Low-caffeine, Japanese style milk tea recipe
Learn how to make hojicha latte, a creamy and low-caffeine milk tea from Japan.
And the best part, with this recipe you’ll be able to prepare hōjicha latte without hojicha power: you can use pre-made hojicha tea bags or your self-roasted green tea .
Just beware: you might fall in LOVE with the comforting smell of this tea latte!
What is hojicha latte?
Hōjicha or houjicha is a Japanese green tea in which the tea leaves are roasted.
The roasting removes the bitterness of the tea, so hojicha has a naturally sweet taste and has a pleasant nutty, caramel-like and roasty flavor.
It also has a VERY soothing aroma.
Like matcha, you can enjoy hojicha the traditional way (steeped in water), but also with milk.
And the combination of hojicha with milk is SO good!
The sweetness of the milk matches so well with the roasted aroma of hojicha, that in Japan, you can find a lot of delicious creations that use this delicious combo, even from big international chains like Häagen Dazs or Starbucks.
But fortunately, you can also enjoy a comforting hojicha latte right here and now.
Frequently asked questions about hojicha
No, but the roasting process removes a big part of the tea leaf caffeine, so hojicha has a very low caffeine content.
A regular cup of hojicha contains around 8 mg, while a regular cup of coffee contains around 100 mg.
Nowadays you can find hojicha tea leaves, tea bags and hojicha powder in many tea stores. But you can also roast regular green tea at home.
Here you can see how to roast your own hojicha step by step; you won’t believe it’s so easy!
Also, roasting hojicha is a convenient way to finish that expired or “cheaper” green tea you have on the cabinet.
Roasted Japanese green tea tastes as good with dairy as with vegan milk alternatives.
My personal favorite milk types to make hojicha latte are whole milk, coconut milk, oat milk and almond milk (I used almond milk for some of the pictures on this post).
Hojicha is very mild, so it already tastes good without adding any sweeteners.
Anyway, if you prefer a sweeter tea time, you can add some brown sugar, maple syrup or honey to your hojicha latte.
My favorite sweetener for this recipe are date syrup and homemade vanilla infused honey.
Absolutely! Although we often expect that anything called “latte” comes with a nice foam at the top, in Japan, the expression “hojicha latte” just points out that the hojicha is served with milk.
That mean you don’t need any milk frother.
But of course, you can decorate your hojicha with steamed milk or even with whipped cream, for a truly decadent experience.
Hojicha latte has a lighter color than regular milk tea.
The pictures on this post look on the darker side because I wanted a strong hojicha, but hojicha tastes great and has a wonderful smell even when it has a very light color.
How to make a PERFECT hojicha latte
Hojicha latte is usually prepared on a pan, in a similar way as chai or Royal Milk Tea (the Japanese version of regular milk tea).
Warming the milk on a pan makes this drink creamy without needing any cream or half-half, so it tastes like a treat, while it’s actually quite light.
Basically, hojicha latte is made by steeping or simmering hojicha tea leaves (or a tea bag) in hot milk.
But after trying lots of different ways of making hojicha with milk, I’ve found a couple of secrets that really makes a difference.
The point to get a delicious hojicha latte is to make a really INTENSE tea, so you can really indulge in its comforting aroma.
But while hojicha is non astringent, if you let it steep for too long, it does get a little bitter at some point.
To avoid this and to fully appreciate the tea’s nuances, never let it steep for too long.
As with other tea sorts: if you want it stronger, use more tea instead of letting it steep longer.
The recipe below will show you exactly how to get a specially rich and at the same time mild hojicha latte:
Deliciously comforting hojicha latte
- Small saucepan
- 3 tbsp hojicha* (5-6 gr.)
- 1/2 cup water (150 ml.)
- 1 cup milk (your preferred sort; dairy milk or plant-based alternative) (250 ml.)
- date syrup (or your preferred sweetener) Optional
- Boil the water in a small saucepan
- Retire from cooking plate and add the tea
- Let rest for 3 minutes
- Add milk and heat (medium) for about 5 minutes. Keep moving a little to avoid the milk sticking to the bottom.
- Remove from the heat when the milk is hot (DON’T LET IT BOIL: this will help your hojicha staying extra mild, plus it will make it easier to clean the saucepan).
- Let rest for 2 minutes
- Remove the hojicha
- Serve and sweeten if desired