Cold Brew: Genmaicha

Summer is a perfect time to try cold brewing your favorite teas! Every time I have a tea I really like, I wonder what it would taste like cold and I do a little experimentation. Tea is sensitive to temperature so depending on the temperature of the water, you could potentially get a very different brew every time you experiment with it. Here’s my experience with cold brewing Genmaicha (Japanese green tea mixed with roasted and popped rice. This particular version includes added matcha as well!) But first, a small back story on where I got this tea.

During our first full day in Japan during our trip in the spring, my husband (Gabe) and I took a stroll in the neighborhood we stayed at (Azabu Juban). We were fairly close to Tokyo tower and Zozoji Temple so we decided to walk there. On our way we ran into a local tea shop, which unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures of nor do I remember the name but if I went there again, I could find it! An older gentleman was inside while I took a peek. For such a small shop I was impressed at the variety of kyusus and other teaware they had. At the center of the shop, of course, were bags and bags of tea! Because it was our first day, I didn’t want to get too excited and decided to wait on purchasing anything just yet. As our explorations continued I realized that this particular small tea shop may be the best place to stock up because it’s out of the tourist areas and is probably going to be cheaper than anything else I find. Plus, I realized that while many tourist areas do sell tea, particularly matcha and matcha products, teaware (particularly kyusus) was not as common. So I went back to this little tea shop twice and got a quite a bit of things. One of them was this AMAZING genmaicha!

So far, of all the cold brewed teas I’ve made, this one is my favorite. It’s so deliciously toasty and nutty and refreshing! I used a small mason jar with a lid that holds a tad over a cup and a half of water filled up to where the neck begins and a tablespoon of genmaicha. I left it in the fridge for the whole night and strained it out in the morning. First, the color was unbelievable, a highlighter, electric green that looked like an artificially flavored kool-aid! I promise that nothing was added!! The bright color remained strong until about the third infusion and then it started to lighten up. I was able to get a good five steepings out of it before the flavor started to significantly diminish. The first two were heavy on the roasted notes and the last three uncovered more of the traditional Japanese sencha flavors. I have no idea what the package where it came in says, the live google translate feature only gets “matcha in” so I assume it means that it has matcha in it. If anyone can read it please let me know what it says! I know there are varying grades of tea so I’d love to be sure to get something similar to this next time! I’m using it sparingly as I love it so much! If you haven’t tried cold brewing your genmai, try it out and tell me your experience!

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