Ingredients From: Japan
Region(s): Kagoshima Prefecture
Seasonality: Seasonal quality (Mar.-Apr. growth)
Shipping Port(s): Yokohama / Tokyo
Grade Composition: Sencha
Growing Altitude(s): 200 – 1000 feet above sea level
Manufacture Type(s): Tea : Non fermented, Traditional steamed, Pan dried and polished
Cup Characteristics: Light, golden yellow liquor with a unique, toasty rice flavor tending sweet. A tea that creates conversation.
Infusion: Tending bright with toasted rice kernels.
Pairing Suggestions: Sushi, Fish sashimi, Japanese style noodle soups, Fish or vegetable tempura, Horse sashimi with a raw egg and julienned cucumbers
Luxury Ingredients: Green tea, and Roasted & Popped Rice.
Caffeine Content: Low
This is a specialty Japanese style green tea (normally a high grade of Japan Sencha) that is blended with fire-toasted rice. The fresh vegetative character of the green tea is imparted on the cup but it is tempered with the bakey-like character of the rice. There is a natural sweetness and almost chewy character to the finish of this tea. During the firing of the rice, it is not uncommon for rice to ‘pop’ not unlike popcorn, hence the pet name ‘popcorn-tea’
Legend has it that during the 1400’s an important samurai warlord in Hakone on the Izu Peninsula of Honshu Island (the Izu Peninsula is near the Shizuoka area) was having tea in the morning discussing a battle strategy with his patrol leaders. A servant by the name of Genamai was serving hot tea to the group. Leaning over to give tea to the warlord, rice that he had surreptitiously taken for a morning snack fell out of his pocket into the steaming hot tea. Some popped upon hitting the hot tea. The warlord was incensed, jumped up brandishing his samurai sword he promptly cut of Genamai’s head in one fell swoop. He then sat down to continue the meeting. Despite the fact that the tea had been tarnished he drank it anyway. The flavor was very unique and he enjoyed it tremendously. In honor of poor Genamai he pronounced that this rice and tea be served every morning and be called ‘Genmaicha’ (cha being the name of ‘tea’ in Japanese)
Hot tea brewing method:
Traditional method (see note below): When preparing by the cup, this tea can be used repeatedly – about 3 times. The secret is to use water that is about 180°F/82°C. Place 1 slightly heaping teaspoon in your cup let the tea steep for about 3 minutes and then begin enjoying a cup of enchantment – do not remove the leaves from the cup. Adding milk and sugar is not recommended. Once the water level is low – add more water, and so on and so on – until the flavor of the tea is exhausted. Look at the pattern of the leaves in the brew, not only do they foretell your fortune but you can see the bud and shoots presenting themselves, looking like they are about to be plucked.
Modern Method: Bring filtered or freshly drawn cold water to a rolling boil. Place 1 slightly heaping teaspoon of loose tea, 1 tea bag or 1 Q3 portion control pack 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). Adding milk or sugar is not recommended.
Note: Traditionally, the recommendation has been that green tea be brewed at 180°F/82°C. Regretfully, modern society makes it necessary to consider that water may not be free of harmful bacteria and other impurities. Therefore you need to boil water to kill bacteria. If you wish to use traditional brewing temperatures bring the water to a boil and allow it to cool to the desired brewing temperature – it’s the food safe thing to do!
SERVING THIS AS ICED TEA IS GENERALLY NOT RECOMMENDED. HOWEVER, SHOULD YOU WISH TO BREW IT ANYWAY, PLEASE FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS BELOW:
Iced tea brewing method (Pitcher): (to make 1 liter/quart): Place 6 slightly heaping teaspoons of loose tea, 6 tea bags or 6 Q3 portion packs 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 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!)
Iced tea brewing method (Individual Serving): Place 1 slightly heaping teaspoon of loose tea, 1 tea bag or 1 Q3 portion control pack 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!)
ANTIOXIDANT BENEFIT: More antioxidants are extracted from tea (L. Camellia Sinesis), or rooibos (Asphalatus Linearis), the longer it is brewed….and the more tea or rooibos that is used, the greater the antioxidant benefit.
Ideal Brewing Temperature: 100ºC/212ºF. Minimum Brewing Temperature: 90ºC/194ºF.