1 July, 2021 | Bon Tea Cafe Updated 2021

How To Make Genmaicha: Brewing Tips For The Best Results

Have you tasted green tea with rice krispies in it before? For many generations, genmaicha has suffered in the category of poor people’s tea. But that seems to have changed now. The unique blend of green tea and toasted rice is one of the most well-balanced and accessible green teas available today. 

Every good tea comes with a fable, and the origin stories of how roasted rice fell into a cup of green tea leaves differ. But the story that's far more interesting than a wise Japanese merchant looking to add filler to their low-grade tea involves a famished servant. 

This servant saved his crispy brown rice for later in his kimono sleeve and dropped it into a cup of green tea. Even though the servant got angry, the mixture of puffed rice and tea became popular on numerous Japanese tongues and later became a global phenomenon. 

What Is Genmaicha? 

Genmaicha is a Japanese green tea blend. The beverage usually contains sencha or bancha green tea and roasted rice. The bancha is a late-sean picking of green tea leaves and has been traditionally depended on as the tea base for genmaicha. 

The rich flavor of the roasted rice perfectly offsets the less refined qualities of the bancha leaves. However, nowadays, you can quickly find genmaicha in LA composed of the often savored sencha. It's a spring and summer harvested green tea that's adjusted by numerous tea blenders to a popular, seamless, and flavorful taste profile. 

However, you can also use other types of Japanese green tea, including Chinese tea like pan-fired green tea or Chinese sencha. You can also make the beverage using different rice types, even though genmai means “brown rice” in Japanese. But the common and preferred ones are short-grained brown or white rice. 

All these varieties make it more pleasant to enjoy genmaicha in LA in various tea shops

What Does Genmaicha Taste Like 


The beverage has a highly different flavor from other green teas. It contains a vegetal green freshness, toasty, and nutty flavor, thanks to the starch and sugars in the roasted rice. The true flavor of genmaicha lies between the savory, caramel flavor profile of an oolong tea and traditional sencha's light floral notes. 

The drink is fully bodied than green tea, which has a more vegetal and grassy aroma. Genmaicha is incredibly well-balanced, and it's less bitter compared to other green teas. You can serve the drink hot or cold, but regardless of your choice, it always tastes refreshing. 

3 Vital Tips For Brewing Genmaicha 

Consider the following tips before you brew your favorite beverage at home: 

Use the proper water temperature.

Water temperature is a critical factor, even when you brew any cup of tea. The degrees used vary depending on green tea leaves like bancha, sencha, or gyokuro. But generally, it's best to use hot water below 180 degrees Fahrenheit. 

You can make your cold brew. 

Generally, the beverage is taken hot, but taking it over ice gives you a whole new level of refreshment. To make the cold brew, mix one cup of cold water with one sachet and put it in the fridge for about two hours. Take away the sachet and pour the tea over a cup of ice and enjoy. 

Store it properly 

Keep opened genmaicha packages in an airtight container. Store the beverages in a cool, dry place. 

How To Make Genmaicha At Home 

To make genmaicha, you’ll need only two ingredients: green tea and rice. In this section, we’ll show you how to make the following: 

  1. Preparing the correct type of rice for the beverage at home
  2. How to make hot and iced genmaicha 

How To Get The Right Type Of Rice 

The beverage is usually referred to as brown rice tea, but you can use different types of rice. You can give you outstanding results from glutinous brown or white rice. Avoid long-grain rice, as it won't give you the results you need. 

Another name for genmaicha is puffed rice tea or popcorn tea. Now the word “puffed” is highly essential for understanding the type of rice you need to use. When you roast rice over a low-medium fire, you’ll get roasted rice which you can add to your green tea. 

However, keep in mind that you won’t get the same results as the rice in genmaicha. Instead, soak the rice for at least a day. After, dry the rice before you roast it. Regardless, you can still use the simple method and see the one you like best. 

How To Make The Puffed Roasted Rice

To prepare the puffed roasted rice, first, wash the rice. After boiling water and adding the rice to it, cook it for 30 to 40 minutes. After it's boiled, put it on a baking sheet in a thin layer and allow it to dry in the oven or naturally. 

When it’s completely dried, carefully separate the grains and roast them over low to medium fire in a saucepan. Have you ever tried making puffed rice for desserts before? If so, you can use the same steps excluding the last point - don’t use the oil. 

How To Make Hot Genmaicha 

How To Make Hot Genmaicha 

  1. Boil water. It's best to use filtered water, not tap water. It's simpler to boil water using an electric kettle where you can control the temperature. As stated earlier, getting the right temperature can significantly increase your experience. You can set the water temperature to 170 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. Warm the teapot. Pour a small amount of the boiled water into the teapot. Some people prefer to let the water boil a little extra so they can use it to warm up the teapot. When you warm up the teapot, it keeps the water hot. That way, there won’t be any considerable temperature drop while the tea is brewing. 
  3. Add genmaicha into the teapot and add hot water. Cover the teapot afterward and let it steep for three minutes. With the green tea, make sure not to over brew it because it can quickly get bitter. 
  4. Strain the genmaicha leaves and pour the hot tea into a teacup. And that’s it! If you want to add sweeteners like honey, sugar, etc. 

How To Make Iced Genmaicha 

  1. Put genmaicha and water into a glass container or a pitcher. 
  2. Cover the glass container and put it in the refrigerator for about three hours. Cold-brew for at least six hours. 
  3. Strain the genmaicha leaves and pour the cold brew tea into a cup. Since the beverage is already chilled, there’s no need to add ice. Of course, you can add ice if you want to. 

Final Thoughts 

Genmaicha in LA is easy to make. However, keep in mind to avoid brewing the beverage for over three minutes. If you brew it longer, it can make the tea bitter. If you want to make the brew stronger, add more tea instead of brewing it for a long time. 

If you don’t have an electric kettle, boil water on the stovetop and allow it to cool for a few minutes. Of course, if you don’t have the time to make genmaicha, you can always order online, and we'll gladly deliver it to you.