Genmaicha (玄米茶, “brown rice tea”) is the Japanese name for green tea combined 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.
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.”
Today it is consumed by all segments of society.
Tea steeped from these tea leaves has a light yellow hue. Its flavor is mild and combines the fresh grassy flavor of green tea with the aroma of the roasted rice. The water to steep this tea should typically be about 80–85 °C (176–185 °F).
A steeping time of 3–5 minutes is recommended, depending on desired strength and the source of the tea – some sources recommend as little as one minute of brewing time.
Genmaicha is also sold with matcha (powdered green tea) added to it. This product is called Matcha-iri genmaicha (抹茶入り玄米茶?) (lit. Genmaicha with added powdered tea).
Matcha-iri genmaicha has a similar flavor to plain genmaicha but the flavour is often stronger and the color more green than light yellow.
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