Hojicha vs Matcha Differences Explained by a Tea Expert

Do you want to know all the differences between Hojicha vs matcha? Then this article is made for you!

In this report, we are going to be looking at all the differences between matcha vs hojicha, the teas flavour profiles, their benefits and we’ll even let you know which tea we think will be right for you!

Without further ado, let’s get reading, learning and most important: brewing!


What are the differences between Hojicha vs Matcha?

hojicha and matcha

Before we get started, we're assuming that you know all the fundamentals about these teas.

If you don't, we highly recommend you to read our complete guides about Hojicha and ceremonial matcha (scroll down at the bottom of the collection page 😉)

Powder vs loose leaf

The most obvious difference between matcha and hojicha is that matcha is powdered and hojicha is in loose leaf form. This will lead to many differences which we will discuss later, but it’s important to keep in mind for now.

Unroasted vs roasted

Another difference between matcha vs hojicha is that hojicha is a roasted tea and matcha is unroasted. The roasting process brings out different flavors and it can change the tea colors. For this reason, matcha is a bright vibrant green color and hojicha is a light to dark brown. 

Youngest sprouts vs mature tea leaves

A final difference between matcha and hojicha is the fact that matcha is made from the youngest sprouts of the tea plant, whereas hojicha is usually made from older, more mature tea leaves.

When you dive more into the world of Japanese green tea, you will learn that how the tea is harvested can greatly affect what type of tea that is produced.

If you want to learn more about the tea harvest, you can read our complete guide on 👉 Tea Harvesting


Hojicha and Matcha Similarities

Camelia sinensis

The most obvious similarity between hojicha and matcha is that they are both types of teas. This means that they come from the same plant, camelia sinensis. All true tea must come from this tea plant, otherwise it is not considered to be a true tea.

Both of them are Japanese green tea

Furthermore, both hojicha and matcha are produced in Japan. These are Japanese teas with the name “hojicha” referring to roasted tea and the word “matcha” referring to ground tea.


Flavour profiles

hojicha vs matcha flavour profile

Probably the biggest difference between hojicha and matcha has to do with the taste.

The flavor of hojicha is really strong on these notes of caramel chocolate and coffee, which of course comes from the roasting process.

The flavors of matcha could not be more different, with more of these steamed vegetable flavors along with a milky finish and a thicker mouthfeel.


Health Benefits of Hojicha vs Matcha

Now let’s talk a little bit about hojicha vs matcha health benefits. There are numerous hojicha benefits, but matcha is the real nutrient powerhouse.

Consuming matcha leaves gives you more energy

Does matcha gives you energy? Yes. Most of this is due to the fact that when you grind up the tea leaf and mix it directly into water, you are consuming all of it. When you infuse leaf teas on the other hand, you are just getting a small piece of the water soluble compounds.

Matcha has a higher level of theanine

Matcha also is shaded for a long time, giving it more theanine, and it is made from younger tea leaves, which tend to be higher in nutrients.

Are you interested in learning the complete matcha production process? This article should be your cup of tea (or maybe you bowl of matcha) 👉 How is Matcha Made


Comparison of the Caffeine level of Hojicha vs Matcha

health benefits of hojicha and matcha

When you compare the hojicha caffeine vs matcha, you will find that hojicha comes up short.

This has to do with a number of different factors like the older leaves, lack of shading and roasting process.

Matcha has 68mg of caffeine per cup (if you use 2 grams of powder) and hojicha can have as little as 10mg of caffeine per cup

If you’re interested in a complete ranking of caffeine in tea, you can check out this list of the 👉 8 Lowest Caffeine Tea


Does roasted Matcha exist?

In theory, if you were to compare roasted matcha vs hojicha, the flavors would be very different, but you will never find such a thing.

So much work goes into producing matcha when it comes to the shading, the harvesting, removing the stems and the grinding, and all of this is to produce this smooth, vegetal and naturally sweet taste.

To roast this tea would be to undo a lot of hard work, and that why if you want to make a hojicha latte, you should simply use hojicha powder.

How to prepare a foamy Hojicha Latte or Matcha Latte?

Do you want to learn all the secret to prepare the most tasty hojicha latte and matcha latte? We got you covered! Our team of Japanese green tea experts wrote detailed step by step recipes for these two drinks. Make sure to read:

👉 Make a Perfect Hojicha Latte with our Ultimate Recipe
👉 The Ultimate Matcha Latte Recipe


So Which to Choose, Matcha or Hojicha?


If you are sensitive to caffeine and you prefer these more warming and soothing flavors, we would recommend you go for the hojicha tea!

We have a great lightly roasted Hojicha from Mr. Noike in Kyoto that is extremely popular!

Because this tea is grown in the middle of a forest, it is partially shaded throughout the day and therefore it develops a natural sweetness. 



If you are interested in these more grassy or vegetal flavors, and you want a tea that can really wake you up in the morning, we recommend you go for the matcha.

The best matcha for beginners is also from Mr. Noike! You can also try out both of these teas and let us know which you like better.

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