Tea Tuesday: Genmaicha Popcorn Green Tea

Tea Tuesday: Genmaicha Popcorn Green Tea

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Genmaicha… a hard to pronounce word with an easy to fall in love with flavor.

Genmaicha, also called brown rice green tea, is the Japanese name for green tea combined with roasted brown rice. “Gen” means dark, “mai”, rice and “cha”, tea. It is sometimes referred to colloquially as “popcorn tea” because a few grains of the rice pop during the roasting process and resemble popcorn.

A Cup of History

Although today it is consumed by all segments of society, this type of tea was originally drunk by poor Japanese, as the rice served as a filler and reduced the price of the tea; which is why it is also known as the “people’s tea”. It was also used by those persons fasting for religious purposes or who found themselves to be between meals for long periods of time.

The sugar and starch from the rice cause the tea to have a warm, full flavor that is similar of nuts. It is considered easy to drink and is known to make one’s stomach feel better.

The combination seems strange to our Western notions of what tea should be. Roasted rice and green tea? It actually tastes surprisingly good and once tried you will never forget its nutty combination of roasted rice and fresh green tea.

Brew this tea for 3 minutes for the best flavor.