Genmaicha

Genmaicha is personally one of my favorite tea blends among other green tea. The first time I tried it I was really surprised by how full and tasty the flavor was. It has become one of my go-to tea along with sencha and jasmine tea.

Because it’s fragrant and a little savory, genmaicha is a perfect choice of tea to enjoy during relaxing time. Not only does it have multiple health benefits, genmaicha also contains less caffeine than other types of beverage.

Genmaicha Tea

Genmaicha

Genmaicha, also known as brown rice tea, is a type of Japanese tea that combines green tea leaves with roasted brown rice grains. It is widely appreciated by all tea drinkers in Japan and used as an occasional alternative to standard green tea.

Genmaicha is originally a pauper’s tea. Half of the fine tea leaves are substituted with rice grain instead. The grains of unhulled rice are roasted until they pop, similar like popcorn but the grains are much smaller and denser. After that, the grains are mixed with either sencha leaves (tea obtained from the first harvest, mid grade green tea) or bancha leaves (a lower grade green tea from the last rounds of harvest). Because half of the mixture is roasted brown rice, when boiled with hot water, the tea color would be light yellow.



Read more about Sencha here:

A Basic Guide to Japanese Sencha Green Tea

A Basic Guide to Japanese Sencha Green Tea
There are many types of tea, but perhaps the most familiar one is sencha green tea. But what is the difference between sencha and other green tea varieties that we usually hear? If asked, not everyone could answer with proper explanation. In this article, we will explain the basic guide of Japanese Sencha Green Tea that you might not know.

Click here to read more



Genmaicha Taste

When you combine the already aromatic green tea leaves with roasted brown rice, the result would be an aromatic, almost savory, nutty delight. It’s unique both in fragrance and taste. The roasted brown rice also counters the bitterness of green tea and adds a slight hint of umami in the flavor.



A Little Bit of Genmaicha Origin

There are many theories on how genmaicha first appeared, but the most prominent theory is the one where genmaicha was founded in pre-war Kyoto.

There are several long-established tea shops in Kyoto that are said to be the originators of genmaicha. Most of them were selling it during the transition of Taisho era to Showa era in the mid 1920s. According to one theory, a small piece of leftover New Year’s mochi was roasted and added to tea for a trial, it was delicious and was then commercialized for the first time.

genmaicha

Does Genmaicha Contain Caffeine?

Brown rice itself doesn’t contain any caffeine, but since it is blended together with tea leaves, in the end genmaicha is still caffeinated albeit slightly. For comparison, here is the caffeine amount in genmaicha and coffee (per 100gr).

Coffee Genmaicha
60mg 10mg

Source:
Standard Tables of Food Composition in Japan 2015 (7th edition)

Assuming that the average teacup size is 65ml ~ 120ml, we can calculate that one cup of genmaicha contains about 6.5mg ~ 12mg of caffeine. According to WHO, the daily intake limit of caffeine per day is 300mg. Since genmaicha only contains 6.5mg ~ 12mg per cup, it should be okay to consume even up to 7 to 8 cups per day.

There is only a small amount of caffeine in genmaicha, but it's a good idea to remember especially if you’re hypersensitive towards caffeine. Each brand may also contain different amounts of caffeine, so you might want to read the label first if you need to avoid high intake of caffeine.

Did you know?
There is a type of genmaicha that only contains brown rice without tea leaf blend. Steeped roasted brown rice is also called genmaicha (brown rice tea) and has zero caffeine. We also have special rice-only genmaicha that is made with dark roast method

Buy Dark Roast Brown Rice Tea Here

Genmaicha Health Benefits

Genmaicha Health Benefit 1 Cancer Risk Prevention

Genmaicha Health Benefit

Research shows that Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG), a type of antioxidants, is the most effective polyphenol to prevent cancer in all types of green tea, including genmaicha. Among all the tested tea polyphenols, EGCG shows the most potent anti-cancer activities.

Source:
US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health



Genmaicha Health Benefit 2 Lowers The Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

Genmaicha Health Benefit

Habitual consumption of green tea is associated with a lower risk of death by cardiovascular disease. Green tea in genmaicha can have beneficial effects on cardiovascular health due to the high concentration of catechins. These molecules can have a good effect on lipid metabolism.

Source:
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition



Genmaicha Health Benefit 3 Relaxation

Genmaicha Health Benefit

Genmaicha contains a type of amino acid called L-theanine. This component is responsible for mental function improvement. L-theanine is proven to reduce stress-related symptoms and improve sleep quality. Regular consumption of drinks that contain L-theanine like green tea and genmaicha can have a great effect on relaxation.

Source:
US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health

 


Genmaicha Side Effect

The green tea in genmaicha contains caffeine, tannins, and oxalic acid. All have great health benefits but are harmful when consumed too much. However, the amount of these components in genmaicha is very very small so it would be very unlikely to experience any side effects even though you consume multiple cups of genmaicha per day. Compared to other teas, genmaicha actually has one of the lowest content of caffeine and is less acidic.

How To Brew Genmaicha

Genmaicha can be enjoyed all year round because it’s a versatile tea to drink hot or cold. Popular beverage shops even use genmaicha as a base for milk tea!

Here’s a couple of simple guides on how to brew genmaicha.

Hot Genmaicha

How to brew genmaicha

Ingredients

Genmaicha
4g (2tsp)
Hot water
200ml

How to Make

1
Add genmaicha to a teapot.
2
Pour boiling water into the teapot. Hot boiling water will bring out the aroma of genmaicha
3
Cover and let steep for 30 seconds to a minute.
4
Pour to a tea glass and enjoy.


Iced Genmaicha

How to brew genmaicha

Ingredients

Genmaicha
4~8g (2~4tsp)
Hot water
200ml
Ice

How to Make

1
Add genmaicha to a teapot. Then pour boiling water.
2
Cover and let steep for 2~3 minutes. Long steep will result in stronger brew. This brew will be perfect to be enjoyed on the rocks.
3
Let cool down for five minutes.
4
Fill up more than half a glass with ice, and pour the genmaicha over it. Enjoy!

Tips
These days, you can find roasted brown rice and green tea sold separately so you can combine both ingredients according to your preference. If you want a deeper aroma to savor, go big on the brown rice amount. But, if you wish for a more refreshing taste, add more green tea into the blend.



How About Cold-brew Genmaicha?

Genmaicha is more fragrant and tastier when steeped with hot water.
If you want cold-brew genmaicha, choose a product that clearly states it is specifically made for cold-brew, so it is easier to bring out the scent.

genmaicha


Other Way To Enjoy Genmaicha: Matcha iri Genmaicha

Matcha iri genmaicha is genmaicha that is mixed with powdered green tea. The bitterness of matcha will add a nice bitter accent to the savory genmaicha. This blend is also characterized by the slightly stronger fragrant, a mellow taste, and bright green appearance.

You can make Matcha iri Genmaicha just by adding green tea powder to your genmaicha blend.

Buy Matcha iri Genmaicha on Amazon USA

genmaicha

Pairing Genmaicha With Food

Unlike pure green tea, genmaicha has less bitterness and acidity so it is very easy to drink. But since the taste of genmaicha is pretty versatile, have you ever wondered what kind of food you should pair genmaicha with?

Green tea is known for its pleasant bitterness, so pairing it with sweet treats makes a lot of sense. But on the contrary, genmaicha is more nutty and savory than bitter, so the taste is not as strong and rather refreshing by itself.

Genmaicha

Genmaicha is best enjoyed with slightly savory snacks such as toasts, Chinese sesame balls, salty biscuits, and rice based snacks like senbei.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does genmaicha help with weight loss?
Genmaicha has zero calories just like any green tea. So it is perfectly fine to consume when you’re trying to lose weight. Moreover, a component in brown rice called γ-oryzanol is effective for appetite regulation.


I’m currently pregnant, can I drink genmaicha?
The amount of caffeine in genmaicha is very little. If you are not hypersensitive to caffeine, a regular intake of genmaicha should be fine.


Is there any side effect of drinking too many genmaicha?
It’s true that genmaicha contains very small amounts of caffeine, tannins, and oxalic acid. These components have great benefits when consumed in normal amounts. But just like everything, too much intake is not a good thing as it may bring more harm than good. If you don’t drink too much genmaicha in a day, there should be no problem.


Does genmaicha contain caffeine?
Yes. Just like most tea, genmaicha contains a small amount of caffeine. But since genmaicha is made by mixing tea leaves with roasted brown rice, it contains even less caffeine when compared to other types of green tea.


Is Genmaicha Healthy?
Of course!
Because half of the blend is green tea leaves, you can get all kinds of health benefits from green tea by drinking genmaicha regularly.

Recommended Products