Hojicha vs Genmaicha: Which one is your cup of tea?

Do you want to know all the secrets, differences and similarities between Hojicha vs genmaicha? Then this article will surely be your cup of tea! Our team of Japanese Green Tea experts prepared a detailed report to help our community see what is truth and what is myth.

In this essay, we are going to cover the fundamentals of genmaicha and hojicha, their flavor profile differences, their benefits, when to drink them and last but not least, where to shop these lovely Japanese teas. 

Let’s get started! 🍚🍵🇯🇵


The fundamentals of Hojicha vs Genmaicha

Before we talk about the difference between hojicha and genmaicha, let’s first define each of these teas. 


roasted hojicha tea

Hojicha is a special type of roasted tea from Japan. This tea is typically made from the older leaves of the tea plant, and they are steamed rolled and dried, as if the farmer were producing bancha.

Then the tea is roasted in either a hot pan or a roasting machine. During this roasting process, the tea loses its more vegetal or grassy notes, and picks up these warmer notes of caramel, coffee and chocolate.

If you’re interested in learning more about what hojicha is and how its made, you can read all about it in our guide on 👉 Everything You Need to Know about Hojicha


genmaicha japanese green tea

The difference between hojicha vs genmaicha is that Genmaicha is not a roasted tea. It’s made from a mixture of unroasted tea leaves and toasted rice. The addition of the toasted rice is why we include genmaicha in our roasted teas section.

One of the similarities between genmaicha vs hojicha is that genmaicha is also made from the older leaves of the tea plant. These leaves are lower in caffeine, and the caffeine content is once again lowered through the addition of the roasted rice.

If you’re interested in learning more about genmaicha, you can read the 👉Essential Genmaicha Guide by Tea Experts


Flavor profile

hojicha vs genmaicha tea in a cup

One major difference between hojicha and genmaicha is the flavor. Although these teas tend to play off of these warmer caramel notes, hojicha is much more intense because the leaves are fully roasted.

Both hojicha and genmaicha can have these caramel flavors, but hojicha drifts more into the coffee and chocolate direction, while genmaicha has more of this cereal taste. Both of these flavors can be quite warming and comforting, particularly on a cold afternoon.

Both of these teas tend to drift into the direction of coffee, which is why we included them in our "Teas that Taste Like Coffee" list. To find more of these teas, you can learn about it in our article 👉 Tea That Tastes Like Coffee



hojicha vs genmaicha

Now let’s talk about the hojicha vs genmaicha benefits.

Both of these teas are made from older leaves, which come with their own benefits. Although these teas made from older leaves are lower in nutrients compared to younger leaf teas like sencha, gyokuro and matcha, they are higher in minerals. This makes them great for digestion or drinking after a meal.

One difference between hojicha and genmaicha is the caffeine content. While the older leaves makes the caffeine content relatively low, genmaicha has the addition of the toasted rice. Because rice doesn’t contain caffeine, it brings the average down.

In total, hojicha has 9 benefits. Do you know all of them? Read the answer in our article on 👉 Hojicha Benefits


What’s the best tea for night time, genmaicha or hojicha?

When it comes to night time genmaicha or hojicha, there are many benefits! Both of these teas have low caffeine contents and these warming flavors.

If you really care more about the flavor, hojicha has more strength and more of these chocolaty flavors. If your concern is more with the caffeine content of the teas, you should go for genmaicha, as this will be slightly lower in caffeine. 


Where should you start with Hojicha vs Genmaicha?

Organically grown Genmaicha

We have a great genmaicha from Hagiricha in Shizuoka! It's called Genmaicha Hagiricha.

This tea is produced by a group of farmers that are committed to growing tea without the use of pesticides or chemicals.

This tea is full of that caramel or cereal flavor people really love, and it is becoming one of our more popular teas.

It’s also available at a very low price, making it the perfect tea for beginners.


Traditional Japanese Hojicha Tea

If you are sensitive to caffeine or you just simply prefer this warming and soothing hojicha flavor, we recommend that you try out one of our hojicha teas!

After traveling around Japan for the past few years, we have met with dozens of farmers and sampled many different types of roasted tea. We ultimately decided on a small handful of our favorites to share with tea lovers like you all around the world. 

So what hojicha do we recommend? The Hojicha Noike. We have a great lightly roasted hojicha from Mr. Noike in Kyoto that is well liked by the Nio Teas community. Because this tea is grown in the middle of a pine forest, it is partially shaded throughout the day and it takes on a smoother and sweeter flavor.

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