Of the many Japanese teas, matcha is currently the one booming globally, but keep an eye out for the next amazing tea picking up popularity - hojicha. Today, the finely powdered, high quality green tea is creating curiosity and awareness of different types of Japanese teas, such as hojicha. In Japan, tea lovers have been enjoying hojicha for nearly a century. Although not nearly as popular, following matcha's rise to becoming a worldwide sensation, many have been predicting that hojicha is next in line to break through as Japan's next big tea.
History of Japanese Green Tea
Green tea is the most popular tea in Japan, but there are many different forms of green tea that come from variation in growing techniques, quality selection processes, harvesting times and so on. Depending on the process, to name just a few, green tea can come in the form of:
- sencha - by far the most popular, this green tea can be classified as common grade green tea that is steeped into water
- gyokuro - similarly to matcha, gyokuro leaves come from shade grown green tea leaves that are more nutrient dense than sencha
- matcha - a form of high quality green tea leaves that are hand selected and stone ground into a fine powder
The Creation Of Hojicha Green Tea, Which Is Actually Brown In Colour
When selecting the many different types of tea leaves, there are leftover stems, twigs and leaves which would be wasteful to discard. In the early 1900's, as tea culture became increasingly popular, the Japanese began to make good use of the byproduct by slowly roasting the dried tea leaves, stems and twigs into a brown loose leaf tea. Similarly to matcha, hojicha can be ground into a fine brown powder.
As for taste, hojicha is actually preferred by many Japanese people to the popular matcha. Through the roasting process, hojicha picks up a smooth, earthy/smoky taste that is lightly sweet and less bitter than matcha can be. For this reason, hojicha is often the tea of choice alongside a nice dessert, to complement the sweet taste. Hojicha still has the nutritional value and benefits of green tea, while containing very minimal caffeine, as it is lost through the roasting process. Many drink this tea as a delicacy or as a relaxing beverage for these reasons. In North America, we are starting to see Hojicha featured in bubble tea shops, baking recipes and in lattes.
Plantera is excited to include hojicha in our products by bringing you our all-in-one premium hojicha instant latte, made with strictly natural ingredients. Check out our product page for more information!