Genmaicha Tea

 

What is Genmaicha?

Genmaicha is a blend of tea consisting of pieces of green tea leaves and roasted brown rice.

It is a very popular drink in Japan. The resulting beverage is light yellow in hue with mild flavor of fresh green tea and aroma of roasted rice.

In the past Genmaicha was a drink of the commoners in Japan, because the rice could be used to extend expensive green tea. But today, it is a popular drink for everyone.

Green tea and toasted rice blend surprisingly well, giving Genmaicha a unique and refreshingly light taste that is a must-try for all tea drinkers.

How Genmaicha is made?

To make Genmaicha, green tea and toasted rice is mixed together. The green tea used in Genmaicha is usually Sencha, a variety of Japanese green tea that comes from Camellia Sinensis.

Turning green tea into Sencha is somewhat different from the methods used to make Chinese green teas. After harvesting tea flushes, it is steamed briefly (15-20 seconds) within 12-20 hours after picking. This prevents oxidation (darkening) of tea leaves. In this way, more nutrients and antioxidants are preserved in each leaf while releasing flavors. After steaming, leaves are rolled into needle-like bunches, dried and sorted.

The rice used for Genmaicha is brown rice, which is a kind of whole unmilled rice. Before adding it into green tea, the rice is lightly toasted to evaporate oils that contribute to rancidity; in the process, some of the rice grains puff up like popcorn. Then it is mixed with green tea leaves to make Genmaicha.

Preparing Genmaicha

Genmaicha is prepared as a beverage much like other green teas. To brew one cup, put one and a half teaspoons of Genmaicha into a Tea Ball or Smart Tea Maker and add water boiled to 70 C to 80C. Steep for 1 to 3 minutes, and then drink slowly while savoring the aroma.

Genmaicha is also great served chilled. Just make tea according to directions using half of required water, and then add ice cubes to fill the remainder.

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