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3 Impressive Health Benefits of Genmaicha + A FREE Recipe

What do you get when you mix green tea with brown rice? A powerhouse drink with antioxidants to boot – not to mention the earthy, cosy flavour that makes it the perfect warm-up drink of a morning. Let’s take a look at what genmaicha is and why you should be drinking it. 

Genmaicha is a traditional Japanese green tea that is known for its unique combination of green tea leaves and roasted brown rice. The name "Genmaicha" is derived from two Japanese words: "genmai," which means brown rice, and "cha," which means tea – pretty self-explanatory, right? The result is a distinctive and flavourful tea with a nutty and slightly toasty taste.

Key Characteristics of Genmaicha

Green Tea Base: Genmaicha is typically made with bancha or sencha, which are types of green tea leaves. The choice of green tea can influence the overall flavor profile.

Roasted Brown Rice: The defining feature of Genmaicha is the addition of roasted brown rice. The rice is often popped during the roasting process, resembling small popcorn kernels. This gives the tea a unique appearance and contributes to its distinctive flavour. 

Nutty and Toasty Flavour: The roasted brown rice imparts a nutty and toasty flavor to the tea, balancing the grassy notes of the green tea. The result is a smooth and savoury beverage with a comforting aroma. 

Low Caffeine Content: Genmaicha tends to have lower caffeine content compared to other green teas, making it a popular choice for those looking for a milder tea option. 

Appearance: The popped rice in Genmaicha creates a visual contrast with the green tea leaves, giving the tea a rustic appearance. The combination of green tea leaves and rice grains makes for an interesting and textured brew.

To brew Genmaicha, you can follow these general guidelines:

Tea Leaves: Use about 1 to 1.5 teaspoons of Genmaicha per 8 ounces (240 ml) of water.

Water Temperature: Brew the tea with water that is around 175–185°F (80–85°C). Avoid using boiling water to prevent bitterness.

Steeping Time: Steep the tea for 2–3 minutes. Adjust the steeping time based on personal preference for a lighter or stronger brew.

Genmaicha is not only appreciated for its unique taste but also for its cultural significance in Japanese tea traditions. It offers a delightful and accessible entry point into the world of Japanese green teas for tea enthusiasts around the globe – let’s take a look at what makes it so good.

Antioxidant Properties

How it Works: Genmaicha contains antioxidants derived from both green tea leaves and roasted brown rice. These antioxidants, such as catechins and gamma-oryzanol, help neutralise harmful free radicals in the body, reducing oxidative stress and supporting overall cellular health. The combination of green tea and roasted rice in Genmaicha provides a potent source of antioxidants. Regular consumption of antioxidant-rich teas may contribute to the prevention of chronic diseases and the promotion of overall wellbeing.

Here's a closer look at the types of antioxidants present in Genmaicha and their potential benefits for the body:

Catechins: Green tea leaves, a key component of Genmaicha, are rich in catechins, a type of flavonoid antioxidant.

  • Antioxidant Protection: Catechins, particularly epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), are potent antioxidants that help combat oxidative stress by neutralizing free radicals in the body.
  • Heart Health: Some studies suggest that catechins may contribute to cardiovascular health by promoting healthy blood vessel function and supporting cholesterol levels.

Gamma-Oryzanol: Gamma-oryzanol is a compound found in rice bran oil, including the brown rice used in Genmaicha.

  • Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory: Gamma-oryzanol has antioxidant properties, helping to protect cells from oxidative damage. It also exhibits anti-inflammatory effects, which may contribute to overall health and well-being.
  • Cholesterol Regulation: Studies suggest that gamma-oryzanol may have a role in regulating cholesterol levels, potentially supporting heart health.

Polyphenols: Both green tea leaves and roasted brown rice contain polyphenols, a diverse group of plant compounds with antioxidant properties.

  • Cellular Protection: Polyphenols act as antioxidants, shielding cells from damage caused by free radicals. This protection is crucial for maintaining cellular health and preventing premature aging.
  • Anti-Inflammatory Effects: Some polyphenols have anti-inflammatory properties, contributing to the body's ability to manage inflammation, which is linked to various chronic diseases.

Vitamins and Minerals: Genmaicha provides essential vitamins and minerals from both green tea and brown rice – these work in tandem with the antioxidants to deliver powerful anti-inflammatory effects.

  • Nutrient Support: Vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, vitamin E, and manganese contribute to overall health and support the body's natural defence mechanisms.
  • Collaborative Antioxidant Action: The combination of various antioxidants in Genmaicha creates a synergistic effect, enhancing overall antioxidant capacity and providing comprehensive protection.
  • Oxidative Stress Reduction: The antioxidants in Genmaicha help reduce oxidative stress by neutralising free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can cause cellular damage.
  • Cellular Health: Antioxidants support cellular health and may contribute to the prevention of chronic diseases associated with oxidative damage.
  • Anti-Inflammatory Effects: Some antioxidants in Genmaicha have anti-inflammatory properties, potentially aiding in the management of inflammation within the body. 

Digestive Support

How it Works: The roasted brown rice in Genmaicha contains compounds that may support digestive health. It is believed to have mild soothing effects on the digestive system, making it a gentle and comforting option for individuals with mild digestive discomfort. Genmaicha's digestive benefits, along with its low caffeine content, make it a suitable choice for those seeking a tea that is not only flavourful but also gentle on the stomach. It can be enjoyed after meals to aid in digestion and promote a sense of comfort.

The digestive support associated with Genmaicha, the traditional Japanese green tea with roasted brown rice, is attributed to the combination of green tea and roasted brown rice. Here's a closer look at how Genmaicha may offer digestive benefits:

Roasted Brown Rice: The roasted brown rice in Genmaicha contains compounds that may have mild soothing effects on the digestive system. The toasty and nutty flavor of the roasted rice adds a comforting element to the tea.

Low Caffeine Content: Genmaicha typically has lower caffeine content compared to some other green teas. This makes it a gentler option for individuals who may be sensitive to higher caffeine levels, as excessive caffeine intake can sometimes contribute to digestive discomfort.

Green Tea Combination: The combination of green tea leaves and roasted brown rice creates a balanced flavour profile. The grassy and vegetal notes from the green tea are complemented by the nutty and toasty undertones from the roasted rice. This combination can be more palatable for individuals with sensitive stomachs.

Cultural Practice: In Japanese culture, it's common to enjoy Genmaicha after meals. The practice is believed to aid in digestion and provide a sense of comfort. The ritual of sipping warm tea after eating can have a calming effect on the digestive system.

Soothing Warm Beverage: The warmth of the tea itself can have a soothing effect on the digestive tract. Warm beverages, in general, may help relax the muscles of the gastrointestinal system and promote smoother digestion.

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Stress Reduction and Relaxation 

How it Works: The combination of green tea and roasted brown rice in Genmaicha contributes to a unique flavour profile that is both nutty and slightly toasty. Additionally, the low caffeine content of Genmaicha allows for a calming and relaxing experience without the stimulating effects often associated with higher caffeine teas.

Impressive Benefit: Genmaicha's soothing qualities make it an ideal choice for moments of relaxation and stress reduction. The ritual of preparing and sipping on Genmaicha can create a serene environment, promoting a sense of calm and well-being.

Note: While these health benefits are associated with Genmaicha, individual responses to tea can vary. It's essential to enjoy Genmaicha as part of a balanced and varied diet for optimal health. If you have specific health concerns or conditions, it's advisable to consult with a healthcare professional for personalised advice.

Usage Tips

  • Enjoying Genmaicha in moderation as part of a post-meal ritual may contribute to its digestive benefits.
  • Consider sipping Genmaicha slowly and mindfully, allowing the warmth and flavours to provide a comforting experience.

Want to make use of this nutritious leaf? Try a genmaicha latte – we’ve got a FREE recipe for you.

Genmaicha Latte


  • 1 tablespoon Genmaicha tea leaves (or 1 Genmaicha tea bag)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup milk of your choice (dairy or plant-based)
  • 1-2 teaspoons rice malt syrup (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
  • Ground cinnamon or nutmeg for garnish (optional)


  1. In a saucepan, bring 1 cup of water to a near boil.
  2. Add the Genmaicha tea leaves to the water or place the Genmaicha tea bag in the water.
  3. Let the tea steep for about 3-5 minutes, depending on your desired strength. Adjust the steeping time to suit your taste preferences.
  4. While the tea is steeping, heat the milk in another saucepan or using a milk frother until it's warm but not boiling. If using a frother, you can froth the milk to create a creamy texture.
  5. Strain the brewed Genmaicha tea to remove the tea leaves or bag.
  6. Pour the brewed tea into your favourite mug.
  7. Slowly pour the warm milk into the mug, stirring gently to combine the tea and milk.
  8. Add rice malt syrup if you like your latte sweetened – but you might prefer the stronger flavour of an unsweetened latte.
  9. If desired, add vanilla extract for an extra layer of flavour.
  10. Sprinkle a dash of ground cinnamon or nutmeg on top for a delightful aroma and added flavour.
  11. Stir the latte one more time to ensure all the flavours are well combined.
  12. Sit back, relax, and savour the comforting and nutty goodness of your homemade Genmaicha Latte!
  13. Feel free to customise the recipe based on your taste preferences, adjusting the sweetness, milk choice, or additional flavourings. Whether enjoyed in the morning or as an afternoon treat, this Genmaicha Latte provides a cosy and unique twist on the classic latte experience.

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