There are a variety of stories that tell how the tea was invented. One from Kyoto claims that a mochi-maker accidentally dropped their rice on the floor, and rather than throwing it away, they came up with the idea of roasting it and combining it with tea.
Whatever its true origins, genmaicha is associated with thriftiness. It grew in popularity across Japan in the war years, when people stretched their valuable tea further by mixing it with less expensive roasted rice. Traditionally lower-grade green teas were used, such as bancha or kukicha, which are made from mature tea leaves and stems. More recently, blends using higher-grade sencha (made from tender, young leaves) have become popular, and many also include matcha, powdered green tea.
Our genmaicha has two ingredients: a high-grade sencha which provides a vegetal, creamy flavor known as umami, and roasted brown rice, which adds a toasty, nutty note. In the summertime, it is delicious when poured over ice. Served steaming hot, it is a comfort on chilly winter days!
Standard Brewing: Using 2tsp for every 8oz of water, steep for 2 minutes at 185℉.
Alternative Brewing: To experiment with the flavor of this tea, try adjusting the ratio of tea to water, the water temperature, or the steeping time.
Origin: Shizouka, Japan
Ingredients: organic green tea, organic brown rice