Boba Buddha’s Hojicha Bubble Tea Recipe

shutterstock 2184933953
Hojicha green tea is roasted over charcoal, giving it a unique taste. This Taiwanese take on a Japanese beverage combines hojicha green tea with milk and tapioca pearls to make bubble tea. It is usually served over ice but can also be enjoyed hot.

This roasted green tea has robust flavors and a hint of cocoa. It pairs beautifully with tapioca pearls. You can use either hojicha powder or loose tea leaves for this recipe.

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
shutterstock 1996536626

Hojicha Bubble Tea

  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 1 Serving 1x


Unlike traditional green tea, hojicha has minimal caffeine. Like most boba recipes, this one is also customizable; feel free to switch out the milk and sweeteners in this recipe for your favorites.


Units Scale
  • 2 heaping teaspoons of hojicha tea leaves
  • 3/4 cup of water
  • 3/4 cup milk of choice (oat milk or almond milk work well)
  • 1 large handful of ice
  • 1/3 cup tapioca pearls, preferably quick-cooking
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar or simple syrup


  1. Bring 3/4 cup of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Remove from the heat and add the tea leaves to the water in a tea ball.
  2. Let steep for 1 minute.
  3. Add the milk and swirl the tea ball, so the milk gets mixed in. Let steep for 2 more minutes.
  4. Remove the tea ball and discard the tea leaves. Let the mixture cool.
  5. While the mixture is cooling, cook the tapioca pearls according to the package instructions. Drain.
  6. Coat the cooked tapioca pearls in brown sugar or simple syrup and stir to combine. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.
  7. Place 1/3 cup tapioca pearls in the bottom of a large serving glass.
  8. Place the ice and milk tea mixture in a quart mason jar or shaker and screw on the lid. Shake for 30 seconds to combine and thoroughly chill the tea mixture.
  9. Pour the mixture on top of the tapioca pearls.
  10. Serve with a boba straw.
SEE ALSO:  Boba Tea for Kids: Safe or Not?


Instead of loose tea leaves, make this bubble tea with hojicha powder:
1. Combine 2 teaspoons of hojicha powder with 3/4 cup of water. Whisk with a bamboo whisk or frother.
2. Add the whisked hojicha, milk, and ice to a quart mason jar (or cocktail shaker) and screw on the lid.
3. Shake for 30 seconds to combine. Pour over tapioca pearls prepared as directed above. Serve.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes

What Does Hojicha Milk Tea Taste Like?

Hojicha milk tea has a strong flavor. The roasting process brings out notes of cocoa, caramel, and nuttiness. It is robust and can even taste like coffee. The brown sugar tapioca pearls add sweetness, creating a sweet, nutty cocoa bubble tea.

What Is Hojicha Tea?

Hojicha is a Japanese roasted green tea. It originated in Kyoto, Japan, over 100 years ago. Hojicha is made from Bancha, Sencha, or Kukicha green tea leaves. These leaves are roasted at high heat over charcoal.

You can find hojicha in a loose-leaf tea or powder form. It is aromatic with a nutty, sweet, and woody flavor. Use hojicha powder much like you would matcha—it’s great for hojicha lattes and baked goods.

shutterstock 1720730191
Roasting green tea leaves

6 Health Benefits of Hojicha Tea

Hojicha tea, like green tea, is high in antioxidants. Hojicha tea is also:

  1. An immune system booster—Vitamins A, C, and E help keep the body healthy
  2. Anti-inflammatory.
  3. Calming—the amino acid L-Theanine makes hojicha tea good for those with anxiety and depression.
  4. Good for skin health.
  5. Good for digestion—the fibers in the roasted tea are good for the colon.
  6. Ideal for those with sensitivity to caffeine.

Hojicha vs. Green Tea

Hojicha and green tea both come from the same Japanese green tea plant. However, there are some notable differences between these two types of green tea.

HojichaGreen tea
Made by steaming and roasting the leaves or stemsThe leaves are not roasted, only steamed
Reddish-brown colorGreen color
Not bitterSlightly bitter
Robust, earthy umami scentLight grassy scent
Approximately 3 mg of caffeine per cupApproximately 20 mg of caffeine per cup

The way hojicha tea is prepared makes the caffeine count much lower than green tea. Hojicha is made from mature tea leaves that are picked later in the season, which have less caffeine than those picked early in the season. Additionally, roasting the tea leaves reduces the amount of caffeine.

Which Toppings Are Best in Hojicha Bubble Tea?

Hojicha bubble tea pairs best with lighter toppings that add a hint of sweetness. Try some of the following toppings:

  • Coconut jelly
  • Fresh fruit—citrus pairs well with hojicha tea
  • Grass jelly
  • Popping boba—lychee, pineapple, or strawberry
  • Tapioca pearls
  • Taro balls


Sarah loves indulging in bubble tea near her home in southern Indiana. She constantly experiments with flavor combinations, but her favorite flavor is passion fruit. She enjoys experimenting in her home kitchen and hopes to one day be a pro at making her own bubble tea.

Recent Posts