!
What is Hojicha Tea?
Hojicha tea is deeply rooted in Japanese culture and is much loved for its distinctive taste profiles. However, its unique identity stems from a meticulous roasting process, a departure from the traditional methods employed for most green teas. As a result, it may be called 'Roasted Green Tea.'
In its journey from the tea plantations to your favorite cup, this Japanese roasted green tea undergoes a strict process. Its crafting begins with leaves sourced from the Camellia sinensis plant, much like other green teas.
It is made from the Bancha tea leaves, which means it is harvested later in the year when the leaves are larger and mature. However, it may sometimes be harvested from Kukicha twigs or Sencha leaves.
From here on, it takes a different path. The Hojicha tea leaves are roasted at 150°C (302°F) in a porcelain pot over charcoal. And the result? A Japanese tea with a comforting, nutty, and caramel-like aroma.
Unlike the grassy notes of other green teas, Hojicha has a warm and toasty essence. The roasting process also alters its caffeine levels. As a result, Hojicha tea has lower levels of caffeine, making it a suitable choice for those looking to enjoy tea without the jitters.
Nutritional Profile of Hojicha Green Tea
Hojicha tea is definitely more than just a tasty drink. The roasted green tea is packed with health-boosting goodness.
For starters, it stands out as an antioxidant-rich drink, thanks to the presence of catechins and flavonoids. Furthermore, it brings many vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that contribute to its wellness-promoting qualities, surpassing some other Japanese green teas.
Health Benefits of Hojicha Tea
As pointed out before, Hojicha tea has many benefits for your well-being. Here's a quick rundown of the same!
Gentle on Digestion
Hojicha tea is one of those Japanese green teas that aid your digestion to make it better. It soothes your stomach and promotes a healthy digestive system by reducing gut inflammation. Furthermore, the presence of L-theanine in the tea helps increase your metabolism.
Fights Free Radicals
Your body tends to produce free radicals during metabolism naturally. However, free radicals can also come from the environment. For instance, pollution, cigarette smoke, and UV radiation.
When in excess, these free radicals result in oxidative stress in the body. As a result, there may be:
- Cellular damage
- Premature aging
- Weakened immune system.
There may also be inflammation and an increased risk of disease. Given its antioxidants, Hojicha tea acts like a shield against these free radicals.
Supports Weight Management
As said before, Hojicha tea has a special amino acid called L-theanine that increases metabolism. As a result, it supports healthy weight management.
Hojicha and Stress Reduction
L-theanine is believed to help ease anxiety, stress, and insomnia. It elevates the levels of specific neurotransmitters like:
- GABA - Promotes relaxation and reduces anxiety
- Serotonin - Regulates mood, digestion, and sleep
- Dopamine - Plays an important role in motivation, reward, and pleasant emotions
As a result, it has a unique way of promoting relaxation without causing drowsiness, making it an ideal ally in managing stress and helping you sleep better. It also helps you enter a deep state of sleep by increasing your brain's alpha waves. Finally, it may improve focus and immunity.
How to Prepare Hojicha Tea?
The key to brewing a perfect cup is to maintain the temperature and steep time. Here's a quick overview of how to prepare the perfect cup of hot Hojicha tea:
- Start by heating fresh water in a kettle or pot. The water temperature should ideally be around 90-95°C (194-205°F). For Hojicha, using water that's too hot can result in a bitter taste.
- Measure 1-2 teaspoons of loose Hojicha tea leaves per cup. You may want to adjust it to your taste. However, if you use tea bags, one bag is enough for a cup.
- Steeping Process:
- Place the Hojicha leaves or tea bag into a teapot or a cup and pour the hot water.
- Let it steep for about 1-2 minutes for a mild flavor. If you prefer a stronger taste, 3-5 minutes should be enough.
- Strain the tea into cups and enjoy your freshly brewed hot Hojicha!
Here's something you would love to know. You can also brew Hojicha as a cold beverage.
- Take 4-6 teaspoons of loose Hojicha tea leaves and put them into a pitcher or glass jar.
- Next, pour 4 cups of room temperature or cold water over the Hojicha leaves in the pitcher.
- Now, gently stir the mixture and place it in the refrigerator for 4-6 hours. If you prefer a stronger brew, keep it overnight.
- Strain the tea leaves and pour some for yourself in the glass. Add some ice cubes to it, and there it is – Cold Hojicha Tea!
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What does Hojicha tea taste like?
Hojicha tea’s roasting process gives it a warm, soothing, and nutty taste with subtle roasted notes. It has a mellow taste with a comforting aroma, unlike the grassy flavors of many green teas.
2. Where to buy Hojicha tea?
ILEM JAPAN’s Hojicha tea is sourced from Kagoshima Prefecture. We cultivate it under a single cover with 80% sunlight blockage. This unique shading technique enhances the tea's flavors and minimizes astringency, ensuring a smoother and more refined taste. Buy it here.
3. What are some of Hojicha tea's benefits?
Hojicha tea contains antioxidants like catechins and flavonoids that help fight oxidative stress. Additionally, it contains L-theanine, which promotes relaxation and calmness. Finally, its gentle nature soothes the stomach.
Hojicha Tea - Japanese Roasted Green Tea
Hojicha tea is a way to lead a balanced life. From its rich antioxidant content that fights oxidative stress to its gentle nature aiding digestion, it's a partner towards holistic health.
And the best part? You can include it in your routine as a morning ritual to kickstart your day or an evening wind-down beverage. Its versatility allows for various serving options, ensuring you can enjoy it hot or cold, alone or paired with your favorite snacks or meals.
So why wait? Make it a part of your daily life with ILEM JAPAN!