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With its fragrant aroma and nutty, toasty flavor, hojicha roasted green tea (also known as houjicha) is a popular tea with plenty of health benefits. In Japan, hojicha’s popularity stems from the fact that this roasted green tea is soothing and low in caffeine. Although it has a distinct and uniquely enjoyable taste, it is hojicha’s health benefits that make this green tea a staple in many homes.
While other traditional Japanese sencha green teas are only steamed after being harvested, hojicha green tea leaves go through an additional step during which they are roasted at high temperatures. All green teas go through the steaming process to prevent the leaves from oxidizing. This ensures that the tea leaves retain their natural green color, scent, and nutrients, a key process for producing sencha green tea. The additional roasting of the leaves creates the warm, brown shade and toasty aroma of hojicha roasted green tea.
The roasting process does not affect the tea’s health benefits but instead burns away bitterness and caffeine. Roasted green tea is wonderful to drink after meals or in the evening. Hojicha is also a favorite of children and the elderly, who tend to be sensitive to caffeine.
Like many other green teas like genmaicha, hojicha provides a sense of relaxation, aiding in both physical and mental health. While the warmth and savory aroma is calming, it’s the presence of L-Theanine that contributes to hojicha’s relaxing effects. L-Theanine is an amino acid present in green tea that can ease symptoms of stress, depression, and anxiety.
Vitamin C contained within hojicha roasted green tea works to lighten dark spots on the skin that are caused by acne scars and also to undo skin damage. Vitamin C can also lighten the dark spots caused by age, as well as prevent wrinkles and restore the elasticity of the skin that is lost over time.
Japanese green tea is known to boost the immune system. The polyphenols that green tea contains have antiviral properties that assist in killing bacteria. Hojicha roasted green tea also contains vitamins (Vitamin A, C, and E) that are known to fight against the common cold, regulate the immune system, prevent scurvy, and even reverse the effects of a compromised immune system. Studies have also found that hojicha may lower the risk of cancer by blocking carcinogens and inhibiting cancer cell growth.
The benefits of hojicha roasted green tea are numerous thanks to the naturally occurring compounds found in the tea that keep the body happy and healthy —including your circulatory system. Similar to gyokuro, the catechins in green tea help regulate blood pressure and cholesterol. This lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases, strokes, and inflammation of major arteries. But that’s not all – green tea also contains Vitamin E, an important component, which aids in preventing blood clots.
Catechins found in hojicha roasted green tea boosts the body’s metabolism, which promotes weight loss and increases your body’s calorie use, leading to fat burn.
Hojicha roasted green tea is also an excellent tea for promoting good digestion. With more healthy fibers than other teas, hojicha can keep your colon healthy while reducing the body’s fat absorption.
Similar to Gyokuro shade-grown green tea, hojicha is also known to help improve oral health thanks to the polyphenols contained in its leaves. The antioxidant EGCG, present in all green teas, aids in preventing cavities and bad breath. The polyphenols in green tea reduce the occurrence of gingivitis and gum disease from developing.
The very same polyphenols that prevent inflammatory gum diseases can also aid those who suffer from the aches and pains of arthritis. Hojicha roasted green tea will not only decrease inflammation in the joints, but also prevent further damage to those joints.
With a wide range of health benefits, hojicha roasted green tea really should be a staple in everyone’s pantry. Whether you want to alleviate joint pain, fight a cold, or just enjoy its soothing, toasty, and delicious taste, hojicha is the perfect tea for anyone and everyone.
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