Tea type
Green Tea
Green Tea, Popped Rice
Grass, Popcorn, Rice, Vegetables, Toasted Rice, Vegetal, Butter, Green, Nutty, Roasted, Toasty, Chestnut, Hay, Mineral, Seaweed, Soybean, Spinach, Straw, Chicken Soup, Nuts, Salt, Sweet, Autumn Leaf Pile
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Bulk, Loose Leaf, Sachet
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Edit tea info Last updated by Harney & Sons The Store
Average preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec 10 oz / 310 ml

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34 Tasting Notes View all

From Harney & Sons

A different sort of Japanese tea that many find intriguing. While the green leaves are being dried, rice kernels are added. The kernels get crispy and some burst open. The genmaicha has a unique appearance and a pleasant roasted flavor. GenMaiCha is a creative use of Bancha tea and an eloquent unification of the two crops central to Japanese culture: tea and rice. The light-bodied roasted tea is a blend of genmai, or unpolished brown rice, and cha, or Bancha tea. For centuries, the two commodities have been staples of the Japanese diet. In the 1920s, a clever Kyoto tea merchant combined the two to make this blend. Once considered a cheap peasant beverage, Genmaicha has recently come into vogue among Japanese urban elite and in the United States as a health drink.

The tea comes in many grades and styles, but always consists of Bancha and roasted rice. The roasted flavors of the two components complement each other: the lemony Bancha helps sweeten the rice, and the nutty rice helps mellow out the often grassy tea.


About Harney & Sons View company

Since 1983 Harney & Sons has been the source for fine teas. We travel the globe to find the best teas and accept only the exceptional. We put our years of experience to work to bring you the best Single-Estate teas, and blends beyond compare.

34 Tasting Notes

169 tasting notes

I do like this tea.
It is a pretty straight forward Genmaicha.
Smells of rice cakes and popcorn.
In fact there is actual popcorn in the tea.
But, that is where I have some small issues, it is almost like they are trying a bit too hard to achieve the flavor.
The rice pieces and popcorn almost outnumber the green tea leaves.
Which brings me to the leaves itself, not sure if it is just my tin, but when I first opened the tin, some of the leaves were crushed almost to a powder (like someone thought they were making Matcha iri Genmaicha but then realized halfway through their mistake)
As I use more in the tin, the leaves are whole, so I think it must have been a fluke thing.
Overall, it is a good price and it does have that yummy nutty toasted taste that we all love about Genmaicha.
I love drinking this tea in the mid-afternoon when I have the urge to have a snack, it fills that craving nicely.

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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1908 tasting notes

I’ve noticed that this tea lacks the malty, almost creamy, chewy quality I’ve noticed in other genmaichas.

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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53 tasting notes

I have had genmaicha from three different retailers now. I find Harney & Sons to have a more mellow and smooth version than others I have tasted. The toastiness is there, but it blends well with the green tea- I find both the vegetal flavor of the tea and the roastiness of the rice to be well balanced. It’s kind of nice to see popped rice in the mix- makes this a unique tea.

180 °F / 82 °C

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111 tasting notes

Years ago I purchased Yamamotoyama’s Genmai Cha from Stash Tea and I did not like it. It was horrible-I couldn’t drink it and returned it. It is the only tea I have ever returned to a company, & looking back on it I wish I would have kept it. I also wish I would have brewed it properly. I used boiling water…ssttrriiiikkke one! I steeped it at LEAST 3 minutes…..ssssttttrriiiike two!! I probably used too much tea and failed to experiment with different water temps and steep times…..sssttttrrriiikkkeee three!!! I was so bush league back then-a mere amateur.

Finally I bought this sample from Harney & Sons and had a completely different experience. Enter glass tea press and Genmaicha tea. Open packet, sssnnniiifff deeply, and enjoy the deep, nutty aroma. Steep parameters below are for first infusion, filled with 8 oz filtered water. What a nice medium deep, yellow liqueur-perhaps not as clear as that of the Buckwheat tea. Nutty aroma very present in the wet leaves as well as the cup, lingering on the palate. The second cup-approx. 195* for 1:15- was the strongest (not bitter), very nutty with a natural sweetness. They don’t call this tea popcorn tea for nothing, and I find that to be accurate. My last steep at 205* for 2 minutes was weaker, but still exhibited good nutty sweet characteristics.

I thoroughly enjoyed this tea, but the second cup was almost too nutty for me….and I’m CRAZY! :)) I would drink this occasionally, perhaps with a meal, and try lower temps and steep times. I wish I had more Genmai Cha….oh wait…I DO! Anna sent me a sample. Wish granted! :))

Until we Genmai Cha Cha Cha again.

Cupped Mon/Tue, Oct 24-25, 2011. Reviewed Thu, Nov 17, 2011.

180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 15 sec

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8 tasting notes

This tea is a bit of an acquired taste. Being used to sweet, fruity teas, I was at first put off by the grassy/toasty flavor of this tea (I’m also fairly new to the tea world, so forgive me). I decided to give it a few more chances, and I’ve come to like it. Green tea is tricky to brew, though, so I’m still having trouble getting a tea that is not overbrewed or overly grassy. When I do manage to get it right, it’s a light tea with a distinct flavor of toasted rice that is lovely with two teaspoons of honey.

190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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4 tasting notes

I love this stuff. Delicious harmony between grassy, astringent green tea and roasted/toasted rice flavor.

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9 tasting notes

TASTY!!! This is a great way to introduce black tea people to green tea (source: I am a black tea person). I figured it’s time to add some green tea to my collection, mostly black and white tea, even though I don’t prefer the grassy, astringent taste most green teas generally have.

The leaves give off a distinct smell of toasted rice cakes, with a very very distinct hint of the vegetal scent of green tea. Steeping the blend intensifies these scents even further, and the liquor is bright yellowish-green. I let it steep for slightly over two minutes at 175-180 F water.

Like the leaves, the liquid gives off a really strong roasted rice cake smell, which is delicious. That roasty taste is pretty dominant in the tea, and you really have to pay attention to get the vegetal taste of the batcha. Though the rice taste is pretty strong, it’s not quite overpowering and I think provides a nice sweet balance to the batcha. There’s only a very mild astringency, which I actually find refreshing.

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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41 tasting notes

This is my first experience with a genmaicha tea, and it is certainly memorable. I ordered a sample from Harney out of curiousity, and am just now getting to opening it four months later. The blend seems to be equal parts green tea leaves and a rice & popcorn mixture. The popcorn smell is very strong, particularly when the tea is steeping, and it is very evident in the taste as well.

This green is nice in that it’s not as grassy/vegetal as other greens (sencha, for instance) nor is it drying. It’s slightly creamy, slightly vegetal, and very popcorn-y. I am not super into it, but I could see being in the mood for it again at some point. I will probably do a shorter steep next time, too, to see if I like it better that way. I steep the hell out of black tea, so I tend to oversteep greens even though it’s such a short time that it doesn’t feel like they could be possibly be oversteeped.

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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25 tasting notes

I purchased genmaicha as a huge gamble due to my dodgy past with Japanese green teas, which I’ve come to see as the rough neighborhood I’m frequently chased out of by prowling vegetable notes and buttery flavors – a statement of preference rather than quality. That said, though my relationship with drinking veggies is unstable, my standing when it comes to rice is certain, and if there’s one thing I like more than rice, it would have to be the premium, charred rice crust I get to chip out of the bottom of the saucepan after I make rice for the simple reason that I do not know how to make rice but insist upon doing so. For this reason, genmaicha stood out as a dubious beacon of hope, but a beacon of hope nonetheless.

A whiff of the leaves did nothing to quell my reservations, evoking a somewhat grassy profile that was faintly dry and saline but unmistakably vegetal. Still, the splintery green leaves were richly interspersed with promising, amber nuggets of puffed rice and even some small, white popcorn-looking morsels that renewed my interest. The dusty breath exuding from the tin conjured a colorful suggestion that the best may be yet to come, specifically because the best is possibly locked in this bancha’s stuffy basement begging to be let out. So we return to the sketchy kitchen scale for a rough estimate of 6 grams of leaf (4 tsp volumetrically) dosed in 12 oz of 175F water for 3 minutes. The smell of the tea as it steeped is where everything changed – this was the puffed rice tea of my dreams.

Finally let out of its cage, the delectable, toasted scent of the rice has the ball! It’s mowing down any other flavors in its path! It tramples green tea underfoot! It’s broken into the end zone! Or something like that, I don’t know sports. The savory touchdown is nothing short of Orville Redenbacherian and it’s everything I could have hoped for. Though this tea rapidly grows bitter after its allotted three minute soak, as one might expect, the steeped kernels of brown rice are soft and too pleasant to waste and I must restrain myself from eating them all before the resteep.

Are there limits to this ambitious blend? Is there a law restricting me from adding more rice? How much rice can I add before surpassing the threshold of genmaicha and encroaching into congee territory? Tune in next week for answers to all these and more. As always, this has been Monday, and I am your host.

Flavors: Grass, Popcorn, Rice, Vegetables

175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 4 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Cameron B.

You can also sometimes buy genmai (the roasted rice) by itself, which sounds like something you might enjoy ha ha. Would also recommend sobacha, which is a similarly toasty, grainy tisane that’s instead made with buckwheat. I believe Harney carries it.

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392 tasting notes

I keep this one at work. Especially vibing with it today, for whatever reason. I swear I am picking up on a cocoa note (two fresh western brews in a row now) that I’ve never tasted before in any genmaicha. It’s a nice example of the style.


I’ve never had a cocoa taste in genmai but what an interesting combo that sounds like!


I feel like I’ll never pick up on it again, to be honest — something about my tastebuds this morning was just super-grooving with this stuff.

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