A poem after Basho … and Genmaicha, the people’s tea,

A Woman Sips Tea

after Basho

Genmaicha at noon
Saturday peace
The rose garden blooming

– Jamie Dedes

A Monk Sips Morning Tea  

A monk sips morning tea,
it’s quiet,
the chrysanthemum’s flowering.

– Basho, Translated by Robert Hass

GENMAICHA is a green tea combined with roasted brown rice. Sadly I’m getting ready to give my neighbor what’s left of my stash. We find this body is no longer tolerant of grains. For those of you who have no problems with rice, I recommend it. This particular brand is my favorite (convenient tea bags) because it combines the grassiness of green leaf and matcha with the earthiness of brown rice.  It makes for a bracing afternoon pick-me-up. I don’t find that it needs any sweetening, just be sure to brew it properly:

Now-a-days this tea is widely enjoyed in Japan and elsewhere. Originally, however, it was referred to as “the people’s tea.” The rice made the tea affordable for the poor and provided some nutrition. Genmaicha is also called popcorn tea. As the rice is roasted, it often pops like popcorn. Occasionally you will see the popped rice in the mix.







Genmaicha photograph courtesy of  BookeldOr under CC BY-SA 3.0 license.

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