In Japan, one of my favorite old tea traditions is greeting guests with a cup of tea. This wasn’t always possible during times of economic stress, so often guests would receive a cup of green tea blended with toasted rice, since rice was affordable even when tea wasn’t. This practice became so common that the flavor profile became ingrained in Japanese culture--thus the birth of genmaicha, or green tea blended with toasted rice. In Japan and Korea, toasted barley and rice are popular beverage flavors that can be served hot in the winter, and as cold, refreshing drinks in the summer.
Given the humble beginnings of genmaicha, our Matcha Genmaicha is luxurious by comparison. It a blend of sencha, toasted rice, and matcha, the powdered green tea used in the Japanese tea ceremony. The flavor is sweet and savory, with the toasted rice adding a popcorn-like flavor. Matcha is a shaded green tea that is stone-ground. Adding it to the genmaicha intensifies the green tea flavor and color, producing a bright green cup.
In a kyusu, use 1.25 grams of tea per ounce of water. Steep at 180°F for 1.5 minutes. Additional infusions will lose strength since the matcha primarily is poured off after the first infusion, but a second 1 minute infusion should still yield a tasty cup. Matcha Genmaicha is an excellent candidate for cold-brewing.