We all know that green tea is packed with antioxidants, making it great for our health. Sometimes though being good for you doesn’t equal nice tasting. In the case of green tea, unless you are super careful with the way you brew it, then it becomes very bitter. I am one of those people that brews a cuppa, walks away and totally forgets it. By the time I come back it’s ruined.
Fear not, there is an alternative to the standard green teas sold in supermarkets: hojicha. Hojicha is my very favourite green tea. It is made from the leaves or twigs of the normal green tea varieties, but after picking is roasted in a clay pot to give it a nutty, smooth taste. It also lowers the caffeine, meaning it can be drunk all day long. I love to make a pot and drink the whole thing, cup after cup.
Hojicha is quite robust, and can stand up to 3 infusions from the same leaves, making it perfect for pots. The best brewing time is 2-3 minutes, but you can forget about it and return 10 minutes later and it will still be drinkable.
The antioxidant effects of this tea are lowered, as the catechins are partially reduced by the roasting process. It still contains approximately 60% though, leaving it on par with black tea overall. The EGCg and EGC levels are only slightly less compared to sencha though, so it will still give you fantastic health benefits. If you want to boost the absorption of the catechins, pop a slice of lemon in too.
I buy mine from T2. You will not find it at supermarkets, but it is worth searching local tea stores for.