Pour some water in Genmaicha. Wait. . . and the room will smell like something is roasting. The combination seems strange to our Western notions of what tea should be. Roasted rice and green tea? It actually tastes surprisingly good and once tried you will never forget its nutty combination of roasted rice and fresh green tea.
“Gen” means dark, “mai”, rice and “cha”, tea.
Genmaicha: dark roasted rice tea. The color, which is slightly yellow and a little cloudy, comes from the rice. The flavor is incomparable to anything else, with an aftertaste of nuts and roasted rice.
Tea culture came to Japan from China. Many things such as tea developed a new form in Japanese culture and something unique was created. Perhaps one of the reasons for adding rice to tea was its cost. With rice added it was less expensive and more affordable for poor Japanese farmers.
Brewing time is 2 minutes. You may steep this tea two or three more times, each time increasing the brewing period.
Genmaicha is a gastronomic surprise for anyone who has not tried it. It is an evening drink; there is very little caffeine and only one calorie per cup. I ate rice grains after sipping this tea and was very pleased. It was like a complete meal!