Genmaicha (げんまいちゃ) is a Japanese brown rice green tea. It is also known as the ‘Popcorn tea’ as some rice that popped during the roasting of it resembles popcorn.
There are two stories behind this tea: a legend and practicality.
It was said that a Japanese servant named Genmai accidentally dropped some rice on the pot of tea he was brewing. When his master, samurai warrior, found out he cut Genmai’s head and died. The samurai warrior drank the tea thereafter. He surprisingly enjoyed its flavor, so in honor of his servant he named it Genmaicha (Cha is Japanese for tea).
Another story, it was said that this tea was for the poor Japanese back then. The price of their tea was a little expensive so they put some rice in it to fill the green tea. It was also the tea for religious people who undergo fasting.
However its origin, genmaicha is now enjoyed throughout Japan (and outside).
Type: Green tea
Packaging: Loose tea leaves
Characteristics: slender dried green tea leaves, roasted brown rice, and popped rice.
It produces a light yellowish brown color.
Preparation: The water is between 180 and 190 F or it could be at boiling temperature.
It’s best to steep it to 2 to 3 minutes, not any longer to acquire the taste of green tea. If you want to have it more bitter, add some leaves.
The tea leaves can be re-steeped.
Taste: The taste is a mixture of sweet roasted rice and green tea. Personally, I rely on taste than color or time of steeping (that’s the goodness of brewing tea, any drinker can experiment).
If you want a more dominant taste of roasted rice, use boiling water. If you want the subtle taste of green tea then use the water in a temperature lower than the boiling point.
My rating: 4 of 5 cups of tea