*Genmaicha* is a tea blend made from puffed, browned rice and dried green tea leaves. Though *genmai* translates to “[brown rice](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/how-to-cook-the-perfect-brown-rice-easy-brown-rice-recipe-and-cooking-tips)” in Japanese, you can make the tea with either brown rice or by toasting white rice kernels until they take on a golden-brown hue. The inclusion of rice reduces the tea’s overall caffeine content and infuses the tea with its signature nutty flavor. Despite the notes of buttered toast, *genmaicha* is gluten-free.\n\nOccasionally, producers will dust *genmaicha* blends in a coat of matcha powder (*matcha-iri genmaicha*) to enhance the tea’s [umami](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/what-is-umami-learn-about-umami-and-how-to-incorporate-umami-flavors-in-your-cooking) notes and give it a light-green hue, rather than its usual pale-yellow color.\n*Genmaicha* tea has a toasty, nutty flavor, thanks to the sugars and starch in the roasted rice, similar to *mugicha* ([barley tea](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/barley-tea-explained)). *Genmaicha*’s flavoring lies somewhere between the savory, caramel notes of an oolong tea and the light floral ones of traditional *sencha*. \n\n*Genmaicha* is more full-bodied than [green tea](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/matcha-vs-green-tea), which has a more grassy, vegetal flavor and aroma.\nConsider these tips when brewing *genmaicha* at home. \n\n1. __Use the proper water temperature__. Water temperature is an essential factor when brewing any cup of tea, and *genmaicha* is no exception. Though it can vary a few degrees, depending on the type of green tea leaves (*sencha*, *gyokuro*, or *bancha*) in the blend, it’s generally best to use hot water that’s just below boiling, at about 180 degrees Fahrenheit. \n2. __Make your own cold brew__. *Genmaicha* is typically consumed while hot, but it’s also refreshing over ice. To make a *genmaicha* cold brew, combine one sachet with one cup of cold water, and place it in the refrigerator for at least two hours to chill. Remove the sachet and pour the tea over a tall cup of ice. \n3. __Store it properly__. Place any opened *genmaicha* packages in an airtight container and store them in a cool, dry place between uses.\nTo make your own *genmaicha* blend, soak one cup of short-grain white rice in warm water for 30 minutes, then drain and cook it as you would usually, either using a rice cooker or the stovetop. \n\nSpread the steamed rice grains in a thin layer on a lined baking sheet to cool. Then, heat a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Add the rice (in batches if needed to allow the rice room to toast evenly), and cook until golden brown and puffy. \n\nOnce the rice completely cools, mix it with an equal amount of loose-leaf green tea, then store it in an airtight container. Place one or two tablespoons of *genmaicha* into a tea bag or teapot fitted with a strainer and steep for approximately two minutes. Decant the tea into a pre-warmed teacup to serve.\nBecome a better chef with the [MasterClass Annual Membership](https://www.masterclass.com). Gain access to exclusive video lessons taught by the world’s best, including Niki Nakayama, Gabriela Cámara, Chef Thomas Keller, Yotam Ottolenghi, Dominique Ansel, Gordon Ramsay, Alice Waters, and more.\n*Genmaicha*, also known as “popcorn tea,” is a Japanese green tea mixed with roasted rice puffs.