Let’s take a wee break from all criminal justice/civil rights aspects of this annus horribilis to discuss one of the upshots: given the closure of cafés, which are my favorite places to work, I’ve developed home barista skills. Usually I drink a matcha latte every day, but I’m out of matcha powder–and imagine my joy when I discovered that it is possible to make lattes from hōjicha! Hōjicha is a Japanese green tea, which obtains its distinctive flavor through roasting in a porcelain pot over charcoal (most other Japanese teas are steamed.) The tea is fired at a high temperature, altering the leaf color tints from green to reddish brown. One of the wonderful attributes of hōjicha is that it has almost no caffeine, which means I can happily drink a couple of these a day and serve this to my preschooler.
Simply grinding tea leaves does not make powder that is usable in lattes; matcha powder can be used in this way because of its distinctive processing. Thankfully, the good folks over at Stonemill Matcha sell hōjicha powder. To make this at home, you’ll need a tall glass, a little cup, a matcha whisk (chasen) and an ordinary kitchen whisk.
Pour about 1 cup of Oatly (or any plant milk, but if you have Oatly, why drink anything else?) into the tall glass and add a few ice cubes. Place the kitchen whisk in the glass and spin fast back and forth until you have a nice layer of foam on top. In the little cup, place a teaspoon of hōjicha powder. Add about 3-4 tbsp boiling water. Whisk with matcha whisk until a bit foamy. Carefully pour the hōjicha into the milk glass, which will create the layers you see in the picture. Enjoy!