Genmaicha

Green tea was never a favorite of mine until I met genmaicha. Probably iP1120527crpts lack of appeal was a result of my 1) using tea bags rather than loose tea or 2) pouring on water that was too hot or 3) steeping the tea too long…or all of the above. Recently I read that 30 seconds is long enough for green tea, but I’ve always heard that it should definitely be under two minutes. This helps to avoid the astringency I dislike.

In any case, genmaicha has roasted brown rice added to it, which smooths and rounds out the flavor, and has the added benefit of making it seem more of a substantial liquid snack; the article link above mentions that for this reason people like to drink it while fasting. That makes this a Lenten post, don’t you think?

Though I well know tgenmaicha on new plate crphat loose teas are superior, I admit that many tea-times I grab a teabag, and even offer them to guests as a rule. The Choice teabags are pretty good, if you can find them, and I have never tried another green teabag I like near as well.

 

 

Recently a goddgenmaicha bagaughter gave me some loose genmaicha from Harney’s Teas, and it is the best I’ve ever drunk. It even looks nice before brewing. This morning I poured my tea into a teacup, which I don’t normally, but I wanted to take its picture, and this setting was nicer. This teacup is one of two remaining pieces of my wedding-gift dishes, Wedgewood Edme.

I can still recall have the image of myself shopping in the housewares section of Robinson’s department store in Santa Barbara after my engagement. I knocked one of the Edme display pieces off the shelf and I don’t remember how far it fell, but the saleswoman came over with a smile and said, “Don’t worry, those are hard to break – they are very sturdy.”

They were certainly the classic, understated and elegant (if not fine china) style that I continue to preedme by wedgewoodfer. I learned that the Queen of England ate her breakfast on Edme. It came to pass that our family did chip, crack or break nearly all of the dishes within a couple of decades, because they were our only dishes. We had five children learning to wash dishes at a young age, and a fairly clumsy mother (me) as well.

As the set was reducing in number I switched to restaurant dishes, and they were nearly unbreakable, but they did wear out and get ugly, and I’ve finally retired them. You can see that the style of my new dishes (the least expensive of all I’ve ever owned, and also the “cheapest”), one of which is holding the loose tea above, hearkens back to that of my first set.genmaicha in edme

But I’m forgetting that I started to write about tea; it’s the contents of the dishes that is most important to me. I not only photographed the tea in the cup, but drank from it. Sustaining and smooth and beautiful.

 

14 thoughts on “Genmaicha

  1. Lovely. Jenny bought me a wonderful tea-making contraption. You scoop the leaves in, pour the water over, let it mingle and then pick it up, place it on a mug and it drains down and the tea is scrumptious. At first I put too many scoops in but now I have it down and I’m drinking a lot of leaf tea. So sweet. So smooth. I wish I could drink a cup of tea with you, friend.
    Dishes. They are so meaningful even when we have too many haphazard patterns. I love your chosen wedding dishes very much. Sometimes when I am going to some sort of meeting or lecture and I know hot beverages are going to be served I contemplate bringing my own mug. It’s that important to me.
    Sending love to you, sweet spirit.

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  2. I have never heard of Genmaicha. I’m not so much a green tea fan either, but perhaps I’ve not done it right either. Very likely. I like your new dishes. Simple elegance.

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  3. Matcha is green tea, and the Gen part is unknown linguistically…all I know is how I feel reading about your tea adventures. It is all so soothing. Like tea actually! Love you, B

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  4. Ahhhh, I love the roasty brown rice flavour and especially the little bits of popcorn (poprice?) So comforting after a long day. Genmaicha = ‘brown rice tea’. Matcha (‘ma cha’) = ‘powdered tea’ (green, implied). I remember a Japanese school friend’s mum coming to teach us about the tea ceremony. I loved all the little rituals – how to hold and turn the cup, using a little bamboo whisk to mix the powdered tea with hot water into the most amazing Kermit-coloured froth, the grace of acting as host or guest – but it was many years before I enjoyed the taste! I do like your Strawberry Thief tablecloth. I wonder if William Morris ever wrote about drinking tea!

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    1. Anna, I have yet to try matcha powder, but I have lots of recipes in the waiting for using it all sorts of desserts. Your loving enthusiasm is making me want to try it in its fundamental purpose.

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    2. Ah, you recognized the William Morris design πŸ™‚ I only recently bought those placemats and I’m finding that they make a great background for various photos. I don’t know if Morris wrote about tea, but I do see that there is a William Morris Gallery Tea Room in London, and his designs are incorporated into many teatime accessories.

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  5. I too find Choice Tea to be a very fine tea to drink, I like both the green and black. Now I will be on the lookout for Genmaicha. Your china story added only more flavor to your post.

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    1. I also have some Choice Green Jasmine, and it is lovely, too. I see that they sell loose tea – I should try that, too. I read that originally the toasted rice was added to stretch out the tea and make it last, but now the genmaicha is more expensive than the other green teas!

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  6. Green tea always left me with a grassy, unpleasant taste — indicative of heart burn πŸ™‚ I need to try your method. The dishes are lovely, and how sweet to have still some pieces of your wedding china! I also had to “retire” our everyday dishes we got as wedding gifts, before our boys broke them all. The fine china wedding dishes I rarely use (which is rather sad), so they remain intact. It may be about time to put them on the shelves and enjoy them every day.

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  7. I think what I love most about tea, if when brewed properly like the British do and make a celebration of it, there is something in waiting for the water to heat, and then pouring from a tea pot into a tea cup with a saucer, is perhaps a very nice ritual to take part in. I of course don’t do it very much but grab the tea bag and pour boiling water over it and go on my way.

    It is so nice to use loose tea leaves. Every time I make tea with a tea bag I cringe inside as my grandparents always did look down on people who used tea bags. Sort of like people who didn’t clean under their beds. I laugh at it now, but still cringe.

    Have a lovely day my friend. (Oh, I don’t clean under my bed very often, now that they are gone.)

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