Don’t tell me that you haven’t heard that hojicha is the next big thing. If you haven’t heard about it before, you heard it here first. Compared to its cool sister matcha, hojicha isn’t getting the much-needed attention that it deserves. Which is why we’ll be shedding light on this up and coming tea.
What is Hojicha?
In short, hojicha is a roasted green tea. It is produced by roasting bancha, a type of green tea which is plucked in the autumn after the tea leaves have matured. Unlike regular green tea, hojicha comes in brown as a result of the charcoal roast. The roasting process of hojicha decreases the amount of caffeine which is why many families opt to drink a cup after dinner.
For coffee lovers that can never let go of their love for java, this just may be the perfect alternative for you. As hojicha is roasted, you can enjoy a nutty flavor with a delicate roasted aroma that is similar to coffee than any other tea. Still skeptical? Take a sniff of some fresh, roasted hojicha and you’ll understand what I’m talking about. I’m not telling you to ditch your coffee, but the next time you want a pick-me-up after 5 pm why not turn to hojicha?
The Health Benefits
I’m sure by no>tly the same for this roasted green tea. Just like matcha, hojicha is packed with antioxidants. What does that mean!? It means its great for anti-aging and preventing your body from the risk of some types of cancer. Furthermore, hojicha can act as a great digestive. If you have chronic digestive issues or have an upset stomach, hojicha can be a great remedy to soothe your tummy.
Where to Enjoy Hojicha
Now that you’ve learned the health benefits of hojicha, here’s where you can get your hands on the city’s finest.
Nestled in the neighborhood of Nishi Waseda, Chacha kobo is a cafe that specializes in Japanese tea. At this swanky spot, you’ll find a wide selection of Japanese teas alongside desserts made out of matcha, hojicha and other traditional Japanese ingredients. Rest assured, Chacha kobo exclusively serves organic pesticide-free teas. If you’re unsure what to order, try their popular hojicha parfait. This parfait contains mostly of hojicha ice cream, red bean paste, sticky rice-cake balls with finishing touches of sweetened soybean powder sprinkled on top. Dig in and enjoy the intense flavor of hojicha spread in your mouth.
- Address : 2 Chome−21, Nishiwaseda, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo
- Tel : +81 3-3203-2033
- WebSite : http://chachakoubou.com/
2. Sakurai Japanese Tea Experience
Located in Aoyama, you can find Sakurai Japanese Tea Experience on the fifth floor of the spiral building. Describing this sleek place is no easy task. As the name suggests, it’s part tea house, part laboratory, but also gives the vibes of an upscale bar in a metropolis. A contemporary take on the traditional Japanese tea house, this quiet spot offers a wide range of top-notch Japanese tea and original blends in a minimalist setting. At Sakurai Japanese Tea Experience, you can enjoy freshly roasted hojicha embraced by exceptional professionalism. Come here for the hojicha and stay for the ambiance.
- Address : 5F Spiral, 5-6-23 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo
- Tel: +81-3-6451-1539
- Website: http://www.sakurai-tea.jp/
Don’t have time to head over to Nishi Waseda or Aoyama? Why not stop by your local Starbucks for your hojicha fix. Yup, Starbucks. With stores popping up in pretty much every corner of Tokyo. It’s not hard finding a Starbucks no matter where you are in the city. At Starbucks, you can get both a regular hojicha and a hojicha latte. Low in calorie and caffeine, I personally love ordering the latter when I’m over-caffeinated or feeling under the weather. The perfect substitute for a chai latte, this latte is mildly sweet, rich and hits all the right spots. Starting from May 30th, Starbucks is coming out with a limited edition frappuccino made out of Kaga bocha (a type of hojicha from Kaga). Kaga bocha differs from other hojicha as it’s produced from the stems instead of the tea leaves. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to try out this widely enjoyed type of hojicha.