Hojicha latte, Hojicha flavoured ice cream, Chiffon cake and even Kitkats in Japan are flavoured with Hojicha. I am so happy to see more and more Hojicha drinks and sweets outside of Japan. In this post, I am going to show you how to brew it the best possible way to enjoy this aromatic Japanese tea.
What is Hojicha
Hojicha is a green tea which is roasted at about 200 degrees Celsius (392 F)until its leaf colour alters to a reddish brown and becomes aromatic. Hojicha is a less astringent tasting tea because in the roasting process the amount of caffeine and tannin is reduced. Hojicha is a tea that you can enjoy its fragrance and smooth taste.
Relaxing effect of Hojicha
It was reported on NHK (a Japanese broadcasting company) that the ultimate benefit of Hojicha is the relaxation effect. The theanine in green tea has a relaxing effect. Although the theanine content in Hojicha is only about one hundredth of the amount, Hojicha has the same relaxation effect as when drinking green tea. The secret is not the component of the tea, but many different combination of Hojicha fragrance.
3 Essential Utensils to Brew Hojicha
There are many different types of teapots in terms of materials, size, shape, handle and sieve. Japanese tea brewing time differ according to different types of Japanese tea. It is important to choose the right teapot in order to brew delightful tea. For hojicha, earthen ware teapot is the best suited because of its heat retention.
Tea cups (yunomi chawan)
Same for cups too. Because brewing Hojicha requires above 95C(203F) hot water to be poured in and brewed for 20 – 30 seconds, earthen ware tea cups are the best to retain its heat. There are many types and usually taller cups are used for Hojicha.
Tea caddy (Chazutsu)
Tea leaves are susceptible to temperature, humidity, air, and light. So it is important to store in an air tight container. Tea caddies are called Chazutsu in Japanese and are typically made out of metal. I bought mine in Kyoto. They are metal with an inner lid to ensure air tightness and an outer lid. The outside is decorated with beautiful Japanese washi paper.
Tips to brew astoundingly delightful Hojicha
The key is in the temperature of the water and percolate time. In general, very hot (95 degree celsius, 203 F) water is used for brewing hojicha in order to enjoy its fragrance. Hojicha leaves have less Umami and astringent components. It will not extracted strongly even when brewed at high temperature. Pour hot water directly into the pot and leave for 20 to 30 seconds. Pour the tea into tea cups evenly. Do not pour to fill one cup at a time, rather pour a little amount to circulate the cups. Also tap out all the tea ensuring not water is left in the tea pot.
How to store Hojicha tea leaves
Japanese tea leaves are sensitive to humidity, oxygen, light and high temperature. If the package is not opened, you can store it in the fridge, but once the package is opened, it needs to be stored in a dark and cool place in an air tught container.
Cooking with Hojicha
Hojicha often used in cooking and baking to just like Matcha. I have shared Chiffon cake, Hojicha pudding, Hojicha latte, Hojicha muffin, possibility is endless.
Here is my instruction for brewing delightful Hojicha and If you liked it, please rate it and leave a comment below. Also, don’t forget to follow me on Youtube, Pinterest, Facebook , Twitter and Instagram to keep up to date with all the latest happenings on Chopstick Chronicles. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #ChopstickChronicles so I can see your wonderful creations!
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How to brew astoundingly delightful Hojicha with confidence
Place hojicha leaves in a tea pot.
Boil water and pour very hot water (over 90 degrees Celsius) into the teapot.
Place the teapot lid on and leave it for 20-30 seconds to let the tea leaves open.
Pour the tea into three tea cups. Pour a small amount at a time and circulate from cup to cup to ensure same consistency of tea in each cup.
Tap out all the tea to three cups.
The Hojicha I bought has roasted rice grain blended. You can get them from Japanese grocery stores or online Iyemon Cha.