Also known as the people’s tea, genmaicha is a mixture of green tea leaves and roasted brown rice.
Back in the day, brown rice was used as a filler in order to reduce the price of this particular tea. This made it more affordable for the common population, which is why it was coined the people’s tea.
The main ingredient in genmaicha is the green tea leaf. It may not be the best of the harvest, but it’s still the whole leaf.
The leaves are processed the same as your average Japanese green tea, like sencha, for example. So it is safe to say that you are still going to get those same beneficial qualities that you get out of a normal cup of green tea. The only difference is that it will have a slightly different taste and color.
When brewed, these tea leaves give you a mild flavored drink with a robust aroma. The color tends to be a little more yellowish brown than green, due to the roasted brown rice.
The actual brewing is not much different than regular green tea. The only difference is that you use slightly hotter water. The reason for this is to pull out the flavors and smell of the roasted brown rice.
This style of green tea is also sometimes sold as Matcha Iri Genmaicha (with Matcha). This is a combination of green tea leaves, roasted brown rice, and a little sprinkle of matcha.
This combination gives the tea a much stronger, fuller flavor. It also gives the drink a greener color.
Naturally, the better the quality of matcha the less bitter. My recommendation would be to buy both teas, and then mix them together yourself. This way you know you’re getting a top quality match!
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