Though “umami” is a Japanese , but recently it has become popular overseas. Typical components of "umami" are "glutamic acid", "inosinic acid" and "guanylic acid". The main umami component contained in green tea is theanine. So, is Hojicha a Japanese tea with much less umami ? Yes, since hojicha does not have so much theanine compared to other Japanese teas by going through roasting. The roasting process greatly reduces the amount of theanine which is contained in Japanese green teas such as Sencha, Kabusecha and Gyokuro. Therefore, if you want to enjoy the umami of the Japanese green tea, it is recommended to drink Sencha, Kabusecha and Gyokuro.
However, on the other hand, Hojicha has different pleasant features which are not present in the above mentioned Japanese teas. Because of the roasting process, the natural element called Pyrazine is produced in Hojicha. Pyrazine is the element of Hojicha’s distinctive roasty flavor and this aroma makes you feel relaxed. Also as Hojicha does not contain much caffeine, it is suitable to drink before bed time.
Another good feature of Hojicha is that the tea does not have much bitterness. Even if Sencha is a good tea due to its umami and loved by many people, some people do not like its bitterness. If that is the case, you will find Hojicha easy to drink.