Originally posted: December 9, 2014
I had never heard of Genmaicha before today and it is amazing. Making it hard to describe the utter happiness of finding a new go-to green tea. But, before I get into my review, I want to share what I learned about this tea during my TeaMas research.
Genmaicha translates as "brown rice tea," but it is also referred to in Japan as the "people's tea." It was originally drunk by the poor in Japanese society since it's most distinctive feature, the roasted brown rice, was used as filler due to the high price of tea at the time.
There is also a legend from 15th century Japan that credits the creation of this tea to a Samurai
warrior's servant named Genmai. While pouring tea for his master, his snack for later —grains of roasted rice, fell from his sleeve into the Samurai's tea. Because green tea was such a luxury, and also very expensive, it threw the Samurai into a fit of rage. Genmai was immediately beheaded. Ignoring the bloodied corpse of his former servant, the Samurai sat to drink his tea, and realized the rice had added a wonderful new flavour. This new tea, Genmaicha, was then served daily in remembrance of the slaughtered servant.
Whether or not it was created by poor Japanese people hoping to stretch their tea reserves or by a
somewhat unlucky servant, one thing is clear: I. NEED. MORE.
This tea is good with sugar, but the true aroma and taste is best served without. It gives off the scent of Rice Krispies, but the taste is a hybrid of sweet green tea and those delicious packaged seaweed snacks.
It also leaves a very pleasant aftertaste; not something that can be said for most tea. So if you have never tried a green tea before or never found one you truly love, give this option a try. Incredibly flavourful, rich and complex, this tea is one of my new favourites.