We Show You How and Where to Find the World’s Best Genmaicha Tea

So you’re looking for the best genmaicha tea? We’re here to help! 💪

In this article, we are going to be talking about all the things that go into selecting the best genmaicha.

We’ll also walk you through the different types of genmaicha and which one might be right for you. Depending on the type of leaves used, the type of toasted rice used and whether or not matcha powder is incorporated, genmaicha can take on a variety of different forms.

We’ll also show you where to buy the best genmaicha tea to make sure you’re getting excellent quality and flavor.

Let’s get started and explore the incredible world of genmaicha! 🍃🍙🇯🇵


What goes into selecting the Best Genmaicha Tea

When it comes to choosing the best genmaicha tea, it is important to know what you’re looking for.

Genmaicha is made by combining green tea leaves with toasted rice.

Furthermore, it can be broken down into 4 distinct sub categories depending on the types of leaves used.

This is something we will tackle in the next segment, but the important thing to know for now is that the quality of the best genmaicha is usually measured by how well the flavors of the rice and leaves are blended together.

A skilled tea farmer will pay close attention to the type of tea leaves used and the ratio of leaves used to create the perfect harmony between leaf and rice.

The warm nutty flavors of the rice should be the perfect complement to the sweet and vegetal flavors of the tea leaves. 


What's the best genmaicha type? 

Before we talk about what the best genmaicha tea is, we first need to cover the different types of genmaicha. There are 4 basic types of genmaicha you should know about, and we’re going to cover them all here. Hopefully, this will help you pick out the best genmaicha tea based on what you’re looking for.


bancha and genmai

Bancha Genmaicha: #1 for budget

Bancha genmaicha is exactly what it sounds like. It’s made by combining bancha leaves with toasted rice. These are the older, more mature leaves of the tea plant.

They produce less caffeine, so if you are sensitive to caffeine, this might be the best genmaicha option for you.

Because the bancha leaves have a more mild flavor, the tea tends to be more rice forward, and tastes less like a traditional Japanese green tea. 


sencha and genmai

Sencha Genmaicha: well-balanced flavor

If you were able to figure out what bancha genmaicha is, you can probably figure out what sencha genmaicha is.

This is a tea made by combining sencha leaves with toasted rice. Because these leaves are younger, they have more of these fresh vegetal flavors, and less of these earthy or wooden tasting notes.

This can balance out the tea, and make it more of an even exchange between tea leaves and roasted rice. The caffeine content will be slightly higher, so be sure to take that into consideration when you are looking for the best genmaicha green tea.


gyokuro and genmai

Gyokuro Genmaicha: ideal for sweet tea lovers

One step above the sencha genmaicha is gyokuro genmaicha. This tea is made from the gyokuro plant that has been shaded for a long time before the tea harvest.

This increases the theanine content in the leaves, giving you more sweetness in the flavor of the tea.

This is perhaps the best genmaicha green tea if you’re a fan of sweeter teas, but it does come with a slightly higher price tag, as the leaves used are more expensive to produce. 


bancha matcha and genmai

Matcha iri Genmaicha: #1 for caffeine addicts

As you noticed in the previous Genmaicha type sections, Genmaicha Caffeine level vary based on the main tea tea plant mixed with the genmai. 

And when it comes matcha genmaicha or matcha iri genmaicha, it is made by mixing toasted rice, tea leaves and matcha powder which is highly concentrated in caffeine.

The addition of the matcha powder gives the tea a much more intense flavor, color and caffeine content. If you are a fan of these strong Japanese green tea flavors and you’re not deterred by the high caffeine content, this is the best genmaicha tea for you.


Where does the best genmaicha come from?

A lot of people ask us the question: where does Japanese tea grow? For the purpose of this article, we'll be focusing on the best Genmaicha regions in particular. 

There are particular regions tend to produce the best genmaicha green tea, but the truth is a bit more complicated than that.

Of course the best genmaicha tea comes from Japan, with it’s rich history of toasted rice tea, but when it comes to individual regions, it is hard to say where the best genmaicha green tea comes from.

Let’s briefly discuss a few different tea growing regions and how they excel when it comes to certain facets of the tea production process.


Shizuoka is the largest tea growing region in Japan, making up over 40% of the country's total tea production. Here, the tea plants benefit from a combination of large swaths of flat land as well as rolling hills leading up to the foot of Mt. Fuji. 

There are many talented tea farmers here such as Mr. Masuda, who have been growing tea for generations. He grows his tea plants without the use of pesticides or chemicals, in order to promote a healthier ecosystem.

Because there are so many tea farmers in Shizuoka, they all tend to equipment, growing territory and tea production methods. This is helpful when it comes to create some of the best genmaicha tea as well as other blended teas.


Uji has had a history of producing some of the best green tea in Japan for hundreds of years. The area has now developed a reputation for its premium shaded teas like Gyokuro tea and matcha.

This means that if you are looking for one of the shaded tea varieties like gyokuro genmaicha, this might be the best genmaicha tea region to source from.


Kagoshima is the second largest tea producing region after Shizuoka, located in the far south of Japan. The reason this region excels at producing premium quality Japanese green tea has to do with the warmer climate.

The milder winters of Kagoshima allow it to support more delicate tea varieties like Saemidori and Okumidori. These tend to produce sweeter flavors, but they are more sensitive to frost so they are unsuitable for growing in the North. 


What is the best genmaicha brand

When it comes to finding the best genmaicha tea brand, it is important to understand that tea isn’t made by “brands” it’s made by farmers.

Rather than seeking out the best genmaicha brand, you should be looking for the individual farmers that produce the tea. 

At Nio Teas, we have the privilege of working with dozens of talented tea farmers all around Japan. Rather than hiding their names and “protecting our sources” we proudly display the name of the people that produce the teas we sell.

We like to honor all the hard work that goes into producing the tea by naming most of the teas after the farmer that produced them.


What are the best genmaicha tea bags

Asking about the best genmaicha tea bags is like asking about the best boxed wine. Genmaicha teabags do exist, but they are incredible low quality.

Are tea bags bad for you? Yes. They are made from the leftover leaves of the production process, and they won’t have nearly the same flavor or benefits of genmaicha tea.

So rather than looking for the best genmaicha tea bags, you should be looking for the best loose leaf genmaicha tea. With high quality loose leaf tea, you get a broader spectrum of flavors and a more engaging drinking experience.


Can you pronounce genmaicha properly?

Is your genmaicha pronunciation wrong? 🗣 No panic, we have a full article about the topic! By the time you finish reading this article and listening to the audio pronunciation, you'll be able to pronounce Genmaicha the proper way. Don't hesitate to read the article 👉Your genmaicha pronunciation might be wrong!

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