Green tea: Genmaicha

Genmaicha Sencha

Like nibbling on sweet, roasted popcorn. Or potatoes & seaweed.
Green tea » Japanese » Sun-grown, 
Also known as: 干米茶

Think lightly-buttered popcorn mixed with grass and hazelnuts. Genmaicha is a Japanese Sencha mixed with toasted rice pieces which add an earthy, slightly vegetal taste to the tea—they taste rather like a buckwheat infusion I tasted in Sichuan. The Sencha base is smooth and balances the rice very well.

The rice floats but the tea sinks. If you brew this directly in a mug (or bowl, as I did), you’ll end up chewing on too many toasted pieces of rice: they arrive in your mouth before the tea does. Instead, I suggest brewing the tea gongfu style and nibbling on the rice when you’re finished drinking, once it’s soft.

Genmaicha is a fun tea. I love breathing over the bowl and inhaling Genmaicha‘s nutty cinema-foyer aroma. The popped rice brings earthiness and a hint of sweetness, and the Sencha brings a smooth, steamed (read ‘kelpy’) taste to balance it. Despite being one of Japan’s cheapest teas, it’s certainly one of the most popular Japanese teas among non-Japanese. ★★★

11 thoughts on “Green tea: Genmaicha

  1. Great post – this really is a delicious tea! Interesting to eat the rice afterwards (or during! Lol!). I strain mine so there none of the leaves end up in the teacup. It really is a very tasty concoction.🙂

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    1. It’s a wonderful tea! By looking at reviews online, it looks like non-Japanese hate the Sencha on its own but love it when it’s mixed with rice pieces.

      I drink this tea at breakfast because the rice pieces taste a bit like breakfast cereal!

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    1. Quite widely available. Your nearest tea merchant will probably stock it. Tea merchants are hard to find, but once you’ve found your local one, they usually have everything you want in stock! I buy from T2.

      The quality of Genmaicha doesn’t vary that much so you could alternatively buy it online.

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      1. I like most green teas. My favorite is Gyokuro. Love it! I’ve also had a variety of Rooibos teas, but only if I’m trying a new flavor from the tea store. I’ve had a Monkey Picked Oolong tea as well which wasn’t bad. I find I don’t like Jasmin-flavored teas at all.

        I just checked the website of my favorite tea store and I see they have a Gyokuro Genmaicha in stock so I will probably check the store tomorrow. Reviewers on the site love it (4.7 out of 5 stars). I will let you know what I think. Thanks for the idea!

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