Friday, July 31, 2009

John Barleycorn must steep

A colleague of mine — Jeff, a musician, sci-fi fan and all-around swell person — recently reminisced about his days in Long Beach, where he enjoyed genmaicha tea at a "mom 'n' pop Japanese bento shop" he frequented. Another beverage he discovered there: mugicha, or barley tea. Not actual tea, of course, this is an infusion of roasted barley — much like the toasted brown rice in the genmaicha.

Sounds intriguing. Anyone else tried it?

Jeff says: "If a barley tea doesn't break any tea guru rules you have, the mugicha is a great summertime tea - especially chilled out of the refrigerator (I prefer it with no ice cubes). Strong, dark flavor but not harsh or overly bitter. It's also ideal for serving people who get headaches from caffeine (the ones with whom you can't share the genmaicha)." I've also heard it's pretty good with rum ...

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