Toasted and popped brown rice mingles with grassy Japanese bancha tea in the well known genmaicha green tea blend. And for the sencha lovers, keep in mind that bancha is made from the second flush of sencha between summer and autumn months. There is something so wonderfully savory to this toasty and nutty steep that manages to warm me to the core in the most delicate way; like a a whisper thin sweater on a chilled spring day.
It begs to be paired with seafood bites, and you'll often find in the pot on your table in most Japanese restaurants. Try using the tea broth as a poaching liquid for fish. Or grind it in a fine powder for a rub. Or bake it into shortbread cookies for a nutty touch. And while we're on the subject of genmaicha infused bites, I must point you in the direction of Sara May's recipe for Vegan Pho with Green Tea Broth on her delightful blog, The Cozy Herbivore. It's on my ever growing to-make list. Even though her recipe calls for a genmai-matcha (a variation of genmaicha blended with matcha powder), you'll still achieve the nutty and vegetal tea essences but with a bit less grassy and vivid color that matcha carries with it.