Genmaicha is currently my definition of a “comfort tea”, a warm wholesome taste, especially nice when it’s cold inside or outside. The Numi Toasted Rice was one of the first genmaicha teas I tried. This is their standard tea bag configuration. As such, this is not a bad attempt at a genmaicha, definitely more accessible than finding the loose leaf variety at supermarkets and such.
So to cut a long story short on this Numi, if you can find it at a good price and you do not object to tea-bag tea, this is not a bad choice or an introduction to genmaicha. Because people who haven’t heard of it before they often get a puzzled/glazed look in their eyes when you describe it. I believe I did too when I first heard about it ^_^
The difference in taste is also matched by the difference in the tea leaves. After opening up the tea bag, this looks more like a paste 🙂
Each tea bag is individually wrapped, making it a good choice to take with you with your lunch box or hand it off to friends and families to convince them to try it…
Unfortunately their tea bags has staples, something that goes counter to their theme of “real ingredients”, and organic, and natural and such. I just don’t like the idea of staples in tea bags!
INGREDIENTS and INSTRUCTIONS
There are only two ingredients in the tea. Organic sencha green tea and organic toasted rice. Nothing else. The brewing instructions recommend boiling water but most of the time I let it linger for 2-3 minutes before pouring it over. I don’t recall a disaster when I poured the water earlier than that. Overbrewing doesn’t ruin it either, but taste varies from person to person.
BALANCED GREEN vs RICE
One of the things I look in genmaicha is the balance between the green tea flavor and the comfort-y taste of the rice. With loose-leaf tea, you can play with quantity and brewing parameters to adjust to taste. For example, with the Hime genmaicha I found the green tea to be a bit sharper, but you have flexibility to play with the brewing process.
With tea-bag tea, you don’t really have that flexibility because you get finely chopped tea and it will give you most of its juice during the first infusion. Thankfully I found this to be well-balanced in green vs rice flavor…