CUP CHARACTERISTICS: Toasty and bakey with slight buttery notes. Popped rice kernels provide an excellent visual and imparts the unique flavor of the tea.
INGREDIENTS: Green tea, Roasted + Popped Rice
INGREDIENTS FROM: Japan
ANTIOXIDANT LEVEL: High
CAFFEINE LEVEL: Low
There are many theories and legends about how Genmaicha, the tea you are now holding, came to be. Our favourite theory is that it was developed during the Edo period in Tokyo Japan. Legend maintains that sometime around 1721, a merchant sailed into the city aboard a trading ship from China, heavily loaded with rice. The merchant anchored his ship in the harbour and rowed ashore, accompanied by a team of sailors, each laden with a sack of rice to sell at the Edo market. As fate would have it, the merchant found himself delayed at the customs gate, held up by a tea merchant in line ahead of him. (Evidently customs clearance was no more or less efficient than it is today.)
Now, because the ancient city of Edo was built almost 100% out of wood, combined with the fact that residents commonly heated their homes with charcoal stoves, fires were incredible common. Unluckily for both the rice and tea merchants, one such fire chose the very moment of their meeting to rip through the Edo port, causing everyone to flea and drop their cargo. You can imagine what happened next.
Once the pandemonium had died down, the two merchants returned to the customs gate to retrieve what was left of their belongings. To their astonishment, they came across a small boy named Gisakone, who had boiled a pot of water and brewed what had become of the roasted tea and rice. The merchants tried the concoction and finding it delicious, struck up a bargain to supply one another with their opposing ingredients. And so, Genmaicha was born. To commemorate this fortuitous occasion, we present this fabulous example of a Japanese genmaicha, lovingly crafted by tea masters in Kagoshima Prefecture according to ancient Japanese technique. Raise a cup to chance meetings!
IDEAL BREWING TEMPERATURE: 85ºC/185ºF. For Food Safety reasons bring water to 100ºC/212ºF and let it cool down to 85ºC/185ºF.
HOT BREWING METHOD:
Bring filtered or freshly drawn cold water to a rolling boil. Place 1 slightly heaping teaspoon of loose tea for each 7-9oz / 200-260ml of fluid volume in the teapot. Pour the boiling water into the teapot. Cover and let steep for 3-7 minutes according to taste (the longer the steeping time the stronger the tea).
ICED TEA BREWING METHOD (Individual Serving):
Place 1 slightly heaping teaspoon of loose tea or 1 tea bag into a teapot for each serving required. Using filtered or freshly drawn cold water, boil and pour 6-7oz/170-200ml per serving over the tea. Cover and let steep for 5 minutes. Add hot tea to a 12oz/375ml acrylic glass filled with ice, straining the tea or removing the bags. Not all of the tea will fit, allowing for approximately an additional ½ serving. A rule of thumb when preparing fresh brewed iced tea is to increase the strength of hot tea since it will be poured over ice and diluted. (Note: Some luxury quality teas may turn cloudy when poured over ice. This is a sign of luxury quality and nothing to worry about!)
ICED TEA BREWING METHOD (Pitcher): (To Make 1 Liter/Quart):
Place 6 slightly heaping teaspoons of loose tea or 6 tea bags into a teapot or heat resistant pitcher. Using filtered or freshly drawn cold water, boil and pour 1¼ cups/315ml over the tea. Steep for 5 minutes. Quarter fill a serving pitcher with cold water. Pour the tea into your serving pitcher straining the tea or removing the tea bags. Add ice and top-up the pitcher with cold water. A rule of thumb when preparing fresh brewed iced tea is to increase the strength of hot tea since it will be poured over ice and diluted with cold water. (Note: Some luxury quality teas may turn cloudy when poured over ice. This is a sign of luxury quality and nothing to worry about!)