toasty notes: 1 post

Japanese Green Tea with Toasted Rice : Genmaicha

Andy explores toasted notes and green tea.

When I cook, I am always amazed at how some of the most harmonious flavor combinations arise by fusing seemingly incompatible ingredients. Strawberries and balsamic vinegar, blue cheese and honey, mangoes and cayenne pepper—all of these flavorful groupings work surprisingly well together. In perfumery, classical genres like chypre and fougère juxtapose fresh notes of citrus or herbs with rich woods, moss, and amber to create an exciting fragrant impression. Even in tea, where olfactory and gustatory pleasures meet, harmonious contrasts make for some of the most interesting and popular teas. Such is the case with Genmaicha, a Japanese green tea that blends the savory aroma of toasted brown rice with the freshness and delicacy of Sencha.

genmaicha

When you first open up a package of Genmaicha, the incredible fragrance immediately hits you. The scent of Genmaicha combines grassy sweetness with toasty richness, a cue to the exquisite flavor of the tea, as well as the unique ingredients. Unlike most teas, Genmaicha consists of a steamed green tea (usually Sencha, an early harvest green tea, or Bancha, a lower grade, later harvest tea) combined with kernels of toasted brown rice. Oftentimes, some of these kernels pop during roasting, resulting in pieces that look like popcorn mixed into your tea.

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