What is Houjicha




"Houji" in Houji-Cha means being roasted, especially after being dried.

A kind of tea unique to Japan that is made by roasting over a high flame at around 200 degrees centigrade of the various parts of tea bush like younger leaves(SEN-CHA), more grown leaves(BAN-CHA), or twigs and stalks(KUKI-CHA). It presents a plain smooth taste, and a particularly pleasant aroma. The tea, both processed leaves and brewed drink, shows peculiarly brown color, but is considered a sort of green tea because it is made of the leaves of Camellia sinensis (CHANOKI, or tea bush), just like oolong tea and black tea.

Various origins are discussed for the roasted tea, and there is one view that it was invented in Kyoto in 1920s in order to refresh the tea left unsold and getting stale. There is some high grade roasted tea made from select quality leaves, but often the tea does not use as high-quality leaves, and in general, it is ranked below YOKURO or SENCHA, almost on the same rank as BANCHA or GENMAI-CHA.

In Kyoto, however, drinking roasted tea has taken root well into daily life, and it is nothing rare to serve quality roasted tea on formal occasions. It is also possible to roast some aged green tea at home and turn it into home-made roasted tea.






ほうじ茶は煎茶や番茶、茎茶などの緑茶を強い火(200℃近く)で焙じて製造した日本独自のお茶で、さっぱりとした口当たりと、独特の香ばしさを有する。茶葉や水色の色合いは独特の茶褐色だが、材料に緑茶を使う事から緑茶の一種とされる(緑茶はウーロン茶や紅茶同様「チャノキ(茶の木、茶樹)学名:Camellia sinensis)」から作られる)。 ほうじ茶の製法が生まれた経緯は諸説あるが、その1つに1920年代京都で売れ残りの古い茶を再生させるために考案されたというものがある。上質な葉を選りすぐった高級品もあるが、材料にあまり高級な茶葉を使用しない場合が多く、一般に玉露や煎茶より下位、番茶や玄米茶などと同位に位置づけられる。しかしほうじ茶飲用の習慣が深く根付いている京都では、上質なほうじ茶が改まった席で供されることも珍しいことではない。家庭で古くなった緑茶を焙じて自家製ほうじ茶を作ることもできる。


Body effects of Houjicha


Principal ingredients of Houjicha and their virtues


Anticancer effect, antioxidant effect, antibacterial effect, antimutagen effect, body fat reduction, hypertension suppression, blood cholesterol reduction, blood sugar adjustment, anti-aging effect, prevention of dental caries, prevention of bad breath, etc.


AMINO ACIDS (Theanine, an amino acid peculiar to tea, amounts to more than 50% of them, and the rest includes glutamic acid, aspartic acid, arginine, serine, etc.) 

Relaxation effect, anti-stress effect, decrease of blood pressure, protection of neurons, improvement of sleep quality, alleviation of premenstrual syndrome, improvement of cognition and mood, etc.



VITAMINS (Vitamin C, B2, E, folate, beta-carotene, etc.)

Antioxidant effect, stress reduction, prevention of cold, anti-aging effect, collagen fibre formation, prevention of lifestyle related diseases, sustenance of visual acuity at night, etc.




Decrease of blood pressure, antibacterial and antiviral effect, etc.


MINERALS (Potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, etc.)

Bioregulation, decrease of blood pressure, prevention of osteoporosis, prevention of heart diseases, prevention of lifestyle related diseases, anti-stress effect, etc.



Prevention and treatment of anemia, regulatory effect of blood cholesterol, antibacterial effect, treatment of intestinal disorders, bioregulation, discharge of harmful metals, deodorant effect, etc.




Relaxation effect, improvement of blood circulation, etc.


























How to roast the tea tastily




 ・An earthen parching pan (a metal frying pan can substitute. )

 ・15g of your favorite green tea (approx. 3g per person.)

                       You can refresh and enjoy some stale tea by roasting, too.

 ・A heat-resistant dish etc. to lid the pan 

 ・A wet towel or napkin

 ・A gas ring









Heat the parching pan over a high flame for about half a minute.



Why don't you taste a pinch of the just roasted tea? It smells like parched rice snacks or roasted coffee.  You can make tasty roasted tea out of some black tea or oolong tea, too.



Turn the flame off, cool the pan on the wet towel or napkin for 2 seconds. (This is to lower the pan temperature to about 100 degrees centigrade and to keep it uniform in the interior.)





Place the pan on the gas ring, with the flame still shut. Put the tea in the pan.



Lid the pan with a heat-resistant dish, etc., and keep it for 2 and a half minutes.



Turn on a high flame, jiggle the pan so the tea rotates inside, to roast it uniformly.  Keep jiggling until the tea browns up to your favorite tone. (The photo shows the tea after roasting for about a minute. Tea leaves swell a little bit with heat.)



Remove the pan and cool it down on the wet towel.




How to brew tasty roasted tea


Preparation for 5 servings



・A tea pot

・5 tea cups; lidded ones are recommended.

・10g of roasted tea (2g or 1 tablespoonful per serving)

・250 ml of boiling water







Put the tea in the tea pot. The photo shows how you pour the just roasted tea through the tubed handle of an earthen parching pan.




Pour the boiling water directly into the pot from a sufficient height.  The hotter the water is, the roasted tea gives the better smell for which it stands.  Pouring from a height helps the tea ooze aroma and sweetness.



Put a lid on the pot and brew the tea for about 40 seconds. Do not swing the pot, or the tea will give astringent taste.  You can brew the tea repeatedly -- brew for about 20 seconds for the second time, about 1 minute for the third, 2 for the fourth, and 5 for the fifth.



Pour the tea into the teacups quietly, without dodging the pot too much. Pour a bit a time into one cup after another, moving to the next cup just like drawing a circle, and go a few rounds until the last drop.