Soba cha, while not actually tea as it does not come from the Camellia Sinensis plant, is the roasted grains of Tartary Buckwheat, a cousin to the common form of buckwheat found in most kitchen pantries. This specific form of buckwheat was domesticated in east Asia and continues to be prevalent in China, Tibet, South Korea and Japan. A unique difference of Tartary Buckwheat is its size - you'll notice the grains are smaller and do not contain as thick a husk. Another notable difference is what lies within the grain: a nearly 100 fold amount of the chemical Rutin - a powerful chemical "known for its potential biological effects, such as in reducing post-thrombotic syndrome, venous insufficiency, or endothelial dysfunction"
Ok, science aside - Soba Cha is one of the most satisfying and delicious caffeine free teas we've ever had.
How To Brew Delicious Soba Cha
1. Bring your water to a full boil and then pour into a small cup to cool slightly
2. Add roughly 5-7g of Soba Cha to your tea pot
3. Pour the hot water (around 200°F (95°C), over the Soba Cha
4. Allow the Soba Cha to brew for around 1 minute to 1:30 then pour into your cup. Enjoy!
Pro Tip: Soba Cha is famously forgiving and can sustain very hot water and longer brewing times. Play around with your ratios to find what works for you. And with no caffeine or catechin to contend with, you never have to worry about a bitter brew.
Oh how we love you soba cha.
What is so special about our Soba Cha?
All Soba Cha is not created equal. While grown in several locales in Japan, Nagano and Hokkaido are both widely lauded as the De Facto producers of high grade buckwheat. Our Soba Cha comes from Nagano Prefecture, more specifically the Togakushi region. Cool weather, access to fresh spring water, and optimal soil make Togakushi the central area for producing high grade soba. Within the region, there are more than 50 soba restaurants. Heaven!
In Japan, Tartary Buckwheat is called だったんそば - Dattan Soba. This is the preferred buckwheat for crafting soba cha. Why is that? As mentioned earlier, the hull protecting the grain is much smaller than traditional buckwheat meaning it can be roasted with lower heat. And access to the sugars within the grain means the heat can caramelize them more easily. So Soba Cha can be lightly roasted and still produce a sweet, toasty, caramelized brew without the risk of the grain taking on a burnt flavor or aroma. Traditional buckwheat requires higher temperatures and a longer roast - so it typically has an off putting "burnt" quality that often remind me of bike tires - not good at all.
When To Enjoy?
One wonderful point about Soba Cha is that it is completely free of caffeine. "Caffeine free" is different than decaf. Decaf means the product once had caffeine and it was removed - caffeine free means it was never present in any amount. This means Soba Cha lends itself to being consumed throughout the day and especially after dinner or before bed. The gentle roasted sweetness of the Soba Cha is also wonderful paired with simple food and sweets. Another added bonus is that the grains can be eaten. We love putting them in yogurt, granola, and our personally favorite - on top of ice cream. For a serious crowd pleaser make our Matcha Ice Cream and sprinkle some Soba Cha on top. Game. Over
One more way to enjoy: Soba Cha Latte
We haven't seen this anywhere before but we absolutely love this simple, satisfying and completely caffeine free latte recipe. Try it for your self and see what we mean.
Soba Cha Latte
1. Bring your water to a full boil
2. Add roughly 16g of Soba Cha to your tea pot
3. Pour 60g of hot water (around 200°F (95°C), over the Soba Cha
4. Allow the Soba Cha to brew for around 1 minute to 1:30 then pour into your cup.
5. Pour 150g of Oat Milk or Whole Milk into a mug or cup (mix with ice if you'd like it cold)
6. Pour the brewed Soba Cha into the milk
7. Stir and Enjoy
Ready to try some Soba Cha?
Our Soba Cha is available loose and prepackaged in Sachets