Difference between Matcha and Hojicha
By Claire Miles - May 25, 2023

Are you a fan of green tea? You must have come across many labels of tea alternatives over the years. Two names that come up quite often in this department are the Matcha and Hojicha Japanese green teas. These teas come in tea packets and are used to flavor food and, sometimes, sweets, and both have those who prefer each. So while they might seem like green teas to passersby, the distinctions between them matter to many people.


Matcha is a form of green tea produced by crushing young tea leaves into a vivid green powder. The powder is then whisked with hot water. This differs from traditional green tea, in which the leaves are soaked in water before being separated.

Hjicha is a kind of Japanese green tea. It distinguishes itself from other Japanese green teas by being roasted in a porcelain kettle over charcoal. In contrast to other Japanese teas, it is roasted at 150 °C (302 °F) to prevent oxidation and give a light golden color.

Matcha vs. Hojicha

The first difference you can tell between the two is in color. Matcha is a very bright green color, especially when it is of ceremonial quality. The color of matcha powder grows less vivid as the quality decreases. Hojicha is a dark or golden brown tea, unlike regular Japanese green teas. The color of Hojicha significantly changes based on the harvest season, the roasting duration, and whether it is prepared from Sencha (unshaded green tea), Bancha (common Japanese green tea), or Kukicha (twig tea).

There is also a difference in taste. Lower-quality matcha powder tastes bitter, but ceremonial-grade matcha has a somewhat sweet flavor with savory umami overtones and vegetal aromas. Hojicha Powder has a naturally sweet taste and smokey flavor with distinct undertones of chocolate. When the tea leaves are roasted at a high temperature, any bitterness inherent in green tea is eliminated.

Comparison Chart
  1. It is made by grinding the tea leaves into a smooth green powder
It is made by slow roasting tightly rolled tea plants
  1. The smell is very vegetal
The aroma is smoky and earthy
  1. Bright green color
The color is dark brown