Origin: Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan
Ingredients: Organic green tea and organic roasted sticky rice.
Tasting Notes: Golden infusion with a toasty aroma and nutty flavor
Water Temperature: 180°F
Leaf to Water Ratio: 1 tablespoon per 8 ounces
Steep Time: 2-3 minutes
Genmaicha has its origins in the temples of Japan. Zen Buddhist monks discovered that mixing green tea with the brown rice stuck to the bottom of their cauldrons produced a drink which increased their alertness during the long periods between meals when fasting. This effect is the result of the brown rice imparting its sugars and starches to the brew which, when coupled with the energizing effects of green tea, creates an invigorating concoction.
Soon after, genmaicha spread in popularity throughout Japan and became a staple for peasants. The toasted brown rice served as a filler and helped reduce the price of the tea, making it more accessible to the masses. This why genmaicha is sometimes known as the people’s tea.
Genmaicha is becoming increasing popular in western nations. Blends typically include bancha or sencha green teas as a base and grains of toasted brown rice which occasionally pop during the roasting process, giving genmaicha its nickname of popcorn tea. When properly made, the liquor will be golden and possess a warm, mild nutty flavour mingled with grassy tones from the green tea.
Who should you recommend this tea to? Genmaicha is a great everyday tea and is great for sipping any time of the day, with or without food though it does marry well with both sweet and savoury foods from east Asia. Perfect for dinner parties or just for something new.