Mixing roasted rice grains with green tea (genmaicha) was something historically done by poor Japanese people because the rice served as a filler and reduced the price of the tea. Nowadays, all sectors of Japanese society drink genmaicha. And with good reason too — it adds a very pleasant nutty flavour to green tea. This is Nakagawa Seinana Tsukigase Genmaicha with the green tea leaves come from Tsukigase in Nara, an area well-known for the tea it produces.
Steeping one tea bag in 200 ml of 80°C water yields a pale yellow/green liquor. It’s a beautiful tea to watch infuse as the pyramid tea bag provides ample space for the tea to steep so the leaves can be seen expanding the rice grains floating to the top. In flavour, there’s an initial pleasant vegetal sharpness before the roasted notes of the rice develop in the body to give a very enjoyable nuttiness to the savoury umami. The initial sharpness and the nuttiness linger briefly in the aftertaste.
This tin of Nakagawa Seinana Tsukigase Genmaicha contained 10 tea bags. The tea originated in Japan and was gifted by colleagues from Nagoya, Japan in 2015.