Hojicha - the history of the 'poor man's tea'

Hojicha - the history of the 'poor man's tea'

Hojicha tea is a unique Japanese green tea with a rich history and distinct flavor profile. Let's delve into the origins of this tea, its flavor notes, and the best brewing methods to enjoy its full potential.

History of Hojicha Tea

Hojicha tea originated in Kyoto, Japan in the 1920s. It was created as a way for farmers to utilize, salvage and elevate leftover tea leaves that were otherwise deemed unsalable, by roasting them at high temperatures. This roasting process gives Hojicha its signature reddish-brown color and toasty aroma.

Since it is made of the larger twigs and stems and not the best parts of the plant, it naturally contains lesser caffeine and polyphenols than higher quality leaves. The roasting process further reduces caffeine content. This doesn't have to be a bad thing though, as the low polyphenol and caffeine contents make this tea very easy to consume even in copious amounts. 

Flavor Notes of Hojicha Tea

Unlike other green teas, Hojicha has a unique flavor profile due to the roasting process. It has a nutty, caramel-like taste with a whiff of roastiness. The roasting also reduces the caffeine content, making it a great option for those looking for a post-dinner, negligible-caffeine tea.

Brewing Methods for Hojicha Tea

To brew the perfect cup of Hojicha tea, start by using high-quality loose leaf tea. Boil water to between 85-95 degrees Celsius and steep the tea for a duration of time dependent on the leaf to water ratio. Less tea, more water = longer steep. More tea, less water = shorter steep. 

Lower temperatures and shorter steeping time help bring out the toasty notes without letting the infusion become bitter.

To brew Hocjicha, you can use a Hario Teapot with removable infuser. Since it is made of glass, it can be used for a variety of teas as it won't absorb and retain the aroma of any teas. 

For a thicker flavor, you can also try cold brewing Hojicha tea. Simply add the tea leaves to cold water and let it steep in the refrigerator for a few hours. The result is a refreshing and flavorful cold brew. We recommend around 10 grams of Hojicha per 750mls of water, cold brewed for 6-72 hours. The Hario Cold Brew bottle is perfect for this. 

Whether you're a tea connoisseur or new to the world of Japanese teas, Hojicha offers a unique and delicious experience. Its rich history, distinct flavor notes, and versatile brewing methods make it a must-try for any tea lover.

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