Tea (Ocha – お茶), or more specifically, Japanese tea (Nihoncha – 日本茶), dates back over a millennium and was pioneered during the imperial Song dynasty (ruling from 960-1279).
Introduced from China, it has become a national treasure in Japan and can be found in various types and flavors, from a loose-leafed Sencha to the root-made Gobocha.
Japan’s most popular type of tea is organic green tea which people generally refer to when just using ‘Ocha’.
In This Post – We will highlight the uniqueness of this fascinating staple of the Japanese pantry and overview the benefits of its regular intake.
Table of Contents
A Cup of Cha (茶)
One Japanese tea which manifests a pungent, nutty scent, a rich light-golden color, and a toasty sweet taste, is the famous Hōjicha, made from the leaves of the Camellia Sinensis plant.
These include its:
- limited caffeination
- positive effect on swelling symptomatic of Arthritis
- metabolism-boosting effects
- oral health benefits
- cardiovascular advantages
- ability to relieve symptoms of stress
- benefits for the skin
- immunity-boosting side-effects
The roasting process doesn’t compromise the health benefits of the tea but effectively reduces bitterness and caffeine. This makes Hojicha an excellent choice for consumption after meals or in the evening. It’s also safe for babies, children, and pregnant women.
What Makes Hōjicha Different from Other Japanese Teas?
Originating in Kyoto over a century ago, Hōjicha is a Japanese green tea which is roasted using porcelain over charcoal, at a hundred and fifty degrees centigrade.
Preventing any oxidation from taking place, all teas are steamed but this tea goes through an additional process of high-temperature roasting – which is used to produce many after-dinner teas in Japanese culture.
Hōjicha can be purchased in both leaf and powdered forms, the latter being considered the easiest to use.
Both naturally sweet and low in caffeine, this versatile Ocha is a perfect beverage for any time of the day. As well as a rich aromatic flavor, it also carries a vast amount of health benefits.
What Are the Benefits of Consuming Hōjicha?
Hōjicha is one of many drinks that have numerous benefits for the human body.
Due to its soothing effects and its minimal levels of caffeine, it is very popular and can be found in many a Japanese kitchen (Daidokoro – 台所) because it is not only tasty, but it is an organic remedy for many minor ailments, aches, and pains.
Many people across the globe are addicted to this drug. From coffee lovers to cola drinkers, caffeine is now a global staple upon which many rely to get them started first thing in the morning.
Should you require something with minimal caffeine, however, then Hōjicha is a fantastic alternative. Holding fewer than 8mg per average serving, this is an astonishing 80% less than coffee.
This versatile beverage also has a soothing effect on swollen joints and the resulting pain of rheumatism. Some even claim that this is a good preventative against both swelling and pain.
This is because it contains beneficial ‘polyphenols’, a compound found in plants which can support the prevention of conditions, like: type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, as well as specific forms of cancer.
Trying to lose a little lockdown weight? This metabolism-boosting refreshment is thought to aid digestion and be very beneficial for the digestive tract.
As well as polyphenols, it additionally consists of catechin – a crystalline chemical compound which is a well-known antioxidant.
Boosting your metabolism, Hōjicha will increase calorie burning and aid weight loss along with a healthy balanced diet and regular exercise.
Thanks to the same compounds which aid in the reduction of swelling – along with the EGCG antioxidant – Gingivitis is another condition which Hōjicha can help to treat and even somewhat prevent.
It tackles gum disease, bad breath, reduces swelling of the gums, and even helps to prevent cavities in your pearly whites.
Blood pressure, circulation, and cholesterol can all be positively impacted by the regular intake of Hōjicha.
The benefits do not just end there…Vitamin E is also contained within this delicious delight which reduces the risks of blood clotting, artery inflammation, strokes, and other cardiovascular diseases.
Being less of a diarrhetic than your average tea or coffee, Hōjicha is also known to relieve symptoms of stress.
Not only is it infused with a relaxing scent, but this green tea also additionally holds an amount of L-Theanine, an amino acid that is linked with the treatment of mental health issues such as both Anxiety and Depression.
This soothing hot drink also helps with your mental health and well-being and should be a staple in the pantry of every home.
As well as Vitamin E, Hōjicha consists of both Vitamins A and C, as well.
So, if you want to prevent scurvy, kill bacteria, fight the common cold, or even just generally boost your own immunity then this could certainly be the green tea for you!
Ever suffered from Acne or age spots? Hōjicha also helps with the aftermath scarring effects of acne, as well as the darkened blemishes attributed to aging.
Vitamin C, with its many benefits, can also work towards the prevention of wrinkling because it rejuvenates the elasticity of the epidermal layers.
Where Can I Buy Hōjicha?
With all these incredible advantages to drinking Hōjicha, how could you not want to try it, if you haven’t already?
Widely available across the United States, loose leaf tins and powder packs can be quite expensive (over 20 dollars on Amazon, the latter being a little less) but you can try some sweet tea bags from as little as $5.00.
Amazon’s choice ‘Yamamotoyama’ comes in at just $5.95 for a box of 16 fresh, aluminum-wrapped, roasted tea bags to enjoy in the comfort of your own home.
Hojicha is known for its roasted and toasty flavor, which sets it apart from traditional green teas. It’s a versatile ingredient for a wide range of culinary applications, and its authenticity and quality make it a preferred choice for chefs and cafes.
Herbal remedies are vast, and the homeopathic market can be both very confusing and overwhelming.
Should you wish to venture into the world of natural remedies, or you simply want a small taste of Japanese culture, Hōjicha is a good place to start.
With a multitude of health benefits you should now know, coupled with a satisfyingly fragrant scent and a toasted, nutty flavor, Hōjicha is the green tea to beat.
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