Kombucha made with Genmaicha is actually our first venture into the Japanese teas.
Our absolute favorite teas are the ones from China and Taiwan, as they generally have more of those lovely flowery and/or fruity notes. And we love those notes, as they are usually even more enhanced by the Kombucha fermentation process.
Japanese teas are usually more grassy and the teas that are really, really good, are also quite expensive, so the cost limits us to what we can make our specials with.
Genmaicha, or the brown rice tea (玄米茶) is different. Different because it is unusual as in this particular case, a Sencha from Southern Japan is mixed with roasted rice.
The whole combination is called Genmaicha Miyazaki and it is also Organic (BIO).
Tealife writes this about Genmaicha:
"Genmaicha is very different from the other Japanese green tea, as it is made from mixing green tea and roasted brown rice kernels.
The roasted brown rice gives the tea a gentle and mild taste, an almost nutty flavour and rich aroma, making it a healthy and pleasant drink.
It is very popular in Japan as it is considered an economic and yet satisfying tea option, suitable for daily use.
The underrated part is the health benefits that the genmaicha has to offer. As it comprises of both green tea and brown rice, you can reap the nutrients and health effects of both. It also contains a reduced amount of caffeine - perhaps the least amount of caffeine out of all the Japanese green tea - so it is the fantastic choice to drink before sleep, and a perfect cup for smaller children or the elderly to enjoy as well."
"The brown rice TOTALLY changes the taste of the tea!
The roasted brown rice kernels balance the astringent and bitterness of the green tea leaves. Together they complete a gentle, mild taste with the excellent rich and nutty aroma released from the roasted brown rice kernels.
The quality of the genmaicha is said to be mostly decided by the brown rice rather than the green tea - so keep an eye on the rice they use in the package.
Usually genmaicha will use mochi-gome or glutinous rice, but sometimes it will use normal brown rice kernels. While the name "Genmai" means brown rice, there are actually genmaicha that use white rice as well. The tastes also vary depending on the amount of the brown rice vs the green tea."
So, obviously the "popcorn" similar sweet flavor of this tea, was the drawing point to see, how it comes out in a Kombucha.
This tea also looks spectacular!
When steeped for either tea, or for Kombucha, the required temperature of the water is quite low, at only 60 C, which is the lowest temperature that we have ever used for any tea so far.
Nonetheless, the tea is still mesmerizing during this steeping process.
And after couple of minutes.
Once, the tea is steeped and strained, it undergoes the normal Kombucha process.
So the sugar is added, then more water, and then comes the Scoby, and the starter liquid.
After a week, the culture comes out and our Genmaicha Kombucha is strained.
Strained and NOT filtered, as is the case with all of our Kombuchas.
To preserve the natural sweetness of this tea, it is not recommended to keep the fermentation process to the point when too many organic acids develop. Those would overpower the delicate, sweet flavor of the tea.
The color is also lighter and more yellow. This obviously comes from the roasted rice.
Once the Kombucha is bottled, it goes through the process of second fermentation in order to develop natural carbonation.
Next, it goes through further conditioning in the fridge. That usually takes a few days, and then it's fun time.
When still fresh, the amazing flavor of roasted rice is very present, and it dominates in the Kombucha. Next comes the next layer of green tea notes and nice, light notes of sourness that are characteristic for Kombucha.
It's a very nice, and quite different Kombucha, and it has become a favorite among our customers.
Ingredients: Filtered and Revitalized Water, Live Kombucha Cultures, Unrefined Brown Sugar, and Genmaicha Miyazaki Green Tea