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Do you know what kind of ingredients Hojicha contains?

Hojicha is created by heating green tea leaves and stems, and the ingredients are changed through this process.

How do that brown color, roasted aroma and the unique taste stand out with astringency and bitterness are created?

Let’s see what’s contained in your cup of Hojicha!

The Ingredients of Black Tea

The most unique feature of Hojicha is roasting. By roasting, the aroma is added, and also the taste become clear and smooth.

Of course, the ingredients also changed before and after processing.



Maybe, some of you have heard that Hojicha doesn’t contain caffeine. However, it’s not true.

Caffeine sublimates with high temperature, but its sublimation point is 178℃. During the process of Hojicha, it is heated to around 200℃, so some of Hojicha is heated to below the sublimation point. That’s why caffeine remains in Hojicha, in that case the same amount of caffeine as black tea and green tea remains as well.


Catechin is a one of polyphenols and also called as tannin. It is a typical ingredients of tea, the astringency taste is coming from catechin.

Because catechin doesn’t break by heating, Hojicha has almost same amount of catechin as green tea. 


Hojicha has an unique brown water color, it is caused by melanoidin.

This ingredients don’t exist in fresh leaves and other tea, but exist in Hojicha because this ingredients are created by maillard reaction, which is the chemical reaction with amino acids and sugars by heating.


Saponin is also an ingredients that consist the bitterness of the tea, but the amount is quite small. Because saponin has a property as a surfactant, it causes tea to foam.

The amount is too small to expect the saponin’s effect, but it is a constitution of bitter taste of Hojicha.

Amino acid

Amino acids are the ingredients that consist umami of the tea.

There are some kinds such as theanine, glutamic acid, aspartic acid, arginine, serine etc… in particular, theanine occupies about 50% of total amino acid, and is typical ingredients of tea.

In case of Hojicha, the total amount of amino acid is smaller than green tea because amino acids turn into melanoidin by maillard reaction. In addition to this, 2nd or 3rd flush tea leaves are usually used for Hojicha, therefore the initial amount of amino acids is smaller than green tea.

Pyrazine(Aroma Component)

Roasted aroma is one of the most unique features of Hojicha, and it is caused by pyrazine.

This is also an ingredient created by maillard reaction, and is also exist on other roasted food.

Pyrazine mostly consist of the roasted aroma of Hojicha.


Fresh tea leaves contain a lot of vitaminA,C,E,B and so on. However, they are oxidized and changed to other ingredients during the heating process of tea leaves, almost no vitamins remain in Hojicha leaves.


Chlorophyll is contained in fresh tea leaves, and also Hojicha leaves because it doesn’t destroyed by heating. However, chlorophyll is fat-soluble ingredient, only little chlorophyll extract in the tea.  

Many ingredients are contained in Hojicha

Like this, the taste, aroma and color is consisted from many ingredients. In particular, Hojicha ingredients are very unique since the process of heating, and the health benefit is also different with other types of tea.

If you want to know about the health benefits of Hojicha, let’s check this article.


January 09, 2023