(7 Steps) How to Brew the Perfect Cup of Genmaicha

The step-by-step instructions on how to prepare this heartwarming tea.

This article was last modified November 18th, 2021. by Yuki

The Genmaicha, or the "Brown Rice Tea" is a heartwarming, fragrant tea which is made from - you guessed it! yes, tea leaves and roasted brown rice kernels.

The roasted brown rice gives it an unbelievably warm taste and smell. It truly is a tea you should try if you have not.

The key to brewing this fantastic tea is to brew it in a way that the aroma is unleashed to the max! In this article, we’ll cover the steps on how to prepare delicious Genmaicha.

teapot and genmaicha leaves

Quick Guide:

Here is a quick reference on how to brew Genmaicha.

For a normal Genmaicha, use boiling water to let the aroma pop from the tea.

If you have a Genmaicha of a higher grade, then you'd also like to enjoy the umami of the tea as well. Reduce the water temperature to 80 degrees Celsius for an enjoyable quality Genmaicha.

Normal-grade Genmaicha High-grade Genmaicha


2 servings

2 servings

Water (ml)

200 ml

200 ml

Leaves (g)



Leaves (roughly in teaspoons)

3 tsp

3 tsp

Temperature (Celsius)



Brewing time (Seconds)

30 seconds

60 seconds

Chart: Instructions for Brewing Genmaicha

genmaicha leaves spilling from a spoon

Step1: Preparation

In 7 steps, we'll be covering how to brew "normal grade" Genmaicha which uses boiling water instead of cooled water.

If you have a high-grade sencha, make sure you use 80 degrees water instead. You can lower the temperature of the water in a similar way to how you make Sencha.

Refer to "how to make delicous Sencha" on how to cool the water down.

What do I need in order to make Genmaicha?

First, prepare the required tools for Genmaicha. You would need the following.

The most important thing you need is obviously - Genmaicha leaves.

If you don't have any? Well, excuse my advertisement here, but make sure you stop by our shop to look at our Genmaicha selection too! The Genmaicha we have in our shop are truly magnificent.

Once you have your Genmaicha leaves, all you need now are your tea tools.

Typically, Genmaicha will be prepared in volume. Use a large sized Kyusu (approximately 800 ml) and large sized Chawan (approximately 200ml) for this.

If you don't have these at hand, you can also substitute with any teapot and any tea cups as well. However, since the selection of the teapot or the Kyusu is indeed important, I'll recommend you buying one if you feel like you'll be preparing Genmaicha often.

kyusu and chawan

Kyusu (Teapot) and Chawan

Step 2: Measuring the Amount of Tea Leaves

add genmaicha into the teapot

2-3g of tea leaves per serving for Genmaicha

Genmaicha will typically use 2-3g of tea leaves per person.

Going by this ratio, if you are preparing for a group of 5 people, the amount of required leaves will be 10-15g. However, in such case, 10g will be enough to enjoy great tasting Genmaicha.

Now, if you use more than this amount – say, 4-5g of Genmaicha leaves for 1 person, you can also enjoy a delicious 2nd infusion as well.

Step3: Prepare the right amount of water

measure water by pouring water into the chawan

measure water by pouring into the chawans

The next step is to prepare the right amount of water.

The best way to measure the water is by pouring the water into the cups (chawans) first! Then you'll know exactly how much water you'll need to serve.

Use a large size Chawan.

Pour water into the Chawan to measure the amount of water you need. Keep in mind that when you infuse the Genmaicha, the tea leaves will absorb the water so the amount at the end will become less.

They would absorb about 4 times the mass of the leaves. Make sure you add more water to account for this.

Once you have measured the amount of water required, put the water back in the pot and start boiling.

Step 4: Boiling the water and brew

Pour boiling water directly into the Kyusu for Genmaicha

Pour boiling water directly into the Kyusu for Genmaicha

Next step is to boil the water and infuse in the Chawan.

Unlike Sencha or Gyokuro, Genmaicha is usually a low-grade tea with small amount of nutrients.

For this type of tea, it’s best to extract the nutrients as much as possible by infusing with boiling water straight from the teapot. It will help unleash the great aroma that comes out of the tea and the brown rice kernels.

As mentioned above, there are high-grade Genmaichas as well. For these, you would want to reduce the temperature to 80 degrees, then infuse.

This allows the umami to come out while containing the astringency of the green tea.

Step5: Brew the Genmaicha

Brew Genmaicha for 30 Seconds

Brew for 30 Seconds

For Genmaicha, let the tea seep for only 30 seconds. Don’t let it seep too long, as it may become bitter.

If this is a high-grade, and the water temperature is 80 degrees, then you should let it infuse for 60 seconds.

Step 6: Serve and Enjoy!

Conduct Mawashisogi for Genmaicha

Pour in this Order

When you serve Genmaicha to several people, make sure the thickness of the tea is equal. You can’t have one person have thick tea, and another person have thin tea! If you don’t be careful, this will happen as the tea will become richer and richer as you pour. In order to even the richness of the tea for everyone, the tea is poured in the above order.

This method of pouring is called “Mawashisogi”. If there are 3 Chawans, firstly, pour halfway in the order of 1 – 2 – 3. Subsequently, pour again in the reverse order of 3 – 2 – 1.

Make sure that the tea is poured to the very last drop. This helps to keep the second infusion delicious as well. If tea is remaining in the Kyusu, the second infusion may not be as enjoyable.

Step 7: Second Infusion

For the second Infusion, use boiling water directly from the pot again.

The infusion time should be extremely short - I recommend to serve immediately after you start the brewing. Since the leaves of the tea are already opened, the taste will easily come out even if the length of brewing is short.

If you were using high-grade Genmaicha leaves, then make sure the water tememperature this time around is 90 degrees or so. Adding 10 degrees to the temperature of the first infusion is the rule of thumb for Japanese green tea.

As mentioned above, having the last drop poured after the first infusion is very key in preserving the taste of the second infusion. There's other tips as well, which we'll cover in a different article.


Can I make my own Genmaicha tea from the Japanese tea I have already instead of buying one?

Yes you absolutely can! All you need is some brown rice and a pan! We'll look into writing an article on that soon!


Author Yuki


Yuki is the Editor-in-Chief AND Community Manager at Tealife. He bleeds Japanese Tea and loves being a part of the Japanese Tea journey of others. Writes, does events, conducts tasting sessions, drinks, drinks and drinks tea! Easily accessible - hit him up on whatsapp (+65) 85882980.