Genmaicha (gen-mai-cha) is a Japanese brown rice green tea combining high-grade Shincha green tea leaves with roasted brown rice. It is sometimes referred to colloquially as "popcorn tea" because a few grains of the rice pop during the roasting process and resemble popcorn, or as "people's tea", as the rice served as a filler and reduced the price of the tea, making it historically more available for poorer Japanese.
Today all segments of society drink genmaicha. It was also used by people fasting for religious purposes or who found themselves to be between meals for long periods.
Brewed and unbrewed genmaicha
The sugar and starch from the rice cause the tea to have a warm, full, nutty flavour. It is considered easy to drink and to make the stomach feel better. Tea steeped from genmaicha has a light yellow hue. Its flavour is mild and combines the fresh grassy flavour of green tea with the aroma of the roasted rice. Although this tea is based on green tea, the recommended way to brew this tea is different: the water should be at about 80–85 °C (176–185 °F), and a brewing time of 3–5 minutes is recommended, depending on desired strength.
How to Brew Genmai Cha Tea
Serve: 1 teaspoon per cup of water (250ml)
Water temperature: 70° – 80°
Steeping time: 3 minutes (no longer!)
Remove leaves from the pot before drinking. Never use boiling water when brewing.
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