Hojicha is a green tea that is roasted. The tea leaf itself is the same as the normal green tea (sencha), the only difference is the processing (roasting). The roasting process changes its taste, scent, and the nutrient composition creating it to be a whole different type of tea, the Hojicha.
Japanese green tea go through a process of steaming, rolling, and drying. As for Hojicha after the drying, it gets roasted in a gas burner. This is when all the extra moisture in the tea leaf gets taken out. During this process, catechin (EGCGs) and caffeine goes out from the tea leaf along with the moisture. That is the reason why Hojicha is said to have low caffeine.
High skill of roasting is necessary in order to make good tasting Hojicha. If you roast it too much it will smell and taste like a burnt tea leaves, you will need years of practice in order to make well roasted green tea (Hojicha). Our artisan in Shizuoka is said to be one of the top skilled tea roasters in Japan.
Hojicha is one of the simpliest Japanese tea to brew. Use one tea spoon of Hojicha for half a cup of serving. You do not have to worry about the water temperature, just pour in boiled hot water and wait for 30 seconds and you will be done. That’s it!
In Japan, Hojicha is served in high grade Japanese restaurants. Hojicha is used because it perfectly matches with dishes and meals. The taste of Hojicha will not get in the way of the meal and it also clears your throat when you have something that is oily/highly seasoned/strong taste meal. Hojicha is a great tea to have it with a meal.
Since Hojjicha is used in drinking with meals and due to its clear refreshing taste it is drank in a rather large tea cup compared to normal green teas. Also the cost is lower compared to normal green tea so it is drank in larger amounts than green tea sencha. For that reason, large tea pots are used to brew Hojicha. On the other hand, high end sencha uses small tea pots. These are some of the tea pots that we provide that will match with the Hojicha tea.
Also I tried hojicha with potato chips, it matched very well. This tea is highly recommended taken with a meal/snack.
Hope you enjoyed and would give it a chance to try the Hojicha teas.