Why Hōjicha May Be Your New Favorite Green Tea
If you’re looking to broaden your organic green tea horizons this fall, hōjicha may be just the tea for you. Also commonly spelled as houjicha or hojicha, Hōjicha has a nutty, slightly sweet flavor, a toasty aroma, and a warm, reddish-gold colored liquor. It’s a smooth, mellow alternative to Matcha and other strong teas, with an array of appealing health benefits. Enjoyed throughout the seasons, Hōjicha is the perfect tea for a crisp fall day and also makes for *excellent* mizudashi (cold brew) for a hot summer.
Less Caffeine, Less Bitterness
Compared to Matcha and the other green teas Mizuba sources, hōjicha—also spelled Houjicha—has a low caffeine content and little to no bitterness. While matcha has about 3.2 grams of caffeine for every 100 grams, hōjicha’s is only .13 grams per 100g.
And while Matcha’s bolder flavor profile is part of its charm, hōjicha’s rounded, roasty sweetness is a pleasant change of pace. If you’d like to reduce your caffeine intake, or are just looking for a gentle, soothing tea to drink throughout the day or before bed, hōjicha is a perfect choice.
How is hōjicha made?
How does hōjicha get its distinctive—let’s say cozy—flavor, aroma, and appearance? It’s roasted, not unlike chestnuts over an open fire. All teas are exposed to some heat at some point, whether steamed or roasted, but hōjicha’s is finished by roasting bancha leaves over hot coals in porcelain pots a second time, giving them their reddish-gold color, and toasted, caramel-y flavor. It’s also what reduces the caffeine content and astringency. Commercially, hōjicha is roasted in specialized roasting machines or ovens.
Where does hōjicha come from?
Compared to Matcha, which has been brewed for nearly a thousand years, hōjicha is a young style of tea. Around 1920, a tea merchant in Kyoto accidentally discovered the process when he decided to roast a batch of unsaleable sencha leaves, creating a distinctly gentle tea. And thus, happily hōjicha was born!
What are the benefits of hōjicha?:
Hōjicha contains L-Theanine, an amino acid known to promote relaxation and calm. The tea's catechins can aid the metabolism. While Hōjicha can certainly reduce stress, boost the immune system, and aid with metabolism –– overall the tea is just a delicious joy to drink. Not bad for an accidental discovery!
Does Mizuba source quality hōjicha?
Of course! Mizuba offers three delightful organic hōjicha varieties: a powdered hōjicha, which, like Matcha, can be prepared in a number of ways; a supremely elegant Chamomile Hōjicha blend, and a loose-leaf Kyo-Bancha. Try all three individually, or as part of Mizuba’s Organic Latte and Baking Bundle.
As seasons change, our tastes often change with them. With fall just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to enjoy this special, soothing tea.
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