Hankook’s Brown Rice Green Tea

My mom came to stay with me a few weeks ago, and sure enough we ended up tasting some tea samples together.  There’s no better way to catch up with your mom than to chat over lovely cup of tea, right?

For as long as I can remember, Genmaicha, has been one of her favorites.  Also known as Japanese brown rice tea or popcorn tea, Genmaicha is nutty and savory yet light-bodied.  My mom and I have only purchased Japanese brands of Genmaicha before because they are the most common to find.

I received this Brown Rice Green Tea, also known as Hyunmi Nokchaas a sample from the Korean tea company, Hankook Teas.  As picky as she is with her brown rice teas, my mom was quick to mention that she thought that this blend was delicious.  Unlike traditional Genmaicha, Hankook’s Hyunmi Nokcha mixes equal proportions of green tea and toasted rice.

Genmaicha traditionally has a higher ratio of roasted rice to tea leaves.  In Hankook’s blend, a greater amount of green tea means that the rich, vegetal flavors of this brew are more pronounced than they would be with Japanese Genmaicha.  Also, the rice in this blend is roasted instead of being popped, which helps to develop deep, almost buttery notes in the tea.

Jaksulcha is also known as “sparrow’s tongue tea.”  It is thought that the shape of the dried leaf resembles a sparrow’s tongue, and the name is generally reserved for artisan Korean green teas.  As this Jaksulcha is harvested in June, it’s brew isn’t as delicate as it would be if the leaves were picked during the Springtime, but it’s bolder flavor and warmer undertones are ideal for complementing the toasted rice flavors.

I brewed Hankook’s Brown Rice Green Tea in my favorite double-paned Korean glazed teacup that I specifically reserve for brewing good quality Jaksulcha.  This type of traditional tea ware is also known as Celadon, which refers to its jade-like color and characteristic hairline cracks that appear across its thick, shiny surface.  I’m not gonna lie, this cost me a pretty penny when I bought it at Hwa Sun Ji in L.A.’s Koreatown last year, but hey, at least I only bought one right? With such unique character and museum-worthy looks, it’s one of the pieces in my collection that I cherish most.

Tasting Notes for Hankook Tea’s Brown Rice Green Tea:

ORIGIN:  Honam Tea Estates, South Korea

BREWING TIPS:   2-3 minutes @ 200 degrees F.

THE LEAF:  Pointed, twisty green tea leaves with an equal proportion of toasted brown rice.

THE SCENT:   Like dried seaweed mixed with freshly popped popcorn.

THE STEEP:  Brews to a soft yellow.  A rich, medium-bodied tea with a sweet and nutty finish.

GET IT:  The blend is available at Hankook Tea’s website.

FOOD PAIRING:  Serve this hot or over ice with Korean Sticky Wings or Bulgogi Gimbap.  The bold flavor of the tea is the perfect palette cleanser after a few bites of spicy Korean food!

34 thoughts on “Hankook’s Brown Rice Green Tea

  1. Brown Rice Tea is one of my favourites, sometimes you just need something a bit heavier than normal tea to satisfy you 🙂 That teacup is gorgeous, I can just see it on display in a museum.

    • Yes, this blend is really very yummy…very good for everyday, casual drinking. I hope you can try it! Green tea from Korea has a different taste too, one that I didn’t discover until last year but am so glad to have found!

  2. i’ve just discovered genmaicha, so interesting to read about some of the differences between it and its Korean equivalent, especially as I’m a big fan of Korean food too!

  3. I’ve never had a Korean brown rice tea but this one sounds delicious. I was really impressed with Hankook’s offerings at the tea expo. That cup is absolutely gorgeous! It’s no wonder that it was pricey. I don’t think I would have had as much restraint though, more than one would have made its way home.

    • Yes, I am really regretting not having bought a 2nd one Nicole! If you are ever in LA, let me know and we meet up for tea at Hwa Sun Ji to clear out the rest of their tea cups. 😉

  4. Gorgeous tea cup! I’ve been questing for one for awhile. Every time I see similar tea cups used in kdramas, I’m inspired to get one again so I browse around online to buy one, to be scared off by the prices, lol! I have some Hankook tea samples I’ve been meaning to review sometime too.

    • Hey Char! Haha, I thought kdramas was some fancy tea-term…so I looked it up! Korean dramas of course, hello Bonnie…haha! Ya, the teacups are pricey but totally worth it, especially if the person drinks as much tea as you do! I’ve never been disappointed with Hankook Teas, I have a blend called “Hang Over No More Tea” that I’m looking for the right time to try… 😉

  5. I really enjoy my mugs of Genmaicha on cold afternoons. This mix you’ve posted about here looks gorgeous and I bet has a great fragrance. Thanks for sharing your review with us!

  6. A guest brought me some of this tea after a trip to Korea and I loved it, but we had no idea what it was called! It takes stronger than the Japanese genmaicha I’ve had, and I really like its buttery smoothness.

  7. 1. I’m sort of ridiculously nerdily happy to have found your blog. Food and tea! I love those things TOO.

    2. Jaksulcha – never had it but now I’ll have to hunt some down. I almost never drink genmaicha, I’m a sencha sort of person (and Darjeeling, but that’s a whole other thing with me).

    • I am so ridiculously happy to have found your blog too Joyti! Such beautiful photos and I simply LOVE your name! Will definitely be following! Definitely try to find some Jaksulcha…if you love sencha and not genmaicha, you can look for just plain Jaksulcha without the brown rice added. Hankook Tea has a very large selection of Jaksulchas, and you can order them online. Looking forward to your future posts! 😉

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