Genmai Cha is a blend of bancha green tea and toasted and hulled rice kernels. This tea is sometimes referred to as “popcorn tea” because the rice kernels are popped. This Japanese tea blend has a buttery, nutty flavor. Sipping this tea conjures images of fragrant Japanese tea houses. The aroma is rich and velvety, and the taste is balanced.
Genmai Cha has less caffeine than a straight green because it’s blended with rice, which makes it a great tea any time of day. The green tea and rice are a carry over from a period in Japan, when many couldn’t afford a straight green tea. Rather, they drank the “people’s tea” from roasted rice or a blend of green tea and roasted rice. This practice evolved into what we now know as the nutty tasting green blend, Genmai Cha.
This roasted rice and green tea blend is good to drink with a meal or after dinner. The tea helps cleanse the palate. It has a grassy, vegetal taste, in addition to a toasty note with the rice. The roasted rice doesn’t overwhelm, but rather adds another layer of flavor. This green tea and roasted rice blend is popular with the younger generation in Japan tea culture.
As with all Japanese teas, the first part of the name describes the tea, while the second part means tea. You might have guessed that “genmai” means brown rice and of course cha means tea. Enjoy the layers of flavor while drinking this delightful toasted brown rice tea!
Japanese green tea, toasted rice kernels.