Welcome back to the VIVA tea and food pairing project.
In this month’s pairing, you’ll explore the world of Genmaicha tea courtesy of tea sommelier Katie Cyr. You’ll be tasting Genmaicha alongside salted caramel chocolate and tempura sushi rolls.
If you’re new to the pairing project, here’s a quick overview. Every month, we’ll be posting a new tea and food pairing prepared one of the tea experts who are creating these delicious menus. We ask you to try the tea and food pairing. Then take a photo and share it in with other tea lovers in the VIVA Perfect Blend Facebook group, or on Instagram by tagging @vivascandinavia and using the hashtag #teapairing. It’s as easy as that.
Here’s an example from our last tea and food pairing to give you an idea.
(For North America readers, T. Kettle joins us once again. They’re offering a special discount code customers when you order the featured tea in each month’s pairing. We’re also giving away a T. Kettle gift card to 4 lucky tea lovers who participate in this month’s tea and food pairing.)
Let’s dig in!
About Genmaicha Green Tea
Genmaicha is Japanese tea, unique in its blending of green tea with toasted rice.
It has a distinct flavour, balancing the bitterness of Japanese green tea with the nutty taste of roasted rice.
The word “genmai” means “brown rice” but white rice is actually used as it has a more appealing flavour when blended with the green tea.
Genmaicha is sometimes referred to as “popcorn” tea because some of the rice kernels pop during the roasting process, which gives them the appearance of tiny popcorn.
It’s was also known as “people’s tea.” To reduce the tea’s cost, the rice was added to as an inexpensive filler as was the use of green tea, which was plentiful. This made the tea more available to poorer Japanese. Today, it’s enjoyed by all segments of society.
Pairing #1: Savoury
Yam Tempura Sushi Roll
“Genmaicha has the rare ability to pair equally well with both savoury and sweet options,” says Katie. “The earthiness and slightly sweet taste of the yam creates a delicious mouthfeel with the toasty and roasty notes of the tempura roll.”
My son loves sushi; it’s the cuisine he requests most often. But I’m not skilled enough to make it at home so we order in. However, if you like to try you hand at it, try this delicious recipe from the Olive’s for Dinner blog.
Pairing #2: Sweet
Salted Caramel Milk Chocolate
“This is my personal favourite pairing as I absolutely love the juxtaposition between salty and sweet,” says Katie. “I find the milk chocolate dissolves faster than the caramel and leaves a delicious taffy caramel that pairs beautifully with the oceanic and umami notes of the Genmaicha.”
You can find salted caramel milk chocolate at your favourite local chocolatier. Lindtt also makes a nice bar in this flavour that we’ve been enjoying in our household lately.
Now it’s your turn
Brew up some genmaicha tea and taste alongside one or both of the pairings above. We’re eager to see your love for tea!
Take a photograph of your pairing and share it on Instagram tagging @vivascandinavia and using the hashtag #teapairing so we can find it easily; or post your photo in our Perfect Blend Facebook group.
And thanks to our tea pairing partner T. Kettle, we’ll be giving away four gift cards from T. Kettle to randomly selected tea lovers who participate in the tea pairing.
About the expert
“Hi everyone! My name is Katie and I’m so glad you’re here. My first experience with tea comes in the memory of drinking Irish Breakfast with my grandmother out of delicate teacups. Today, I carry the same reverence and passion for the art of tea into my day to day life. I founded The Monarch Tea Co. in March 2014 with the vision of bringing together the traditional eloquence of tea time with a modern twist.
“Today I’m a certified Tea Sommelier through Mohawk College and the Tea and Herbal Association of Canada. My interactive tea talks have been taught worldwide in person and online in homes, corporate events and places passionate about food and beverage such as Goodness Me! And LCBO. I’ve had my work published in Tea Time! magazine , UK Tea & Herbal Magazine and spoken at the RBG Tea Festival & Toronto Tea Fest.
“Needless to say I’m obsessed with all things tea and so excited to connect with others through this remarkable beverage. My favourite tea varies from season to season, but I do love a good cuppa Cream Earl Grey or Genmaicha green tea the most. Please don’t be shy in reaching out and saying hello. I’d love to chat tea with you! You can find more about Monarch Tea Co. and @moarchteaco on Instagram”