Both our Matcha and Hojicha powder are ground from whole Japanese green tea leaves and subsequently share many health benefits. They also share the same method of preparation and are delicious as either traditional teas or lattes. But, the similarities pretty much end there. Matcha and Hojicha both have their own unique color, flavor, aroma, and special place in our hearts.
Read on to learn more about hojicha and the key ways that it differs from matcha!
HOW THEY'RE MADE:
Hojicha and matcha are both traditionally made from steamed (to prevent oxidation and fermentation), then dried green tea leaves. Matcha is created by stone-grinding flat dried leaves into a fine green powder. Hojicha is created by first slowly roasting lightly rolled dried tea leaves, stems, and twigs before it’s made into either loose tea or a fine powder.
Unlike traditional green teas, the color of Hojicha is a warm reddish-brown – a result of being roasted over charcoal – and is unmistakably distinguishable from the vibrant green hue of matcha (especially ceremonial grade).
The taste and aroma of hojicha and matcha are extremely different. Matcha boasts a signature layered flavor: mellow grassiness, natural sweet nuttiness, plus a hint of bitterness and a touch of savouriness (umami). Hojicha offers a rich, earthy flavor and scent from the roasting process with slightly sweet, nutty, and chocolatey tones - similar to coffee but without the bitterness (and caffeine, see next section!).
Another significant point of distinction between matcha and hojicha is their caffeine content.
Matcha is an excellent alternative for coffee, with approximately 70mg of caffeine per cup (about half the amount of coffee) and since it contains L-Theanine, it offers a cleaner, smoother source of energy. So, you can drink it as a morning or mid-afternoon pick-me-up without any jitters or crashes.
Hojicha has an even lower caffeine content (only 7.7mg) mainly because roasting changes the chemical composition of tea. plus it’s made with more mature tea leaves (with less caffeine) harvested later in the season. Hojicha is an ideal substitute for coffee for those looking for a warm earthy beverage, with very minimal caffeine. It can be enjoyed any time of the day - even in the evening as it won’t keep you up at night.
Matcha is exceptionally versatile, lending itself well to creating various types of lattes, smoothies, baked goods, and cooking. In larger quantities, it’s best consumed before late afternoon due to its moderate caffeine content. On the other hand, Hojicha, with very minimal caffeine, can be enjoyed late into the evening without the worry of being kept up late at night. Hojicha is most commonly drank as a traditional tea or latte, but it can also be used as an ingredient in baking and cooking, similarly to coffee, but the options are quite more limited than matcha.
Have you tried Hojicha yet? We’d love to hear your thoughts and see your favorite ways and recipes to enjoy Hojicha. Follow us @jadeleafmatcha on Instagram and/or @jadeleaf.matcha on TikTok and tag us in your creations!