Genmai Cha

Tea type
Green Tea
Not available
Broth, Rice, Toasted Rice, Umami, Vegetal, Bitter, Grain, Grass, Sweet, Drying, Green, Roasted, Smooth, Burnt, Fish Broth, Floral, Nutty, Toasted, Nuts, Roasted Barley, Toasty, Corn Husk
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Loose Leaf, Sachet
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Michael
Average preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 0 sec 4 g 10 oz / 294 ml

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97 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Never had this kind of tea before. Thanks Rachel for letting me try this! This tea smells and tastes like liquid rice cakes. I am really enjoying the savory flavors of this tea. I need to save the...” Read full tasting note
  • “Backlogging again. I am unsure if I am doing this correctly, I brewed the tea, hot no additives, 2.5 minutes. I can definitely smell the puffed/toasted rice in the tea pot, but the steeped leaves...” Read full tasting note
  • “I can’t get enough of this stuff. I love the the popped rice flavor like no other. Also recently ordered that popular Ryokucha tea from Samovar which also has the rice. I think I’ll become as...” Read full tasting note
  • “Ricecake!!!!! That is what I get from this, that or rice cereal that isn’t very sweetened in almond milk. I love it and it makes me feel full.” Read full tasting note

From Adagio Teas

Green tea from Japan that is the ‘snap, crackle, pop’ of teas. Genmai Cha is an exotic Japanese recipe that combines popped rice and popcorn with tender and delicate green tea leaves. First used by peasants as a cost-saving measure, our ‘Genmai Cha Pop’ tea is now equally popular with modern urbanites. Both groups enjoy a refreshing cup that’s both sweet and nutty.

$12/4 oz

About Adagio Teas View company

Adagio Teas has become one of the most popular destinations for tea online. Its products are available online at and in many gourmet and health food stores.

97 Tasting Notes

392 tasting notes

Never had this kind of tea before. Thanks Rachel for letting me try this!

This tea smells and tastes like liquid rice cakes. I am really enjoying the savory flavors of this tea. I need to save the rest of this and let my boyfriend try it, because I am trying to get him into more tea and currently he only like lapsang souchong. He likes salty things better then sweet and considers most tea sweet so I think this would be right up his alley. I might need to buy more of it. Its very different then anything I currently have and its yummy!


One of only 2 greens I don’t like. I don’t mind the popped corn in it, but I can do w/o the rice.


I really like ricecakes and popcorn so this tea is good with me – haha. What’s the other kind out of curiosity?


Hojicha. I don’t like anything roasty toasty. Don’t like roasted oolongs either.


I haven’t tried either of those so I can’t really comment – haha


I love Genmaicha. There’s no real popcorn in this tea. When you roast rice kernels they can sometimes pop like popcorn and provide a similar smell and tasty flavor.


Actually this one does have popcorn but this pariticular pot of tea had like 2 pieces of popcorn and like 40 pieces of rice.


Even though Adagio calls it Popcorn Green I don’t really think it has popcorn in it. The rice kernels are popped as happens with all Genmaicha regardless of source.

It’s often called popcorn tea because the popped rice looks like little popcorn kernels. I’ve never come across a Genmaicha with actual popcorn in it and would be very surprised if it did.


Tea-Guy, if Caitlin says there is then I believe her. She has no reason to be dishonest about ingredients in tea. I didn’t realize rice could pop. The rice I’ve seen in Gen Mai Cha hasn’t. You are correct that Not all Gen Mai Cha has popped corn, but yes some do.


I am going off adagio’s description which says there is both rice and popcorn and these little white pieces in the tea… I must admit I am not sure I would be able to tell the difference between popcorn and rice, but I don’t think adagio would lie about ingredients.


Please understand I’m not calling anyone a liar. Adagio’s site does indicate they include popcorn with this tea, though I’ve never seen this done.

As noted, I’m surprised they would include popcorn in this tea since the rice kernels will pop anyway, the inclusion of corn is a little odd for this wonderful tea.

I’ll contact Ilya over at Adagio to learn more.


You have a point… this is Adagio. I have seen popped corn in Gen Mai Cha, but there may not be any in this even though they say there is. I know there was nothing that even looked like popped corn in my sample about 6 months ago.


I have a tin of their Genmaicha here and I know I see the popped kernels but they’re not from corn kernels.

My Genmaicha from Harney & Sons, Obubu, MotoYamaMoto and Ujinotsuyu all appear very similar. Some with differing quality of tea, but all with the kernels. I’m just waiting to hear back from Ilya. I’m curious.


Make that YamaMotoYama (I’m a little off with this migraine).


Let me know what you find out – I am curious too


Here’s the response I got:


The genmai cha does in fact have popped rice, but since most people have never heard of the phenomenon of popping rice, we simply call it popcorn.

Hope that helps,


Thats interesting and weird, I mean I know popped rice isn’t common, but I think people would understand the concept – haha

RachanaC (Rachel)-iHeartTeas

LOL, this is so funny and it is true that it is popped rice as stated, I think they call it popcorn to just be cute and interesting. Nevertheless, I am psyched you enjoyed this tea. It was a last minute inclusion to your package. Based on your cupboard and as I recall you are still fairly new to tea I thought you would enjoy trying something a little different and I am glad you did. Hope you BF does too. Keep us posted.


@Rachel: Yeah I have been drinking tea for years but only bagged unflavored blacks, I started getting into loose leaf only about 6 months ago. It has been an awesome experience. And I have really been enjoying trying all the different teas you sent me!!! Thanks again! I will be sure to keep putting out tasting notes on mine and ocassionally the bf’s opinion on the teas!

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243 tasting notes

Backlogging again. I am unsure if I am doing this correctly, I brewed the tea, hot no additives, 2.5 minutes.

I can definitely smell the puffed/toasted rice in the tea pot, but the steeped leaves now have a bitter aroma, I think I may have oversteeped. The bitterness was not found in the tea. The tea has a few layers of flavor: first the toasty rice, then a sweet green, followed by a mellow nut flavor. I drank the pot (22 ounces) over about an hour. The first cup was delicious, the second was alright, then the third I was starting to get that bitter flavor.

Maybe I need to drink this hot? Any suggestions?

Overall, it was not bad, but the bitterness is disappointing, I wish the toasty-rice flavor would remain uncompromised.

2 min, 30 sec

I can’t give you a suggestion on hot/cold since I don’t like this tea at all (iced?! Blech lol!)… but I think I can help you w/ the steeping parameters. Give 2g (or a rounded teaspoon) of leaf steeped in 4oz boiling (or just below boiling if you want to preserve the health benefits), for 30 sec. They’re making improvements, but Adagio is still VERY far off on the steeping parameters of Japanese greens and pu erhs IMO.


My understanding (though I will freely admit I haven’t scoured every available resource in search of contrary opinions) is that it’s actually best to brew this tea in the 170-180 degree range, and that the brewing time can vary all the way from a minute to four minutes.

The only genmaicha that I own (that isn’t the malted version from 52teas, which I don’t count here, because it’s flavored) is Ryokucha. I found that I preferred the tea when I used their parameters; 1 tablespoon in 16oz. for quite nearly four minutes, rather than the first few times I tried it, during which I halved the steeping time and backed off on the leaf (it was intimidating, with all of that additional matcha!).

I’ve not found it to be bitter afterward, using those guidelines. The difficulty is that I’m not certain as to whether this could be from the matcha in the blend or the parameters, of course, but I wish you luck!


Thanks, I will vary and play with the parameters, I appreciate the advice :)

@sophistre, where did you get the Ryokucha from?


Samovar. :)



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52 tasting notes

I can’t get enough of this stuff. I love the the popped rice flavor like no other. Also recently ordered that popular Ryokucha tea from Samovar which also has the rice. I think I’ll become as addicted to that as I am to this blend. I really put a lot of tea into my infuser tonight.. I was feeling a thick cup. And nevertheless, I got what I wanted. On my third steep currently. MMmm.


Can’t wait to see what you think of Samovar’s crack Ryokucha!


yeah.. I have a bad feeling that there is an addiction lurking in the future


I fully encourage such addictions.


Takgoti I’m holding you fully accountable. you too auggy.


I’m okay with that! I hold takgoti fully responsible for my addiction!


I will also take any responsibility put upon me for such addictions.

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98 tasting notes

Ricecake!!!!! That is what I get from this, that or rice cereal that isn’t very sweetened in almond milk. I love it and it makes me feel full.

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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19 tasting notes

DISCLAIMER: I added a half a teaspoon of ITO EN Matcha with this Genmaicha tea, to see what it tasted like. The results may frighten you. Okay not really, but maybe.

To start off, I just wanted to say that this was not my idea alone. My good buddy @paintedleaves put this on her blog and I decided to try it. After a bit of WikiResearch (note: I coined that phrase), I found that this is sometimes sold as a package (Genmaicha and Matcha) and it is known as Matcha-iri genmaicha. Lackluster title. I prefer to call it Genmaimatcha or Genmaitcha. But what do I know about Japanese? Anyway.

Genmaicha for those of you unaware, is a blend of popped rice, green tea leaves and occasionally popped corn (in this case, Adagio’s HAS popped corn in it, need to try some without it).

The color of normal Genmaicha is a surprisingly light green from my experience. It’s very clear and it tastes like grass that has been slathered with butter and roasted (even sauted) over a skillet. It’s almost overwhelming when you first try it, and the variety of green tea associated with is almost FIERCE.

Now, mix this combination with ITO EN’s premium Matcha and you get a hell of a combo! Flavor pops out the wazoo, not to mention it looks like something you would find in a swamp or sewer. So basically you’ve got your tea that looks like something out of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and “Gak.” But smells absolutely enticing.

Now onto FLAVOR

This is a strange combination. Though I tasted the typical genmaicha flavor, it was overridden (overrided? whatever.) by a blast of the pure strength of the Matcha powder. It was like I put more powder in than genmaicha. It had this really smooth and silky texture to it, almost like chocolate with a mix of tannin. It also tasted like if you had sand in your mouth, or if you were ever a kid and tasted a rock by accident (hey, what the hell, kids are weird, I know I was)! It was bland, yet it had that KICK to it, given mostly by the genmaicha’s popped rice and unique flavor. It also tasted like vegetals that you would find around the beach. The smell of that driftwood and seaweed, THAT’S what it tasted like. It’s so seaweedy, like you accidentally got a gulp of Lake Erie’s water. All in all, INCREDIBLY potent.

Also, I did a video review, so if you want a little more emotion, check out

3 min, 0 sec

My favorite tea in the whole wide world is Den’s Genmaicha Extra Green. The ‘extra green’ part comes from matcha :)


It’s so good! Very strange taste to me though :)


HAH, GAK. I forgot that Gak existed until just now.

Also, Samovar’s Ryokucha is a genmai-iri-matcha that doesn’t contain popped corn. I kick nearly every morning off with it.

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1220 tasting notes

the most notable new thing was that I spilled it on myself. on my birthday. There needs to be some kind of award for that.

Other than that, still love this and it’s toasty goodness.


Happy Birthday!


thank you!


Yay! I hope you had a good birthday! :)


thank you, I did!

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16 tasting notes

After sitting patiently in its little sample bag for several weeks, Adagio’s Genmai Cha is finally up at bat. This one has roasted rice and popped corn kernels visibly hanging out amongst the tea leaves — loitering, one might say — and smells fascinatingly nutty fresh out of the bag.

Steeping for two minutes yields an earthy green liquid with a full-bodied roasted rice flavor. There’s an unusual maltiness in the background of this tea, and I like what it says to me. It says to me: “No no, I am not zee beer, and you do not drink zee beer, but voila, have some maltiness anyway, and you will like eet, ah yes.” Apparently, my Japanese tea has a terrible French accent. (Lupin III?)

I can see why Genmai Cha is not for the faint of heart — or rather, not for the faint of green. It is not a flavor for everyone, nor for every day. It’s too strong for that, methinks, and it seems to lack the mellow-inducing property of most greens. It is different, but I like that. Perhaps I am too positive in the land of tea, but to be perfectly honest, I rarely encounter a tea which I do not like.

P.S. According to Adagio’s company story for Genmai Cha, “Japanese peasants found it difficult to afford much tea, and would mix it with roasted rice, which was abundant and cheap. Thus, they were able to squeeze more cups from the same amount of leaves. A recipe born of poverty, Genmai Cha has acquired an uptown chic and is now a favorite of urban dwellers in Japan and the West.” Oddly enough, the muddy swills endured by European medieval peasantry have yet to lure modern consumers in this way.

Tea-haiku time:

Snap, crackle, poppin’:
like lip gloss, but in tea. Who
let the malt hops out?

“What’s that you drink, oh
peasant fair?” asked the market
exec. “I smell cash!”

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec

Love the haiku addition! :)


Oddly enough, the muddy swills endured by European medieval peasantry have yet to lure modern consumers in this way.

Unless you count beer. :) (Although that was home-brewed, very weak, not much like the beer we know today, and the nearest alternative to water that would make you deathly ill)


Indeed, you’re right! Ale is enjoying a comeback, as is mead. This gives rise to the question: is there anything hipsters can’t bring back into vogue for five minutes or so? :P

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355 tasting notes

Last of my sample. I need to bring some genmaicha back in my life. I love the stuff, but don’t drink nearly enough. Think I’ll be replacing this with Den Tea’s Genmaicha Extra Green, though.

This is good, but not as good as that one.


Go for Den’s Genmaicha Extra Green. Not that I like it or anything ;)


Going to level up your Genmaicha? ;)


Haha, exactly, Jillian.

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110 tasting notes

When I was a small child, my mother used to give us that puffed rice cereal for breakfast. I loved it – so toasty and caramelly tasting. So, I have been preprogrammed from early childhood to become instantly addicted to this tea. After trying it for the first time today, I can report that all of that childhood conditioning worked, and I will never again be without genmai cha on my tea shelf.

There is an instant rush of toasty rice smell as the hot water hits the leaves. The color is golden green and the smell is rich. With the first steep, the flavor reminds me of brown rice sushi – warm grain with a hint of saltiness and seaweed flavor, with perhaps just a dash of toasted sesame oil. As the brew cooled on the first steep, I noticed a very pronounced bitterness and astringency, that nearly disappeared with the second steep. It may be I need to use a shorter steep or less leaf, but this is definitely so good that it is well worth experimenting to find the perfect brew.

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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2 tasting notes

I followed the suggested directions on the tin and found the flavor too light. Steeping it a bit longer made all the difference in the world to me.

First steep was still good, but very light. The deeper steep was a vast improvement. The green tea was very very mellow which I liked in combination with the toasted rice and popcorn flavor. I was hoping that I’d like this one and I wasn’t disappointed. I can understand completely why others may not like it.

In the tin it smells delicious and popcorny. While it was steeping, my kitchen smelled like air popped popcorn.

In the cup it smells like stale wet popcorn which is about the only bad thing I can say about the tea.

And even though I like most of my tea without sugar or cream, I had to at least try a bit of sugar and it wasn’t very good, but someone may like it. It just made me grimace and go back to the pure tea.

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

I have this on my counter back home and I am so excited to try it!


If the flavor is too light you could also try adding more tea. I usually steep it at almost double strength.

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