What is Genmaicha

Genmaicha is a Japanese green tea that contains roasted brown rice. In historical times, brown rice was added as a filler to tea in order to stretch it for the poor Japanese class. As the taste of genmaicha increased in popularity, it has been accepted by society as a whole.

Typically, either bancha or sencha is used as the leaf in genmaicha. However, it can also be hojicha, gyokuro, or other types of Japanese tea.

Genmaicha has gained the nickname Popcorn Tea, as some of the roasted rice resembles popcorn.

genmaicha leaves and rice with matcha


Teaware used for genmaicha is the same as what is used for sencha. It is advised to use glazed teaware, as the essence of tea can become infused in an unglazed kyusu or teacups. This may not be desirable if you are not planning on having a dedicated teapot for brewing genmaicha.

Brewing Genmaicha

In this example, matcha-iri genmaicha from O-Cha.com is being used. This type of genmaicha has been dusted with matcha.

Leaf: 2g/50ml
Temp: 82C (180F)
Time: 1:30 mins
Temperature will vary depending on what kind of leaf is used. Genmaicha made with bancha will require a hotter temperature around 90-85C, whereas when made with sencha, temperatures around 80-85C are more appropriate. As the tea in the example has been made with sencha, it will be brewed at 82C or 180F.

Quickly preheat your teaware with freshly boiled water. Place into your teapot 2.0g of leaf for every 50ml of water. Allow the first infusion to steep for approximately 1 minute and 30 seconds.

If you are brewing genmaicha that has been dusted with matcha, it will be green in colour. Without matcha, the liquid will be yellow or yellow-green.


Later Infusions

For a second infusion, brew for 30 seconds between 85-90C (185-194F). For a third, brew for 1:30 with the hottest water available.