How to Make Genmaicha Properly (Hot & Iced)

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Genmaicha is a Japanese green tea mixed with toasted brown rice. It’s flavorful tea that’s great hot or cold.

Hot genmaicha tea in mug

Genmaicha

  • Genmaicha is a Japanese tea that combines green tea and toasted brown rice.
  • There’s caffeine in genmaicha.
  • Genmaicha literally means ‘brown rice tea’.
  • The green tea in genmaicha is usually bancha, sencha, or gyokuro, all of which are Japanese green teas.
  • Genmaicha made with sencha or gyokura cost more.
  • Some of the rice kernels pop during the roasting process, so the drink is also known as popcorn tea.

Genmaicha Brewing Guide

TO MAKE HOT GENMAICHA
TEA:
1.5 teaspoons loose genmaicha or 1 tea sachet
WATER: 1 cup (8 fl. oz.)
WATER TEMPERATURE:
170°F
STEEP TIME:
3 minutes

TO MAKE COLD BREW GENMAICHA
TEA:
1.5 teaspoons loose genmaicha or 1 tea sachet
WATER:
1 cup (8 fl. oz.)
WATER TEMPERATURE:
Cold water
STEEP TIME:
3 hours

What You’ll Need

TO MAKE HOT GENMAICHA

TO MAKE COLD BREW GENMAICHA

My Genmaicha Pick:

Genmaicha

Photo Credit: Harney.com

A great starter genmaicha — tastes great and the price is right.
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Hot genmaicha tea in a mug

How to Make Hot genmaicha Properly

STEP 1: Boil water.

Filtered water makes the best tea, so don’t just boil tap water.

It’s easiest to boil water using an electric kettle with a temperature setting since you have more control over the temperature. Set the water to 170°F for genmaicha, which is well under a full boil.

I like to boil a little extra water so I can use it to warm up the teapot.

STEP 2: Warm up teapot.

Pour a little of the freshly boiled water into the teapot. Swirl it around to warm it up then throw the water out.

Warming up the teapot keeps the water hot so that there isn’t a big temperature drop while the tea is brewing.

STEP 3: Put genmaicha into teapot and add hot water.

STEP 4: Cover teapot and steep for 3 minutes.

3 minutes is all you need for this green tea. Yup, just 3 minutes. 

With green tea you have to make sure not to overbrew since it can easily get bitter.

Tea Sommelier’s Tip: To steep tea properly, keep the teapot covered so that the water stays hot.

STEP 5: Strain genmaicha leaves and pour hot tea into a teacup.

Now you have the perfect cup of tea!

I don’t like to sweeten my genmaicha but if you do, try sugar, honey, or date syrup.

Genmaicha tea in a glass with ice

How to Make Iced genmaicha

Tea Sommelier’s Tip: The best way to get the subtle flavors out of any tea is to cold brew it. It’s how I like to make iced tea.

STEP 1: Put genmaicha and water in a pitcher or glass container.

Always use filtered water since it makes the best tasting cold brewed tea.

STEP 2: Cover pitcher and put in refrigerator for at least 3 hours.

Cold brew for up to 6 hours.

STEP 3: Strain genmaicha leaves and pour tea into a cup.

Since cold brewed tea is already chilled, you don’t have to add ice if you don’t want to.

I like to use simple syrup (half water, half sugar) if I’m sweetening cold brewed tea because it’s the easiest to incorporate. It’s also easy to make by mixing equal parts sugar and hot water until the sugar dissolves.

Genmaicha Tea Tips

  • Don’t brew for more than 3 minutes. Brewing it for longer may result in a bitter tea.
  • To make a stronger brew, add more tea instead of brewing it for longer.
  • Don’t use boiling hot water. Green tea needs a lower water temperature. If you don’t have an electric kettle with a temperature setting, boil water on the stovetop then let it cool for a few minutes. 

Questions You May Have

How to do you pronounce genmaicha?

GAIN-MY-CHA (not JEN-MY-CHA). 

What does genmaicha tea taste like?

This tea has a mild, grassy flavor with the nutty smell of brown rice. It is much less acidic than most teas because of the starch from the brown rice.

Is there caffeine?

There is caffeine in genmaicha since it has green tea in it.

Are there any calories?

No. Some people think that the brown rice means there are calories in genmaicha, but there aren’t.

Loose tea, tea sachets, or tea bags?

For the best quality genmaicha, loose tea is the best option. If you don’t want to go through the hassle, though, tea sachets are the next best thing. 

Is genmaicha tea a real tea?

Yes. Genmaicha is a real tea because it has green tea in it. Green tea comes from the camellia sinensis plant which is where all real tea comes from.

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Genmaicha Tea

Author: Jee Choe
How to make hot & iced genmaicha tea properly.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 2 mins
Steep Time 3 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Course Drinks
Yield1 serving

INGREDIENTS
 

INSTRUCTIONS
 

  • Boil water.
    If using an electric kettle with temperature setting, set it to 170°F. Heat a little more water than needed so that it can be used to warm up the teapot. (Filtered water is best.)
  • Warm up teapot.
    Pour some hot water into the and swirl it around a bit. Discard the water.
  • Put genmaicha into teapot and add hot water.
  • Cover teapot and steep for 3 minutes.
  • Strain genmaicha leaves and pour hot tea into a teacup.

NOTES

TO MAKE COLD BREW GENMAICHA
1. Put genmaicha and cool or room temperature water in a pitcher or glass container.
Filtered water is best for a better tasting iced tea.
2. Cold brew for 3-6 hours.
3. Strain tea leaves and pour tea into a cup.
Ice is optional since the tea is already cold.
Keyword cold brew genmaicha tea, genmaicha tea, iced genmaicha tea
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