Mugi-cha? (Barley Tea)

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Mugi-cha? (Barley Tea)

Postby TEAcipes » Jul 1st, '09, 12:55

Does anybody drink barley tea here?

Personally, I can't imagine summer without it- but I realize that I've been drinking the same one for over 10 years now (Itoen).
Any brand recs?

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Postby Sam. » Jul 1st, '09, 17:24

I thought it was called bori-cha. At least that's what I read on a Korean-run health site I frequent.

Actually, I just checked and it looks like the same thing is called mugicha in Japan and boricha in Korea. Interesting.

I've never tried it but I really want to. I keep forgetting to buy barley. I should look for it next time I'm at whole foods.

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Postby Chip » Jul 1st, '09, 22:14

I drink it pretty much (but have not since shincha hit the market). I often roast my own and like the results a lot. I have also picked it up at Korean markets (where I may go tomorrow). Very cheap either way and very pleasing.

I like a lot of other "grain" teas as well, including buckwheat, corn, and of course genmai.

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Postby TEAcipes » Jul 8th, '09, 20:45

Hmmm, I guess it's not very popular? Sometimes I'll be extra lazy and pick up a 2L bottle of Mugi-cha (Rokujou Mugicha by Suntory... is a LEGEND!) and then get scolded by mr. Teacipes because I could have only spent 1/10 of that price if I brewed it at home.
But sometimes, just sometimes, laziness wins. And I kinda like that junky bottled tea flavor (please don't tell others, they will stone me to death!).

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Postby Cinnamon Kitty » Jul 8th, '09, 21:27

I keep a bottle of iced mugicha in the fridge more times than not. I was given some with a teaswap and really liked it so I've experimented further with home roasting and brewing. I've found that it makes a rather nice non-caffeinated iced beverage and is very refreshing.

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Postby scruffmcgruff » Jul 20th, '09, 22:20

How much do you all usually toast the barley? Is it like with nuts where you toast until they are fragrant?

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Postby Chip » Jul 20th, '09, 22:26

Yeah, pretty much Scruff. When I am done, the whole house smells toasty. Heh.

I also have used a hot air popcorn popper with very good results. About 4 minutes and it is done. If I do it in a pan, it takes about 8 minutes.

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Postby kymidwife » Jul 20th, '09, 22:50

I also roast my own... usually pan-fired. I've done barley alone, and also mingled it with toasted rice. I recommend if you roast your own, you do the barley separately from the rice, as they don't brown at the same rate. I have had some results that were over-browned, especially when using long grain wild rice. I personally like the combination of grains but barley alone is very tasty. I also find that it reinfuses very well... I start mine with hot water and grain... let it sit for a few minutes to start the brewing, top it off with cool water, and stick it in the refrigerator. After each glass I drink, I top it off again with water... and the same couple of tablespoons of toasted grains are good for several days this way.

I like it warm too... but drink it chilled more often than not.

Sarah

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Postby scruffmcgruff » Jul 20th, '09, 23:32

Hmm maybe I should rephrase. Do you toast the barley until it is *just* fragrant and still light brown, or do you toast to a deep brown (but not burnt)?

Edit: After googling a bit, it seems like there are quite a few ways of doing it! I just tried toasting until just fragrant and then steeping, but it doesn't seem to produce as strong a brew as I've had elsewhere. Next I'll try the other extreme-- dark brown roast and simmering.

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Postby Chip » Jul 21st, '09, 00:19

Depends on my mood, Scruff. You can darken it to almost burnt. Almost. I have also done it pretty light and it tastes kind of creamy.

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Postby silverneedles » Jul 21st, '09, 00:25

mmm mmmooogeeee

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Postby Sam. » Jul 21st, '09, 00:48

Where do you all buy your whole, unhulled barley? I might try Whole Foods here in Austin but some things are hit and miss with them. Should I just go find a Korean market instead? I know there are some around, I just haven't been to them.

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Postby Chip » Jul 21st, '09, 01:13

Try several different sources, then decide which mugi reigns supreme!

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