Cha Soba vs Soba: What is the Difference?
As you know, “Soba (蕎麦)”, also known as “Nihon Soba (日本蕎麦)”, is a traditional Japanese noodle made of buckwheat flour, and based on the color, the noodles can be roughly divided into 3 types.
Sarashina Soba is characterized by its white color like Somen noodles, Inaka Soba has a blackish color that comes from the buckwheat hull, and Yabu Soba gets its vibrant green color from buckwheat berry chaff.
These Soba noodles have different colors since they are made from different varieties of buckwheat flour, while “Cha Soba (茶そば)” also features its green color like Yabu Soba, but it is actually colored with green tea.
What is Cha Soba?
Cha Soba is a type of “Kawari Soba (変わりそば: literally queer soba)” and is made by kneading buckwheat flour with Matcha green tea powder. So these green-colored Soba noodles have a good fragrance of Matcha.
Incidentally, according to this Japanese website, Kawari Soba is the Soba noodles made from white buckwheat flour for Sarashina Soba to which various kinds of thickeners or foods have been added and processed.
The Difference: Cha Soba vs Nihon Soba Noodles
Lastly, for those of you who want to find out how Cha Soba is different from Nihon Soba noodles, here let me explain it.
Cha Soba noodles are typically made from buckwheat flour mixed with Matcha green tea powder and wheat flour, while Nihon Soba is often made from buckwheat flour and wheat flour.
Mainly for the reason that Cha Soba noodles contain green tea powder for extra flavor, in many cases, the green tea noodle is slightly high in calories compared to the regular soba Nihon Soba.
Nihon Soba is a common buckwheat noodle produced in various areas of Japan, while Cha Soba is known as regional specialties of Shizuoka and Yamaguchi Prefectures.
Especially, the Yamaguchi’s Chasoba specialty “Kawara Soba (瓦そば)” is a unique noodle dish where Cha Soba noodles and other ingredients are cooked together on a heated “Kawara (瓦)” roof tile.