Best Genmaicha?

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Best Genmaicha?

Postby Infusion » Sep 25th, '10, 12:18

Genmaicha is one of my favorite green teas and I am looking to try out new vendors. So, who makes your favorite Genmaicha (no matcha blends, please)?

So far, my favorite genmaicha is Den's Tea Genmaicha Satsuki. What's yours?

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Re: Best Genmaicha?

Postby Mr. Usaji » Sep 25th, '10, 12:33

I actually didn't like Den's genmaicha at all. (I did like their "Genmaicha Extra-Green" with matcha, but that's a different category.) In fact, in a taste test of Den's, Yamamotoyama genmaicha tea bags, and Dong Suh (Korean) "Brown Rice Green Tea" bags, I thought Yamamotoyama was the clear winner. Both of the others were pretty bad.

My favorite genmaicha is still Maeda-en's "gold" version, which you can find in Asian grocery stores. I think it's better than any of those other three. And cheaper.

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Re: Best Genmaicha?

Postby Infusion » Sep 25th, '10, 12:44

Mr. Usaji wrote:I actually didn't like Den's genmaicha at all. (I did like their "Genmaicha Extra-Green" with matcha, but that's a different category.) In fact, in a taste test of Den's, Yamamotoyama genmaicha tea bags, and Dong Suh (Korean) "Brown Rice Green Tea" bags, I thought Yamamotoyama was the clear winner. Both of the others were pretty bad.

My favorite genmaicha is still Maeda-en's "gold" version, which you can find in Asian grocery stores. I think it's better than any of those other three. And cheaper.


Thank you very much for your feedback, Mr. Usaji. I will definitely give Maeda-en's a try!

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Re: Best Genmaicha?

Postby britt » Sep 25th, '10, 17:59

I don't care for any genmaicha that uses first-flush sencha. I think it contradicts the purpose of adding the rice in the first place in order to give flavor to lower-quality tea from later harvests. In my opinion, first flush sencha should be brewed at less than 175F, but the flavor of the roasted brown rice is best when brewed at a higher temperature.

I agree that Maeda-en Gold Genmaicha is a very good choice and is readily available over here.

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Re: Best Genmaicha?

Postby TwoPynts » Sep 25th, '10, 19:19

I hope that "special teas" gen. is good...just sent away for 2 lbs of it! I like Den's, but only the extra-green version.

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Re: Best Genmaicha?

Postby britt » Sep 25th, '10, 20:19

TwoPynts wrote:I hope that "special teas" gen. is good...just sent away for 2 lbs of it! I like Den's, but only the extra-green version.


Two pounds!!!???? I hope it's good too. To be honest, I've never had a truly bad genmaicha. Some have too much rice and not enough tea, others have some other imperfection, but I've found them all to be at least okay.

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Re: Best Genmaicha?

Postby Mr. Usaji » Sep 26th, '10, 13:02

britt wrote:I don't care for any genmaicha that uses first-flush sencha.

Is that what's in Den's genmaicha? Their website says "Between 2010 First and Second Harvests". If it is first-flush sencha or similar, that could be what's wrong. But anyway, I might just not like it because I'm weird, or my package from Den's wasn't fresh. If it was Infusion's favorite, maybe it's usually better.

I have wondered whether brewing the rice and tea separately would give better results, and I would try it if I could find some plain genmai without tea.

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Re: Best Genmaicha?

Postby Chip » Sep 26th, '10, 21:44

The best genmaicha is home roasted. :mrgreen:

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Re: Best Genmaicha?

Postby Mr. Usaji » Sep 27th, '10, 12:27

Chip, please give us your recipe!

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Re: Best Genmaicha?

Postby TwoPynts » Sep 27th, '10, 14:12

britt wrote:
TwoPynts wrote:I hope that "special teas" gen. is good...just sent away for 2 lbs of it! I like Den's, but only the extra-green version.


Two pounds!!!???? I hope it's good too. To be honest, I've never had a truly bad genmaicha. Some have too much rice and not enough tea, others have some other imperfection, but I've found them all to be at least okay.


Thanks Britt. Actually, I bought it from someone on Tea Chat who didn't care for it. I'm only paying for shipping.

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Re: Best Genmaicha?

Postby Chip » Sep 27th, '10, 17:42

Mr. Usaji wrote:Chip, please give us your recipe!

I use several methods, First you have to choose your grains. I use several different rices, including "sweet rice." You can also do this for Mugi (barley), etc. I store it seperate from actual tea and add tea per serving. The tea is whatever sencha, etc I have around that is not wowing me on its own.

I have a pan dedicated to the job. Pretty high heat, dry, KEEP IT MOVING, think jiffy pop or stir with a bamboo flat end spatula. Pan fire around 5 minutes.

I also use a hot air popcorn popper. Again around 5 minutes.

Freshly roasted is really aromatic!

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Re: Best Genmaicha?

Postby britt » Sep 27th, '10, 18:23

Chip wrote:
Mr. Usaji wrote:Chip, please give us your recipe!

I use several methods, First you have to choose your grains. I use several different rices, including "sweet rice." You can also do this for Mugi (barley), etc. I store it seperate from actual tea and add tea per serving. The tea is whatever sencha, etc I have around that is not wowing me on its own.

I have a pan dedicated to the job. Pretty high heat, dry, KEEP IT MOVING, think jiffy pop or stir with a bamboo flat end spatula. Pan fire around 5 minutes.

I also use a hot air popcorn popper. Again around 5 minutes.

Freshly roasted is really aromatic!


I actually thought you were joking. Have you started growing your own tea plants yet? (I have seen them for sale online!)

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Re: Best Genmaicha?

Postby Mr. Usaji » Sep 27th, '10, 18:27

britt wrote:Have you started growing your own tea plants yet?

Haven't you seen his icon?

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Re: Best Genmaicha?

Postby britt » Sep 27th, '10, 18:27

Mr. Usaji wrote:
britt wrote:I don't care for any genmaicha that uses first-flush sencha.

Is that what's in Den's genmaicha? Their website says "Between 2010 First and Second Harvests". If it is first-flush sencha or similar, that could be what's wrong. But anyway, I might just not like it because I'm weird, or my package from Den's wasn't fresh. If it was Infusion's favorite, maybe it's usually better.

I have wondered whether brewing the rice and tea separately would give better results, and I would try it if I could find some plain genmai without tea.


That might be the problem. I was given some genmaicha last year that used shincha and although it made a decent cup, it didn't seem like genmaicha to me. it really had to be brewed at lower temperature or the sencha would become bitter, but because of the lower temp I never felt the taste of the rice was strong enough. This is just my own opinion, as I've seen first-flush genmaicha offered on several sites so someone must like it.

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Re: Best Genmaicha?

Postby britt » Sep 27th, '10, 18:28

Mr. Usaji wrote:
britt wrote:Have you started growing your own tea plants yet?

Haven't you seen his icon?


I didn't realize that was Chip's back yard!

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