In Japan, the Ichibancha (“first harvest”) period is the most prized for green teas, and it holds additional symbolic value, like everything associated with the renewal of the seasons in this country.
Genmaicha is a blend of green tea, puffed and toasted brown rice, which is regularly consumed in Japan at mealtimes.
Legend tells of the fortuitous invention: in the 15th century on the island of Honshu, a samurai was drinking a bowl of tea while drawing up a battle plan with his troops. His servant, Genmai, unfortunately let a few grains of rice fall into his master’s bowl. The latter, furious over this mistake, cut off the poor man’s head. He still drank the tea, however, and found it delicious: the aromas of rice and tea formed a very harmonious drink. In memory and honour of his dead servant, the samurai demanded to be served a bowl of tea with rice every day, and named it Genmaicha.
A less colourful explanation of the origins of Genmaicha is that for people living in provinces far from tea producing regions, blending cereals with tea leaves was a clever way of making them go further. However, it was invented, the tea is consumed right across Japan today.
A sweet green tea, perfectly balanced with its hints of toasted grain and its fresh, grassy notes. The highest quality of Genmaicha.
The Choice of Francois-Xavier Delmas
TEA SOMMELIER EXPERT AND FOUNDER OF PALAIS DES THÉS
- Shizuoka, Japan
- Tea colour:
- green tea
- Appearance: attractive leaves folded into needles with puffed rice
- Colour: dark green
- Scents: toasted (toast, rice), cereal and fresh vegetal notes with a marine note
- Scents: very intense cereal and toasted rice notes, plus vegetal aromas
- Colour: pale green
- Texture: smooth
- Flavours: sweet
- Aromas: cereal and toasted rice notes at the start, then vegetal notes appear as well as marine and vanilla notes
- Aromatic profile and length in the mouth: the tea is richly flavoured and perfectly balanced between the puffed, toasted rice and vegetal notes, giving this green tea plenty of freshness