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

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  • 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

1.5 teaspoons loose genmaicha or 1 tea sachet
WATER: 1 cup (8 fl. oz.)
3 minutes

1.5 teaspoons loose genmaicha or 1 tea sachet
1 cup (8 fl. oz.)
Cold water
3 hours

What You’ll Need



My Genmaicha Pick:


Photo Credit:

A great starter genmaicha — tastes great and the price is right.

How to Make Hot genmaicha Properly

Hot genmaicha tea in a mug

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.

How to Make Iced genmaicha

Genmaicha tea in a glass with ice

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?


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.

4.86 from 7 votes

Genmaicha Tea

By: Jee Choe
How to make hot & iced genmaicha tea properly.
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Yield: 1 serving



  • 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.


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.

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Drinks
Tried this recipe?Mention @ohhowcivilized or tag #ohhowcivilized!

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  1. 5 stars
    Thank you for the detailed instructions. I was gifted a bag of tea but the instructions are in Japanese so I did my best. It’s good but bitter. So I googled and couldn’t see what was wrong. Now that I’ve read your post I’m fairly sure I let the water get too hot and the tea steeped a little too long. Thank you. It’s a quality tea and I want to enjoy it properly.

  2. Genmaicha is my favorite tea! I was introduced to it when we lived in Japan. I love 2 teaspoons of pure cane or granulated sugar per 8oz cup of tea. Thanks, Jee, for bringing this wonderful tea to your blog!

    1. Hi Julie, the rice is supposed to be brown rice but I think some companies use roasted white rice.