Genmaicha tea originated in Japan. It is a combination of green tea and brown rice which is sometimes referred to as popcorn tea. That is because the rice often ‘pops’ during the roasting process. Historically tea was too expensive for the poorer levels of society so roasted rice was added as a ‘filler’ to make the tea cheaper. Then they discovered it was delicious so as the price of tea became more accessible Genmaicha became a category of tea in its own right!
FACT: Genmaicha originated in Japan but there is a similar tea brewed in South Korea called hyeonminokcha, which also contains green tea and brown rice!
Why is It Called Popcorn Tea?
Other terms used for genmaicha tea include the “people’s tea” and “popcorn tea” because during the roasting process a few of the rice grains will pop and look like popcorn. Unlike other teas at the time, the working class and the poor in Japan could afford to purchase genmaicha tea, hence the name “people’s tea”.
What Does Genmaicha Taste Like?
Firstly, the aroma is mild and soothing. The flavour of Genmaicha tea is strognly influenced by the roasted rice that is used. The starches and sugars within the rice also provide a nutty flavor that is unique and most appealing. This is especially moreish when combined with the fresh, spring green grassy taste of the Japanese green tea.
Popcorn Tea Health Benefits
There are many health benefits to drinking tea and Genmaicha tea is no different. Heart-healthy! Let’s start with its ability to lower the risk of heart disease. By decreasing the LDL or “bad” cholesterol and promoting HDL or “good” cholesterol, the tea helps support the body in keeping clear arteries. Plus, the antioxidants present lower the number of free radicals which cause damage to the cells and promote the formation of certain types of cancer. Other benefits include the following.
Blood Sugar: Genmaicha tea is perfect for diabetics as it helps balance blood sugar levels. But it works for everyone who have cravings for unhealthy snacks. A single cup can help you control the cravings and stay on your diet.
Dental Health: The polyphenols in the leaves destroys the bacteria that causes bad breath, cavities, and tooth decay.
Concentration: When consumed in recommended amounts, the tea can help you to relax, unwind, and concentrate on tasks with greater ease. This is because the tea contains an amino acid that limits some signals to the brain which in turn creates the path for better concentration on the task at hand.
In addition, genmaicha tea helps to regulate the thyroid and remove toxins from the body. The benefits of the tea are considerable which makes it the perfect daily drink.
Origin of Genmaicha Tea
Although the exact date is not known centuries ago in Japan, Buddhist monks mixed green tea with brown rice. The rice having been stuck to the bottom of the cauldrons which store the rice. The result was a refreshing taste to the tea which quickly caught on in Japan. The blending of bancha and sencha with roasted rice quickly became a favorite, especially among the poor and working-class people.
How to Brew Genmaicha Tea
You start by bringing the water up to around 80 Degrees. No more. Then, pour a little of the boiled water into the teapot. This will warm up the teapot first. Empty the teapot. Now, add 3g Genmaicha per person to the teapot (5-6g per 400ml) and add the remaining hot 9not boiling) water on top. Cover the teapot and let it steep for three minutes. Strain the leaves and pour the hot tea into your favorite teacup and enjoy. This tea will also rebrew up to 3 times so keep the strained leaves to one side.
You can buy GenMaicha in our online store in various size. Our range is super premium using a high quality shade grown Sencha.