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, which, based on the color, can be divided into 3 types.
Sarashina Soba is white like Somen noodles, Inaka Soba features a black hue derived from the buckwheat hull, and Yabu Soba gets its vibrant green from chlorella.
Meanwhile, “Cha Soba (茶そば)” is also green, but the buckwheat noodle is actually colored with green tea.
What is Cha Soba?
Cha Soba is a type of “Kawari Soba (変わりそば: queer soba)” made by kneading buckwheat flour with Matcha green tea powder. So these green-colored Soba noodles have a fragrance of Matcha.
By the way, according to this Japanese site, 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.
Cha Soba vs Nihon Soba noodles
Lastly, for those who want to know how Cha Soba differs from regular Nihon Soba noodles, here, let me explain the difference.
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.
As 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 commonly eaten buckwheat noodle produced in various areas of Japan, while Cha Soba is known as regional specialties of Shizuoka and Yamaguchi Prefectures.
Especially, Yamaguchi’s Chasoba specialty “Kawara Soba (瓦そば)” is a unique dish where Cha Soba noodles and other ingredients are cooked together on a heated “Kawara (瓦)” roof tile.
(Reference Pages: Wikipedia 瓦そば, Nikkoku Seifun, Nichimen )