Visit cafes, convenience stores, and gift shops throughout Japan and you’re likely to see hojicha, a unique green tea featured in everything from hojicha lattes to cookies. Hojicha is green tea that is roasted at a high heat to a toasty reddish-brown color, and its mild, slightly caramel flavor has been a hugely popular taste sensation since 2017.
A Quickly Growing Sensation
According to The Straits Times, both local and major international companies like Starbucks, Haagen-Dazs, and Seven-Eleven have developed hojicha-flavored RTD tea beverages and desserts for the Japanese market. Hojicha powder, a ground form of loose leaf hojicha, has seen a similar rise in popularity.
But why is there a sudden, growing interest in this traditional Japanese tea? The answer lies in its versatility – Hojicha tastes wonderful with milk or baked into desserts – and in its health benefits. Hojicha tea leaves are harvested later in the season and roasted at a high heat that reduces the natural caffeine content of the leaf. Japan’s Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology Ministry reports that Hojicha contains 20mg of caffeine per 100g of tea. That means that most hojicha beverages, like hojicha tea lattes, contain 0.02% caffeine – almost nothing!
In Japan, hojicha is known as “hospital tea.” According to New Tastes in Green Tea by Mutsuko Tokunaga, the low caffeine and tannin content of hojicha makes it easy on sensitive stomachs and has little to no risk of interacting with medications. Hojicha also has relatively high amounts of vitamin P which may strengthen blood vessels and aid healing in patients with high blood pressure.
Organic Hojicha Powder in North America
Alongside our premium bulk matcha offerings, Ikeda Tea World proudly produces a mild and nutty organic hojicha powder that is quickly becoming a customer favorite. For baristas unfamiliar with hojicha latte recipes, we’ve developed a simple yet delicious hojicha latte that you can serve hot or cold. Our hojicha tea latte recipe pairs this up-and-coming nutritional powerhouse with rich and creamy coconut milk, making it a vegan-friendly, gluten-free, low caffeine beverage option for your menu!
Vegan Coconut Milk Hojicha Latte Recipe
Makes 1 Serving