When it comes to selecting a healthy beverage, most would agree that tea is the most obvious option. Specifically, numerous studies have proven green tea to be fantastic in encouraging weight management, heart health, and a balanced mood. However, as beginners to a healthy lifestyle begin exploring the intricacies of all the options available to them, a resounding question repeats: “What is genmaicha tea?”
At Willow, we take pride in helping showcase exactly how easy, healthy, and delicious a cruelty-free lifestyle can be. Whether through a mouthwatering vegan meal, an easy at-home recipe, or one of our helpful guides, we hope to help diners through New York and beyond make the most of every day. By elevating each dish with a sophisticated twist, our professional chefs serve vegan takes on every old favorite, presenting them as you’ve never seen before.
Genmaicha Tea Benefits
At Willow, we are firm believers in the power of knowledge to change hearts, minds, and the world around us. It’s by spreading this knowledge that we can better show how valuable a compassionate meal can truly be.
Don’t get us wrong; it doesn’t take a huge study of tea to enjoy a simple cup. However, a basic understanding of the various types of green tea can better help a person find what’s right for them. Of all the options available, few are more delectable or laden with history than genmaicha tea!
The History of Genmaicha Tea
Throughout history, a singular, common story has rang true across many cultures: poor communities, in the hopes of stretching their resources further, found innovative ways to make food out of “low quality” materials. In doing so, they took the time and care to perfect their technique, leading to many of our modern culinary favorites: the New Orleans classic po boy, the Maine lobster roll, and, in Japan, genmaicha tea.
From the moment of its invention, green tea became a staple in many Asian cultures, where it was valued for its flavor, its health benefits, and the cultural rituals that developed around it. However, as the price of tea increased, poorer families struggled to keep it as part of their general routines.
To stretch their tea leaves further, they began mixing them with brown rice, which helped carry the flavor and added a subtle note.
Years passed, and with time, people began to perfect this technique, turning genmaicha tea from a last-ditch effort into a treasured beverage all its own.
Modern Genmaicha Tea
Today, genmaicha tea is widely recognized among tea connoisseurs, who praise it for its nutty flavor and value the way it enhances the subtler notes present in every sip of green tea.
Today, genmaicha is most commonly prepared with a specific blend of bancha green tea and toasted brown rice. Though bancha tea is made from the same very same leaves as black or oolong tea, the process by which this tea is prepared makes it a different product entirely: more subtle, affordable, and mature.
Though green tea can be prepared in a variety of ways, the two most common are sencha, which is harvested in the early stages of a tea bush, and bancha, which is harvested during the third or fourth blushes of the plant.
While sencha green tea is prepared from the soft, young leaves and bulbs at the top of the tea plant, while lower, darker leaves are dried to create bancha. The result is a deeper, more “adult” flavor that mixes even better with the nutty sweetness of brown rice.
Originally, brown rice was simply a way to stretch the tea leaves further, but today, it is cherished for the way it changes every cup. By toasting the rice, experts are able to add a hint of toasty flavor that helps this simple, affordable tea stand out in the crowd.
Genmaicha Tea at Willow in NYC
Though there is little more relaxing than a cup of tea on a stressful day, don’t feel the need to enjoy that tea in isolation! Order it alongside an appetizer, dessert, or full meal to turn it into a true culinary experience.
Regardless of your mood– whether you are looking for a full, filling meal or just a meditative moment in your day– the brilliant staff at Willow is ready to please. We offer an assortment of different sides, allowing you to fully customize your meal to your heart’s content!
No matter the dietary restrictions, every guest can find something to love on our full menu. Come enjoy a meal in our gorgeously designed restaurant or place an order for pickup/delivery to treat yourself to a well-deserved dinner.