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What is Genmaicha Tea?

A Guide to Genmaicha Tea

What is Popcorn Tea?

Genmaicha Tea is also called popcorn tea. The name comes from the roasted rice mixed in with a blend of green tea leaves. The rice turns golden-brown when roasted, and some may pop like fluffy popcorn kernels. Genmai means brown rice, and cha means tea in Japanese. Therefore, genmaicha altogether means brown rice tea.

This tea has a warm yellow color.  The crispy rice gives a toasty and nutty flavor that complements the astringent and grassy green tea. Typically, genmaicha uses low-end tea like sencha and bencha. However, roasted rice goes well with any green tea. Roasted rice includes not only brown rice but also short-grain and glutinous white rice like Japanese rice. The traditional way of making high-grade genmaicha uses the more expensive mochi rice.

Because genmaicha contains brown rice, a cup of genmaicha has less caffeine than pure green tea. It also provides carbs that help you feel full throughout the day. 

Types of Genmaicha Tea

  1. Bancha Genmaicha uses bancha tea leaves
  2. Sencha Genmaicha uses sencha tea leaves
  3. Matcha Iri Genmaicha uses sencha or bancha tea leaves along with matcha tea powder
  4. Gyokuro Genmaicha uses gyokuro tea leaves

The proportion of roasted rice to green tea leaves depends on the type and grade of the tea. Personal preference also plays a role. Whatever the case, the flavor of the roasted rice shouldn’t overpower the green tea.

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