Cha Soba vs Soba : What is the Difference?
As you know, “Soba (蕎麦)“, also known as “Nihon Soba (日本蕎麦)”, are traditional Japanese buckwheat noodles, and based on the color, Soba noodles can be roughly divided into 3 types.
Sarashina Soba is characterized by its white color like Somen noodles, Inaka Soba features having a blackish color that comes from the buckwheat hull, and Yabu Soba gets its vibrant green color from buckwheat berry chaff.
These Soba noodles are different in color and are made from different types of buckwheat flour.
On the other hand, similar to Yabu Soba, “Cha Soba (茶そば)” also has a green color, but it is colored with green tea.
What is Cha Soba?
Cha Soba is a type of “Kawari Soba (変わりそば)” and is made by kneading Matcha green tea powder in buckwheat flour. So these green-colored Soba noodles have a good Matcha scent.
According to this Japanese website, Kawari Soba are the noodles made from the white buckwheat flour for Sarashina Soba to which various kinds of thickeners or foods can be added.
The Difference: Cha Soba and Nihon Soba Noodles
If I talk about the differences between Cha Soba and Nihon Soba noodles more specifically, those are as follows.
Typically, Cha Soba noodles are made from buckwheat flour, together with Matcha green tea powder and wheat flour, while Nihon Soba are made from buckwheat flour and wheat flour.
Therefore, the difference in ingredients between Cha Soba and Nihon Soba is essentially whether the Soba contains Matcha green tea powder or not.
From the above, in many cases, Cha Soba is slightly high in calories compared to Nihon Soba.
Nihon Soba is a common buckwheat noodle produced in various areas of Japan, while Cha Soba is famous as local specialties of Shizuoka and Yamaguchi Prefectures.
Especially, the Yamaguchi’s Chasoba specialty, “Kawara Soba (瓦そば)” is the unique noodle dish where Chasoba noodles and other ingredients are cooked on a heated roof tile.