Genmaicha (玄米茶 Brown Rice Green Tea)

A few days ago, I had dinner with a friend at a Japanese eatery at nex (the shopping mall above Serangoon MRT Station).

What was really amazing about the dinner was the tea that was served. It wasn’t ordinary green tea! It had a beautiful fragrance and a really sweet taste.

Today, I made a visit to my favourite Japanese supermarket, Meidi-ya, at Liang Court (near Clarke Quay). Perfect timing too, because I ran out of tea to drink, and my experience with that amazing tea left me with a craving for more tea. (Imagine having a tea craving for days without any tea in the house! Very annoying indeed! >_<)

I am a very lucky person! As it turns out, Meidi-ya did sell the very type of tea that I was craving for! The name for it is Genmaicha (玄米茶), also known as “Brown Rice Green Tea”. Here’s how the packet looks:

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I forgot to photograph it before emptying its contents into a container. Well, here’s a photo of how the tea leaves look like:

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So… What’s in the Genmaicha? There’s the green tea leaves and roasted brown rice! But wait! What’s that white fluffy looking thing? As it turns out, those white fluffy things are like popcorn! In the process of roasting brown rice, some of the rice grains actually pop and transform into that popcorn looking thingy. Rice popcorn. Erm… Poprice? Very interesting indeed! Apparently, it’s because of those white fluffy things that this tea earned the nickname, “Popcorn Tea”.

I couldn’t wait to try it, and so, I made a cup for myself the moment I came home.

How was it? AMAZING! It’s similar to what I tasted that day. Oh my goodness! It’s such an awesome cup of tea! It’s so awesome that I now rank it #1 on my tea ranking.

My ex-number one tea (now #2) used to be Golden Tiekuanyin (鉄觀喑). Unfortunately, this tea is super expensive, and it’s very hard to find good ones. What I love about the Golden Tiekuanyin is its fragrance and how it produces a very calming effect – even just by smelling its aroma. Very good for countering the stress of academia.

So why is this Genmaicha now my #1 tea? Firstly, its fragrant aroma produces the same calming effect. Secondly, it is very delicious, possessing a very complex mix of flavours that tingles almost every taste bud on one’s tongue. To make the drinking experience even better, it has a very subtle sweetness which reveals itself when you take a very slow sip and savour the delicious liquid in your mouth. Third, the tea has just the right thickness. Unlike the Golden Tiekuanyin (which almost feels like drinking water because of its lightness), the texture of Genmaicha is smooth and gentle, yet it doesn’t make you feel as if you are drinking water.

It’s really amazing! I love Genmaicha! You’ve got to try it for yourself!