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This is a specialty Japanese style green tea (normally a high grade of Japan Sencha) that is blended with fire-toasted rice. The fresh vegetative character of the green tea is imparted on the cup but it is tempered with the bakey-like character of the rice. There is a natural sweetness and almost chewy character to the finish of this tea. During the firing of the rice, it is not uncommon for rice to 'pop' not unlike popcorn, hence the pet name 'popcorn-tea'.
Legend has it that during the 1400's an important samurai warlord in Hakone on the Izu Peninsula of Honshu Island (the Izu Peninsula is near the Shizuoka area) was having tea in the morning discussing a battle strategy with his patrol leaders. A servant by the name of Genamai was serving hot tea to the group. Leaning over to give tea to the warlord, rice that he had surreptitiously taken for a morning snack fell out of his pocket into the steaming hot tea. Some popped upon hitting the hot tea. The warlord was incensed, jumped up brandishing his samurai sword he promptly cut of Genamai's head in one fell swoop. He then sat down to continue the meeting. Despite the fact that the tea had been tarnished he drank it anyway. The flavor was very unique and he enjoyed it tremendously. In honor of poor Genamai he pronounced that this rice and tea be served every morning and be called 'Genmaicha' (cha being the name of 'tea' in Japanese)
Brewing for Best Results
Ideal Brewing Temperature: 185°F/85°C.
Minimum Brewing Temperature: 175°F/79°C.
Modern Method: Bring filtered or freshly drawn cold water to 185°F/ 85°C. With an infuser, use 1 slightly heaping teaspoon of loose tea per 8 oz of fluid water. Rinse the tea first by placing enough prepared water over the leaves and leave set for 10 seconds. Discard rinse water. Do not drink. Steep 3-5 minutes according to taste (the longer the steeping time the stronger the tea).
Traditional Method: When preparing by the traditional method, this tea can be used repeatedly - about 3 - 4 times. Bring filtered or freshly drawn cold water to 175°F/ 79°C. Place 1 slightly heaping teaspoon of loose tea per 8 oz of fluid water. Rinse the tea first by placing enough prepared water over the leaves and leave set for 10 seconds. Discard rinse water. Do not drink. Pour the prepared water directly over the leaves after the rinse. Steep for about 2 minutes then remove leaves. Rinsing the leaves are not recommended when brewing the second or third time.
Tea(s) From: Japan
Region(s): Kagoshima Prefecture
Luxury Ingredients: Green tea, Roasted & Popped rice
iced tea instructions
Per Serving: Bring filtered or freshly drawn cold water to 185°F/ 85°C. Place 1 slightly heaping teaspoon of loose tea per 7-9 oz of fluid water. Steep 5 minutes. Add filtered hot tea to 16 oz glass filled with ice.
Per Pitcher: Makes 1 Quart. Bring filtered or freshly drawn cold water to 185°F/ 85°C. Place 6 slightly heaping teaspoon of loose tea in a heat resistant container. Pour 1 ¼ cup of prepared water over the tea leaves. Steep 5-7 minutes. With a fine mesh sieve, filter the hot tea liquor to the serving pitcher filled with ice. Add cold filtered water to top off. (Some luxury teas will turn cloudy when poured over ice).
Making an amazing cup of tea requires several things. High quality tea, filtered or freshly drawn cold water, correct water temperature, time of infusion, and filters/infusers. Unfiltered water or too hot of water can ruin the best of teas. Always use filtered or freshly drawn cold water. Any flavor from water treatments or heavy minerals such as lime or calcium can taint the water. Brew at the ideal temperature. Too hot of water can scorch the leaves and produce a bitter brew. If you find that the tea is still bitter following the recommended brewing temperature, try lowering the brew temperature another 5 to 10 degrees. Use infusers that allow the tea leaves to fully expand and has full contact with the water. Ditch the tea bags. Know the steeping time for your tea. Too long of steeping can make your tea bitter and undesirable. Too short of time will make a weak tea. Don’t make tea in the microwave.
We strongly recommend using filtered or freshly drawn cold water brought to a rolling boil when brewing all types of tea. Today’s water has been known to carry viruses, parasites and bacteria. Boiling the water will kill these elements and reduce the potential incidence of water-borne illness. Cool the water to the ideal brewing temperature before brewing.