Kyoto Sunrise

Ever experienced a Kyoto sunrise? Now of course the real sunrise is worth waking up early (or staying up late) for, but this stunning ombre drink makes it possible to enjoy the bright colors of the rising sun any time of the day.

The vibrant Kyoto Sunrise is a tea mocktail inspired by the Tequila Sunrise, which is often made with tequila, orange juice, and grenadine. We've replaced the tequila with Japanese roasted green tea, but kept the sweet syrup and citrus flavor for a delicious twist that is as colorful and refreshing.

What is a Kyoto Sunrise made of?

The Kyoto Sunrise is made with cold brew hojicha, grenadine, and lemon juice. In this recipe, we chose to cold brew Hojicha Classic for its traditional Kyoto flavor and aroma. The grenadine, which is typically made from pomegranates, adds a lovely tart and sweet flavor to the roasted tea. Finally, lemon juice brings a freshness and balances the sweetness of the pomegranate syrup.

How to cold brew hojicha?

Cold brew hojicha is made by extracting the flavor from roasted tea leaves using cold water. Since no heat is involved, the tea leaves take between 6-8 hours to steep and the resulting taste is light, sweet, and refreshing. The quality of the water is just as important as that of the tea leaves, and so we recommend to always use filtered water when preparing cold brew hojicha.

How do you make a Kyoto Sunrise?

A Kyoto Sunrise requires a bit of preparation, as the cold brew hojicha takes about 8 hours to steep. If you're planning to enjoy your drink at brunch, then start the night before. Otherwise, you can steep your tea leaves first thing in the morning. After 8 hours, taste your cold brew hojicha and steep longer if you prefer a stronger taste.

When your cold brew tea is done steeping, you can make your Kyoto Sunrise right away, or you can strain the tea leaves and keep the tea cold for later. Once you're ready, add ice to a tall glass followed by the grenadine. Then mix the cold brewed tea with lemon juice, and pour the mixture into the glass.

Kyoto Sunrise layering tips

  1. Mix the tea with lemon juice. Add the lemon juice directly into the cold brewed hojicha first, and stir well. This step is crucial for keeping the tea from blending with the grenadine.
  2. Add lots of ice. The ice helps keep the layers separate, especially by helping to slow down the pour.
  3. Pour slowly. Even with the addition of ice, you still need to be gentle when adding the cold brew hojicha to keep everything from mixing together. Take your time here, and you’ll be rewarded with beautiful layers.


  • 2.5 g loose leaf hojicha (we used Hojicha Classic)
  • 250 ml cold filtered water
  • 1 teaspoon grenadine
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup of ice
  • Optional: 1 lemon


  1. Prepare the cold brew hojicha by adding 2.5 g of hojicha tea leaves into a bottle with a built in filter or a glass mason jar.
  2. Pour in 250 ml of filtered water that is cold or room temperature. Place in the fridge to steep for 8 hours.
  3. Optional: Cut a lemon into a few thin slices or smaller pieces, and place them in an ice tray. Cover with water and freeze to create lemon infused ice cubes. Juice the rest of the lemon, and reserve for later.
  4. Prepare the Kyoto Sunrise by adding 1 cup of ice (or the lemon infused ice cubes) into a tall glass.
  5. Add in 1 teaspoons of grenadine.
  6. Stir together 250 ml of cold brewed hojicha and 2 teaspoons of lemon juice.
  7. Slowly pour in the tea mixture into the glass by pouring directly onto one of the ice cubes.
  8. Sip on your vivid Kyoto Sunrise and dream of the sun.

Back to blog