What is roasted tea and what are its benefits?

What is roasted tea and what are its benefits?

What do the Japanese hojicha, Chinese red tea, South American Yerba Mate, and Juroku Cha all have in common? If you guessed that they’re all roasted teas, you’re on the right track! But what is the purpose of roasting tea, and how is it done? Let’s explore the ins and outs of tea roasting in this post.

What is roasted tea?

Roasted tea is tea that has been exposed to heat, resulting in a transformation in tea properties and flavor. Depending on the type of tea, it may be roasted at low, medium, or high temperatures, and it may be roasted only once or for multiple intervals.

Why is tea roasted?

There are several benefits of roasting tea, and the process affects both tea flavor and quality. Roasting helps eliminate the raw taste of tea and infuse new flavors into the tea by altering the amino acids and sugars through heat. It is also a great way to salvage tea leaves that were accidentally exposed to direct sunlight, as the heat helps to preserve the tea’s freshness. In fact, even if the tea leaves and tea ingredients are in good condition, a gentle roast can help refresh older tea and breathe new life into it. Roasting can also decrease the water content in tea leaves, which can extend the tea’s storage life and makes it longer lasting. Similarly, roasting halts oxidation of tea leaves, which is why all teas are eventually roasted or steamed for at least a short period of time at the end of the process.

It is also worth mentioning that roasted tea tends to be considerably lower in caffeine levels than their unroasted counterparts. The popular Japanese hojicha is a perfect case in point. A type of roasted Japanese green tea usually made from bancha or sencha tea leaves, hojicha is naturally low in caffeine yet carries a distinct toasted flavor. Similarly, the roasted grain tea Juroku Cha is well-known for its nutty and toasty taste, and is ideal as a nightcap due to its lack of caffeine content.

How to make roasted tea?

Professionally roasted teas undergo specific procedures in tea production facilities, but you can easily roast tea at home as well. For an easy DIY method, all you’ll need is a pan and stove. We recommend beginning with a lower temperature to prevent burning your tea ingredients. Also, make sure to stir your tea ingredients occasionally during the roasting process. It may take some experimentation at first, but if you play around with temperature and roasting time, you’ll find that subtle changes can lend unique characteristics to each batch of roasted tea.

Can’t wait to try authentic roasted grain and botanical tea? Get the Juroku Cha experience, now available on Amazon.

Want to learn more about specific ingredients in Juroku Cha? Keep a lookout for our upcoming Ingredient Series post on adzuki beans.