As Genmaicha teas go, this one is very tasty and authentic. When you look at this tea you will see it has green leaves, brown rice (really just roasted white rice) and popped rice that are white and look like little popcorn puffs (try one- it is delicious!). “Gen-mai” means the roasted rice, and “cha” is tea. When getting teas like this it is a good idea to go to asian distributors and markets because these places carry the “real thing,” what Japanese people themselves drink. Finding a label on the bag that says “imported by Yamama Matsuden Co. Ltd.” or “Made in Japan” is very important so as to not get fooled.
Japanese green teas are meant to be steeped for shorter times and at lower temperatures than black teas or red teas. Don’t steep it for more than 5 minutes- and much shorter than that is best. For stronger tea, use more tea leaves instead of brewing longer, because if you brew green tea too long it turns brown and develops a bitter taste. When making it iced, which you can very well do, you must use more tea leaves and brew for much longer, however. With ice water, a good brew time is 10 minutes. You want the tea to be a pretty and mellow green color, same as when it it hot. Judge when the tea is ready by the color, not the time passed. This is a surefire way to get tasty tea, every time.