genmaicha with camelia

Genmaicha–why rice in tea?

Genmaicha is green tea with roasted brown rice. It has a unique, nutty flavor–almost like popcorn.

It is very comforting and getting popular among tea lovers these days.
But why rice in tea?! Who put rice in tea first?

There are several stories, one of which is that a tea merchant in Kyoto put pieces of old, hardened mochi (rice cake) in green tea. In Japan, people decorate mochi as an offering to Shinto God to celebrate a new year. After about two weeks, when the celebration is over, the mochi gets hardened and people break it to pieces with a wooden hammer. Eating these pieces is believed to give you good luck.

One tea merchant, who wanted to make use of the tiny pieces of this mochi, roasted them and put them in green tea.

Another story was that in olden days, tea was rather luxurious and not very affordable for common people. In the northern part of Japan, rice farmers added beans or roasted rice to tea to increase its volume.

In any case, putting roasted rice in tea was a great idea!
Jugetsudo added a little bit of matcha for extra flavor and a nice green color!
Get your organic genmaicha here.

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