Gen Mai Cha Tea, sometimes known as “brown rice tea” comes with its share of unusual stories. One such story goes something like this; In ancient Feudal Japan a humble servant named Gen Mai accidentally dropped some toasted grains of rice into his master’s cup, while serving him tea. His master who was a Samurai did not take a liking to the servants clumsiness and swiftly chopped off his servants head. But as the story goes, it turns out this same Samurai really liked the tea. Then to honor his servant he called the tea Gen Mai Cha. Another story suggests that frugal Japanese people added puffed rice to their tea to stretch the volume of tea. Whether practical or by accident the creation of Gen Mai Cha has been popular and enjoyed by green tea lovers for centuries.
The fresh, vegetal character of Sencha green tea is well balanced with the toasted, nutty flavor of the rice.
The process by which sencha and other Japanese green tea is created differs from Chinese green teas, which are initially pan-fired (and could probably, therefore, more accurately be called “roasted” teas). Japanese green tea is first steamed for between 15–20 seconds to prevent oxidization of the leaves. Then, the leaves are rolled, shaped, and dried.
Gen Mai Cha is known to cleanse the palate and enhance the flavor of fine food.
Gen Mai Cha is also lower in caffeine than other green teas, making it a beverage for anyone at any time of the day.