- Genmai Cha Background
- Genmai Cha Preparation
This Japanese specialty tea produced by award winning Tea Maestro Hiroyuki Sugimoto combines toasted brown rice, Matcha and Sen cha green tea producing a jade green infusion. 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’. This spectacular tea won first place in the 2008 World Tea Championships for Best Blended Green Tea.
Ingredients: Artisan Sen Cha green tea with Matcha and toasted rice
Origin: Shizuoka-Prefecture, Japan
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)
The Sugimoto tea farms are located on verdant mountain slopes – a very important factor for producing high quality green tea leaves. The steep terrain means that farmers cannot use large harvesting machines. Tea Master Sugimoto educates the company's green tea farmers about the importance of soil preparation and the environmental impact of fertilization. Additionally, he looks for ways to improve the company's manufacturing systems and to assure product safety.
Water Temperature: 168-175 degrees
Water Quality: Best with Spring Water
Amount of Leaf (per 6 fl oz water): 1 rounded tsp. (2.5 grams)
Steep Time: 1-3 minutes
Number of Infusions: 3
Gen Mai Cha may be prepared in a standard teapot, tetsubin, or in your favorite mug or lidded gaiwan. For best results, we recommend that you pre-warm your vessel, and place 2.5 grams of leaf per 6 oz of liquid, before infusing with 168-175 degree water for up to 1-3 minutes. As with all green teas, Gen Mai Cha can be infused at least three times. Increase the time and temperature slightly with each subsequent infusion. Experimenting with your own temperatures and steeping times is encouraged, especially with such a forgiving tea. Cooler temperatures and shorter times yield more mellow, fruity elements, while hotter water and longer times produce more floral and full-bodied complexities. Always use the best-tasting water you can find, and adjust steeping times, quantity of leaves, and water temperature to your personal preferences.
We highly recommend brewing your tea in a teapot or mug with a removable infuser so that you can remove the leaves at the end of the steeping time. Whole leaf teas of this quality need room to unfurl and expand in the water in order to perform their "magic." If you don't have a removable infuser, you can brew the loose leaves directly in the pot. At the end of the steeping time, pour all of the tea into a warm serving pitcher or pot.