Genmaicha created to cater to the taste of the farmers on the organic tea farm in Uji, from where the tea originates. With regard to the weather, during the course of the year and shortly before the harvest, the farmers modify the time during which the tea is shaded from the sun, as well as the time in which the leaves are exposed to hot steam during the process of halting oxidation.
The translation of the name Genmaicha as “brown rice tea” is indicative of the nature of the tea. This speciality, drunk by the Japanese for centuries, is a blend of Sencha tea (in this case Nibancha from the second harvest of the year) and roasting brown coloured grains of rice. This unusual combination originated approximately one hundred years ago in a small tea shop in the city of Kyoto. At this time tea was too expensive for everyday drinking, and so ordinarily available roast rice was added to cheap Bancha tea in order to increase the volume of the beverage. Tea with rice gradually spread and found popularity amongst rural people. In the course of time Bancha was replaced by higher quality Sencha and Genmaicha teas and became a favourite in all classes of society.
The tea offers a yellowish-brown, sweet-tasting aromatic infusion, with nut elements. Green tea is not dominant, nevertheless it contributes the desirable sharply bitter taste of Sencha tea to the overall impression. Genmaicha contains a small quantity of caffeine and so is suitable for early evening drinking, whilst Sencha and the roast taste makes it suitable for drinking after meals. Genmaicha is sometimes affectionately named “popcorn tea”, since during roasting the rice sometimes inflates and bursts open like popcorn.
- Kyoto, Uji
- loose tea