Matcha Genmaicha is a very special and somewhat unusual tea from Japan. As the name suggests, it is a mixture of matcha (whole green tea leaves ground down to a fine powder) and Japanese Genmaicha tea (which in turn is a combination of Sencha leaves with toasted brown rice). This particular Matcha Genmaicha is certified fully organic by the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. It is also commonly known as Matcha Iri Genmaicha (抹茶入玄米茶). This particular crop is from 2021.
Genmaicha, literally ’brown rice tea’ is a very popular tea in Japan. Historically speaking, this type of tea started life as a tea aimed at poor Japanese, hence the moniker ‘people’s tea’. The addition of rice served the purpose of bulking out the precious leaves so this type of drink was more affordable. As the addition of toasted rice creates such a unique flavour, this tea gained popularity both in Japan and in the West. Some people refer to it as ‘popcorn tea’ due to this flavour as well as some popped rice present in some teas, which looks like popcorn.
To produce this Matcha Genmaicha, the tea master has combined three ingredients in precise amounts to create a tea that has a very distinctive toasted rice flavour, but thanks to the addition of matcha has a taste that is more creamy, full and well rounded. The organic Sencha leaves used as part of this Matcha Genmaicha are grown in the foothills of Kirishima, Kagoshima Prefecture at an altitude of around 400m above sea level. The organic matcha comes from the Aichi Prefecture while the organic rice is from Niigata Prefecture. As you can see the tea master has found the best organic ingredients from across Japan to make this Matcha Genmaicha truly special.
The dry leaves and rice have a green dusty appearance, which is the fine matcha powder. When brewed this powder is washed off and ends up being part of the drinking liquor. The colour of the liquor is bright pale green, largely thanks to that matcha content and it has a lovely toasted fragrance. The taste is a little creamy, with a distinctive toasted corn (popcorn) and vegetal profile.
Matcha Genmaicha is best brewed at 80°C for 1-2 minutes according to your taste. It can be brewed 2+ times depending on your taste preferences. Since the matcha content is mostly washed off in the first steeping, any subsequent steeping will be much lower in caffeine content. This ‘popcorn tea’ is also delicious cold.
We also stock a classic Kirishima Genmaicha organic green tea that does not have any matcha blended with it.
This Japanese Organic Matcha Genmaicha green tea was first featured in our January 2016 Curious Tea Subscription Boxes.
Location of the organic tea garden in Kirishima, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan: