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Sencha and Hojicha Matcha: What’s the Difference?

Matcha Samurai

If you’re new to the world of green tea, you might be surprised to discover that there are various types. How does hojicha and matcha tea differ from each other? And how do they compare to sencha? Let’s take a look!


But first: What is matcha?


Matcha is a green tea made by finely grinding green tea leaves into powder. Preparing matcha requires whisking the powder into hot water to create a frothy drink. That makes it different from other green teas, which require infusing the leaves into hot water. 


Matcha is made from actual green tea leaves, making it richer in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants called polyphenols. The antioxidants are known to help prevent cancer and heart disease.


Organic matcha green tea powder comes in different grades to suit specific needs. Here’s a quick overview:


  • Ceremonial grade – This matcha is blended only from carefully picked green tea leaves during the year's very first harvest. Young tea leaves provide a delicately sweet flavour with hot water. Ceremonial-grade matcha is traditionally enjoyed during Japanese tea ceremonies without milk, sweeteners, and other ingredients.
  • Culinary grade – The leaves for this matcha are cultivated later during the growing season, making them more mature with a stronger taste. Culinary-grade matcha may be too bitter for drinks but ideal for cooking and baking.


Grading is not the only factor that differentiates hojicha from matcha. Some manufacturers have cafe-grade matcha, which is versatile, smooth, and ideal for making drinks.


It’s also worth knowing that high-quality organic matcha green tea powder is made from stone-ground leaves grown in Uji, the region in Japan known for matcha.


Sencha versus hojicha


Hojicha and sencha are the most common teas you’ll find in Japan. Unlike matcha, they are everyday teas you can enjoy anytime and anywhere at home or work.


Sencha is processed by steaming fresh green tea leaves to avoid oxidation. Then, the leaves are rolled, shaped, and dried. Preparing sencha tea requires infusing the processed whole leaves in hot water.


Hojicha is distinctive from matcha and sencha because it is made by roasting the porcelain pot over charcoal to burn the leaves to a crisp, turning them from green to reddish brown. This results in a richer, nuttier, and smokier flavour than organic matcha green tea powder.


About the Author:

Matcha Samurai is an online platform that provides matcha green tea, organic Japanese green tea, ceremonial matcha green tea and culinary-grade matcha green tea powder. Matcha green tea has been a part of Japanese culture for hundreds of years. Matcha Green tea is a premium Japanese tea with natural detoxifiers and energy boosters which is very beneficial for the mind & body.

Matcha Samurai
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