Tea: Genmai-Cha (Loose-leaf)

A Genmaicha from Yamamotoyama

Picture of Genmai-Cha (Loose-leaf)
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Review of Genmai-Cha (Loose-leaf)

6 of 104 of 55 of 578 of 100

I really like this genmaicha. Aside from tea in Asian restaurants, this is the only genmaicha that I've ever tasted. The kind that I have (I'm not sure if they've changed the recipe or not) has sorghum in addition to rice. It has a great, nutty, roasted flavor. There isn't much caffeine to it. I'm amazed that this tea has kept so long because I got it quite a long time ago. I imagine it would be even better if fresher. But, I think it says a lot that it still tastes good after so much time.

I've tried both 85ºC and 80ºC and I prefer 80ºC, but it needs a bit more time. I use cups that are 100-110ml each and put a nearly full-sized, cup-shaped strainer in it. I used 2tsp of leaves -- heaping. I rinse it for a maximum of 5s and then brew for 20-35s and then make a second cup with the same leaves for 30-45s. I only ever brew the leaves twice. The 80ºC setting results in a nuttier, more buttery brew. When I make it with 85ºC water, I rinse for a maximum of 5s, brew for about 20s and then for about 30s. It has almost no butteriness and less nuttiness, but more astringency and bitterness. I make it both ways regularly. It really depends upon your taste.

Feel free to experiment, if you're making it. So long as you don't go wild and brew it for 10x as long as I listed, genmaicha is a pretty flexible tea to brew. It's hard to go too wrong with it. So, it's great for beginners just learning how to brew loose leaves or for people trying to perfect their brewing skills and wanting something a little easier for a change. I've had types of tea that it's taken me 50-100g worth of tries (with 3-5g per serving) to get it to brew well. So, compared to that, this is a great place to start. It's also really inexpensive, so that's another plus.

YamaMotoYama also makes sencha. It's a pretty good house sencha (nothing fancy, a restaurant-grade sencha). It's also inexpensive and pretty easy to brew, if you're looking for a leaf-only loose tea to learn with (this genmaicha has rice, sorghum, and green tea in it, so it's not only tea leaves).

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