Spring Break Session #2: Genmai Cha (Adagio Teas) ​

  • Last edited: October 30, 2021
  • Time to read: 3 min.

During Spring break, I want to do a proper tasting session every day. You can read all about my plans and the other teas I tried this week in this post.

The second tea I wanted to try for my Spring break tea tasting sessions was Adagio Teas’ Genmai Cha. I’ve had this tea for a while and today was the perfect day to have a green tea session. Yesterday’s tea was a ripe Puer so today was something completely different.

Genmai Cha

You can clearly see the toasted rice mixed with green tea leaves. Almost half of it is toasted rice.

Genmai cha is a green tea from Japan but is unlike normal green teas. One major difference is that it not only consists of tea leaves but it’s a combination of tea leaves and toasted/popped rice. This creates a sort of warm and nutty taste. Originally, this was done to compensate the shortage of tea or because the tea was too expensive otherwise. If they used rice in combination with tea leaves, they needed less tea and this would make the tea cheaper. Traditionally, this tea was mainly for the poor people as they could not afford more expensive tea. What started as a tea for the poor peasants is now a universally acknowledged green tea from the main green tea producing region in Japan (Makinohara).

The dark green colour of the dry, long and sharp tea leaves mixed with toasted rice.

The wet leaves after the final infusion. The leaves have opened and the rice has absorbed some of the water.

Tea tasting

Brewing details

  • 80°C water
  • 10g of leaves for a 200ml Tokoname Kyusu
  • 1 rinse
  • 6 steeps (15 sec + 5 sec each steep)

Before rinse

The smell of the dry leaves was mainly light grassy notes in combination with nutty popcorn.

After rinse

The smell of the wet leaves consisted of light almond nuts that were dominated by burnt popcorn.


1st steep: it seems that the smell of the leaves is more intense than the taste. Slightly burnt popcorn and I’m not getting any grassy flavours.

2nd steep: very light notes of almond nuts. Mainly slightly burnt popcorn that is more prominent than during the previous steep. Aftertaste is sweet popcorn.

3rd steep: a more moderate taste of popcorn in combination with nutty flavours. The latter is barely noticeable but you can feel and taste its presence. The popcorn isn’t burnt anymore.

4th steep: pleasant popcorn. Nothing more and nothing less.

5th steep: popcorn but a bit less intense during this steep. No flavours that are typical of green teas and no real aftertaste.

6th steep: hints of popcorn but barely noticeable. Light popcorn aftertaste.

1st steep

2nd steep

3rd steep

4th steep

5th steep

6th steep


If you look at the picture of the dry leaves, you can see that there is a lot of rice mixed with the tea leaves. In my opinion, it’s a bit too much rice and too little leaf. It’s a pleasant tea to drink but not exactly what I’m looking for in a green tea. I’m looking for grassy, fresh and vibrant flavours and not for what I’m getting while drinking this tea. If you are looking for a tea that offers some warmth and sweetness, definitely try this tea!

Interested in buying this tea? Go to Adagio Teas Europe’s website!

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