Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Harney & Sons Tea Tasting: Genmaicha

Today's tea review is Genmaicha, also known as brown rice tea or "popcorn" tea.  There is rice in this tea, but no popcorn.  That nickname comes from a "popped" kernel of rice that really does look like popcorn!

I regret that I don't have my own photo for this review.  I should!  Heaven knows I have sipped my fair share of this tea.  (I brew at ~190 degrees for about 2 minutes.)  But I don't have any on had at this moment...and I want to move along in the book, so here's a shot from wikipedia.

In my opinion, this tea is a fun one, and a great one for new green tea drinkers.  I say that because of the inclusion of toasted brown rice, which gives the tea a nutty, gentle flavor that balances the stronger bancha (or sometimes sencha) green.

From Harney's website:  "Once considered a cheap peasant beverage, Genmaicha has recently come into vogue among Japanese urban elite and in the United States as a health drink."

If you drink this tea, what do you like about it?


Marilyn said...

I think the toastiness helps the green tea not come across as vegetable tasting. It was the first green tea that I liked.

Lainie Petersen said...

I agree with Marilyn that for a lot of people, the popped rice makes the green tea more palatable. It also makes the tea much more filling...great for losing weight!

Get Natured said...

I love genmaicha! Its flavor and aroma are two of my favorite things in the tea world- it is just such a comforting tea.
I read once that children in Japan drink a "tea" made of just the toasted rice as their first "tea". :-)

Marlena said...

I think it's the only Japanese green I like and some do have popcorn in them. It's a really comforting sort of tea.

parTea lady said...

Thanks for the review. After reading it and the comments, I think I'll give Genmaicha another try.

Alex Zorach said...

I used to be a huge fan of genmaicha, and while I didn't stop liking it, I haven't tried it recently (except for one from Maeda-En that I had some time ago and was less-than-thrilled with: all popped rice aroma and little tea!). I am thinking of ordering some from one of the tea companies that I tend to like.

=) I really do like genmaicha. I love teas and blends that have a toasty quality to them.