Love the roasted variety of green tea? Then you don’t want to miss this!

When you think of green tea, you probably think of matcha, but there are actually a lot different kinds of green tea in Japan. A less-appreciated variety, for example, is hojicha, which is created by slow-roasting green tea leaves before steeping them in water.

While matcha is bright green, hojicha, when brewed, becomes a reddish brown color, and has a much more earthy and smoky aroma, with none of the bitterness of matcha. But where matcha is popular enough to be found as a pre-made drink and menu item all year round, it’s harder to find hojicha in a café, and extra difficult to find it in a pre-brewed form.

But fret not! Starbucks is here to save the day, at least for the summer! They’re releasing a new, limited-time-only, Hojicha Tea Latte beverage for the summer as part of their Chilled Cup series, which will be available at convenience stores around Japan starting on June 22.

It’s something you should definitely try if you like both hojicha and tea lattes. Adding steamed milk to the smoky-sweet flavor of hojicha will likely give it a lovely, soft flavor; Starbucks says it’s the perfect refreshing tea for the start of summer. Given that Starbucks’ extremely limited-edition Houjicha drinks of early 2020 were so good, we can’t wait to try this one as well!

By the way, the drink’s cute, colorful packaging, featuring various shades of oranges and browns, was inspired by the image of the fragrance of hojicha wafting up from the cup. The soft orange coloring also brings to mind warm days of summer, which might get you in the mood for the upcoming festival season!

Starbucks’ Hojicha Tea Latte will sell for 216 yen (US$1.96) at convenience stores around Japan, and will come in a 200-milliliter (6.8-ounce) cup. It would make the perfect partner to slow down with on a busy day; the creamy milk and the fragrant aroma of the tea will probably soothe you to the very core. But it will be only available during the beginning of summer, so you’ll want to try it sooner rather than later!

Source, image: Press Release
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[ Read in Japanese ]