Recently I had the pleasure of trying my first Genmaicha tea. It was a bit unusual when I first opened up the package as it contains green tea leaves along with roasted brown rice. I wasn't too sure of it at first. And then I noticed the white pieces in it and thought 'why is there popcorn in my genmaicha tea?'
To find out the answer you have to know a bit of the history of this tea. It was originally a tea that was popular amongst peasants in Japan. They added the brown rice as a filler to reduce the amount of green tea leaves needed. In the process of roasting the brown rice, some of it pops like popcorn. It all gets added to the green tea leaves so that is why there is popcorn in genmaicha tea.
The result is a nutty and sweet green tea. Now it is enjoyed by everyone in society. I really enjoy it and highly recommend everyone who loves loose green tea to give it a try. Here a a few varieties to try: