Genmaicha tea is a type of Japanese tea infusion. It’s a blend of bancha green tea and roasted brown rice.
The name bancha refers to the time of year the tea leaves are harvested.
Sencha green tea, which is the most common type of green tea consumed in Japan, is harvested during the first or second flush of the year. Bancha green tea is harvested later in the season, during the third and fourth flushes of the tea plant (4Trusted Source, 5Trusted Source).
Because of this, bancha tea is considered to be lower in quality than sencha tea and is more affordable.
The tea was once called “the people’s tea” in Japan as it was cheaper than higher grade green tea. It’s also referred to as “popcorn tea” because some of the brown rice pops during the roasting process, resulting in popped rice that resembles popcorn.
Unlike traditional green tea, which has an earthy and grassy flavor and green color, genmaicha tea has a nutty, slightly sweet flavor and a yellowish color.