What is Genmaicha
What is Genmaicha?
Genmaicha is a blend of Japanese green tea with roasted brown rice. The literal translation of genmaicha from Japanese would be brown rice tea, being Genmai (玄米) brown rice and Cha (茶) tea.
Genmaicha tea is also known as popcorn tea because to make it, the brown rice is roasted, before combining with the green tea, and sometimes some rice grains pop in the roasting process, so they look like popcorn.
Another name for genmaicha green tea or how it was called colloquially was, the people's tea. This is because compared to pure tea, this was much cheaper, given that it had rice on it.
History of Genmaicha Tea
Some interesting facts about genmaicha go back to the origin of how the roasted brown rice tea became to be one of the most popular teas in Japan. So, the history of genmaicha is quite interesting.
There are several versions of how the genmaicha tea came to be, but the most popular Japanese legend says that a servant had some grains of rice in his sleeve, and while he was pouring tea for his master, he accidentally dropped a few of those grains of rice in the tea.
Since then, people combined green tea which was expensive, with rice which was much cheaper, to be able to also drink tea. Then, genmaicha became popularized, and everyone could afford to drink tea, not just those at the top economic part of the society. Then, genmaicha started to be known as "the people's tea" because of its economic affordability.
How is Genmaicha Green Tea Made?
Genmaicha green tea is made by first steaming the brown rice and then roasting it. It normally is then mixed with bancha, a lower grade Japanese green tea from the second harvest, between summer and autumn. Although, our Matcha Oishii Genmaicha is made with Sencha green tea from the first flush.
Where was Genmaicha Invented?
Genmaicha was invented in Japan. Just like matcha green tea, genmaicha has its origins in Japan, and it is a popular tea which is consumed with different meals but pairs incredibly well with savory meals too. Gemaicha is super nutruring and is widely consumed as every day tea in Japan due to its low caffeine, mild flavor and health benefits.
What Does Genmaicha Taste Like?
The taste of genmaicha will depend on the kind of tea that it is combined with. The better the quality of the green tea used, the better the taste of genmaicha. Our genmaicha tea has a mild flavor and rich aroma, with sweet notes of caramel and even buttery, non-astringent and not bitter, very mellow and light to the palate.
Genmaicha is the perfect tea if you are new to drinking green tea or you are just getting used to the flavor. But, genmaicha green tea is also simply delicious to pair with different foods, savory and sweet food go perfect with genmaicha tea.
How Much Caffeine in Genmaicha?
Genmaicha is mixed green tea with roasted brown rice, because the amount of green tea is half and the roasted brown rice the other half, the content of caffeine in genmaicha is very low. That is why genmaicha can be consumed also in the evening.
Actually, in Japan, it is customary for people to drink genmaicha everyday, because it is said it is easy on the stomach and good for people who are sensitive to caffeine. In fact, some people even give it to babies because of the nurturing properties of genmaicha tea.
Genmaicha Health Benefits
Genmaicha tea benefits are several. Like all good quality green tea, genmaicha is loaded with antioxidants, especially catechins, a type of antioxidant which is very beneficial for the body, being epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) one of the most known, because of its powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
Catechins are also great to protect you against the free radicals, which cause cellular damage, thus genmaicha is good for your skin, promoting collagen production and that is what is said that genmaicha is anti-aging.
Genmaicha tea is filled with aminoacids too, like L-Theanine, which is very helpful to keep your body at ease, help you feel relaxed, promote concentration, focus and a sense of calm awareness.
The health benefits of genmaicha tea are so many that it is difficult to mention them all in here, but due the its high number of antioxidants, genmaicha helps to:
1. Protect your immune system
2. Detox your body
3. Promote dental health
4. Nurture your body
5. Is easy on the stomach and for people sensitive to caffeine
6. Burn fat and promote weight loss
7. Boost the metabolism
8. Reduce bloating and improve digestion
9. Promote healthy skin, reducing skin aging
10. Relax and focused mind
12. Flush down toxins and detox
Buddhist monks consume genmaicha after long periods of fasting, because it is easy on the stomach, warming and nurturing.
How to Brew Genmaicha?
Now that you know what is genmaicha, don't be overwhelmed by how to prepare genmaicha tea.
Brewing genmaicha tea is quite simply.
You can brew genmaicha with a traditional Japanese kyusu, or simply using a regular teapot.
Simply, place your best genmaicha loose leaf tea in your kyusu or teapot, fill with hot water at 80°C, and let your genmaicha steep. How long to steep genmaicha depends on the quality of your leaves, with Matcha Oishii, we only do it for a minute. Then, enjoy hot or pour some ice cubes and drink delicious cold or iced genmaicha tea.