Monday, March 9, 2015

My Cuppa: A little rice with my tea!

Have you ever had rice with your tea? I don’t mean some rice as a meal along with cups of tea or rice infused with tea. I’m talking about tea leaves combined with rice grains. It’s so good!

A few days ago, I purchased some Genmaicha from a local tea shop. I've had this tea before, and love it. Genmaicha is brown rice tea. Basically, it's a mixture of Japanese green tea leaves and toasted brown rice grains. Some even call it popcorn tea as some of the rice grains pop during toasting making them look like popcorn. Apparently, the rice was used as a filler in order to reduce the cost of the tea for the low socio-economic Japanese who consumed Genmaicha. As such, this beautiful tea is also referred to as the people's tea.

Brown rice tea!

The Genmaicha I am going to make, uses Bancha leaves, which are second flush tea leaves from trees used for making Sencha. These leaves are harvested sometime between Summer and Autumn. 

Use the following as a guideline, and adjust the amount, temperature, and duration to your liking: 
  • Bring some water to a rapid boil in a kettle. Then allow it to cool down to about 75°C - 80°C.
  • Scoop out 1 – 2 teaspoons of Genmaicha for every 1 cup of water and place in your teapot. 
  • Steep no longer than 1 – 2 minutes as the liquor will become bitter for greater durations.
  • Filter the leaves and pour yourself a cup.

This Genmaicha provides a clear, lemon-yellow colour liquor with a light, toasty aroma much like that of popcorn. It tastes sweet and nutty, with just a hint of a grassy, vegetal flavour.

Like other teas, you may steep Genmaicha a few times. Steep for another 1 – 2 minutes for a second infusion, and then 3 – 5 minutes for a third and fourth infusion. Enjoy!


Genmaicha is very easy to make at home.  No need to purchase pre-made tea from the store.  On a future post, I will show you exactly how to make it.  Stay tuned!




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