In Search of Hojicha Lattes

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I have a new obsession. We can thank my latest trip to Japan for it. Hojicha tea lattes. How have I never been introduced to them before?! I first discovered my love for hojicha in December 2019 on my first trip to Japan. Hojicha is a delicious roasted green tea, and in Japan it is typically served at ryokans as well as at the end of a meal at a nice restaurant (green tea is said to help aid digestion). Coming from someone who actually loathed tea until 2019, to say that I am addicted to one is a pretty big deal. Sure, I probably could have asked for my typical English Breakfast tea, but I was in Japan and wanted to try something new.

On our latest trip to Japan this year, I fell in love with hojicha all over again. It got to a point where I was actively seeking out hojicha, and at the airport on the way home, I stopped at duty free and bought several boxes of hojicha tea bags to make my own at home. Hojicha is what I typically drink in the morning before my workouts, since eating before a workout always leads me to becoming sick. So to boost my energy a little (hojicha is low caffeine) and have a little more flavor than just plain water, I drink a hot cup of hojicha. But I have obviously been living under a rock because my love for hojicha was only about to get bigger when I discovered hojicha lattes. 

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I only discovered my love for tea lattes a year ago. I knew about chai lattes and matcha lattes, but I was never really a big fan of those. Shortly after giving birth to little bean, the beau brought home an English breakfast tea latte and I was instantly hooked. First of all, I didn’t realize that was even an option to ask for at the coffee shop. English breakfast tea with steamed milk, essentially. Usually I just splashed cold milk in my hot cup of tea. But English breakfast tea lattes became a bit of a game changer. On weekends, I typically take little bean to the coffee shop for a little afternoon mommy-and-me tea date. I was craving a tea latte, but this shop did not have an English breakfast tea latte option. Instead, they had something else – hojicha latte. I immediately ordered it because those are two of my favorite things to drink at the moment – hojicha and lattes – and my mind was blown.

My coffee shop adds a little dusting of cocoa powder on top to give it that extra bit of a roasted chocolate flavor, and I think that’s why I liked it so much. It doesn’t even need any extra sugar at all. I then came to find out that hojicha lattes are common pretty much at any coffee shop in Hong Kong, especially in Sheung Wan. On a particularly hot day, I got mine iced instead of hot. I personally prefer it hot, but when Hong Kong’s temperatures soar even higher and the humidity makes things particularly heavy, an iced latte does feel much better. So every time I am out and about, I find myself on the search for another hojicha latte. If you get the chance to try one, do it. It’s a great treat. I just can’t believe I am so late to the game.

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