What is the genmaicha flavor? Oatmeal? Popcorn?

If you’ve never had the tea before, you probably have a lot of questions about the genmaicha flavor. Some describe it as cereal, some say nutty and others say it tastes like popcorn.

In this article, we’re going to discuss the genmaicha flavour profile and compare it to other types of food and drink.

Let’s get started. 🍿 🍵


Genmaicha flavor explained

Before we talk about the genmaicha flavor, we should first discuss what genmaicha tea is. Genmaicha is a Japanese green tea made by combining toasted rice with tea leaves.

This was originally done during times of economic hardship, in order to stretch out the tea supplies and make them last longer. 

The popularity of the genmaicha flavor

Now, people all around the world have begun to take note of the genmaicha flavor, and it has become the most popular type of Japanese blended tea.

The toasted rice imparts a warm, nutty flavor onto the tea, and the fresh, vegetal flavors of the tea leaves balance it out to create the perfect genmaicha flavour. In the next section, we will attempt to describe the genmaicha flavor profile in further detail.

For a complete breakdown of what this tea is, you should refer to our guide 👉 Essential Genmaicha Guide by Japanese Tea Experts


How to describe the genmaicha flavor profile

The genmaicha flavor profile is all about this interplay between two very different flavors. The warmer, more nutty flavors of the rice are at odds with the slightly sweet, slightly grassy profiles of the the tea leaves, but somehow they work perfectly together.

This harmony of flavors is something the tea producer works hard to create. Producers of genmaicha will carefully experiment with different types of teas and different ratios of leaves to rice until they end up with the perfect genmaicha flavor.

Sweet genmaicha flavor profile

The genmaicha flavor profile can be described as sweet, warm, roasted, nutty, buttery and chocolaty. It is often compared to things like popcorn, caramel and warm cereal.

On the beverage side, the most common drink to compare the genmaicha flavour to is probably coffee, although the taste is much lighter. 

If you want to learn how to make tea sweeter, we made a whole guide about it! Read our complete article 👉 How to Sweeten Green Tea


Perfect food pairings for the genmaicha flavor

As we discussed before, the genmaicha flavor is similar to a lot of different foods. When you create a food pairing, you want to match the flavors of what you’re eating with what you’re drinking.

The genmaicha flavor goes particularly well with certain snacks like mixed nuts and popcorn. The same can be said for bancha, which is another low caffeine green tea made from the older leaves of the tea plant.

Pairing the genmaicha flavor with snacks

These teas make for the perfect afternoon snacking teas. They can help to soothe the stomach and they won’t keep you up all night. As a bonus, the flavors work great with all your favorite snacks!

If you really want a good genmaicha flavor pairing, you can pair it with a green tea snack, like our hojicha flavored cookies. You can find the complete recipe 👉 How to Make Top-Notch Hojicha Cookies


How to Improve the genmaicha flavor

There are a number of different ways you can improve the hojicha flavor. First, we recommend to pay attention to the genmaicha flavors you like and the ones you like and the ones you don’t like.

For example, if you find that the genmaicha tea is too “ricey” you can go for one that has more of an emphasis on the leaves like a gyokuro genmaicha or a matcha iri genmaicha. 

How preparation affects genmaicha flavor

Another way to improve the genmaicha flavor profile comes down to how you prepare the tea.

As we have discussed with other types of Japanese green tea, hotter water will extract more of the bitterness. If you find that your genmaicha flavour is too bitter, you may want to lower the water temperature.

Best temperature for brewing

The optimal brewing for genmaicha is 175 degrees fahrenheit (80 degrees Celsius) and a brewing time of 1 minute. This should be enough to extract plenty of flavor from the leaves, but not too much to release a lot of bitterness.

If you want to become a true expert on genmaicha preparation, you can read our guide 👉 Start Brewing Genmaicha like a pro with this tea master recipe


Final thoughts on the genmaicha flavor

The genmaicha flavor is something most people like the first time they experience it. For this reason, we often recommend this tea to beginners. It’s a good way to start out in the world of tea and get used to these more typical Japanese green tea flavors. 

If you want a great genmaicha flavor experience, you should try one of our genmaicha teas. After traveling around Japan for the past few years, we have met with dozens of farmers and sampled hundreds of different teas.

We’ve ultimately settled on a few that we love and we’re proud to share them with all of you. If you want to find the very best genmaicha tea, we made a full article for you 👉 How and Where to Find the World’s Best Genmaicha Tea

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

1 of 4