Mugicha: Types & Benefits of Japanese Barley Tea
Mugicha (麦茶), or barley tea, is a traditional summertime refreshment in Japan prepared by boiling or infusing roasted barley seeds in water.
Mugicha is Japan’s staple beverage enjoyed throughout the year, and we especially favor it during the hot summer months, drinking it everywhere.
The refreshment comes in various forms, such as cans, bottles, and tea bags, and you can buy any type in supermarkets, and canned/bottled ones are also available from vending machines.
Japanese barley tea is easy to drink, featuring a pleasantly toasty aroma from roasted barley seeds. What is better, it contains no caffeine. So you can serve it to children without any worries.
Types (Rokujo, Nijo, Blend)
Japanese barley tea mainly comes in 3 types; Rokujo Mugicha (六条麦茶), Nijo Mugicha (二条麦茶), and Blend Mugicha (ブレンド麦茶).
- Rokujo Mugicha (六条麦茶): The most common variety using six-row barley containing a moderate amount of protein. The main characteristic of Rokujo Mugicha is its scent.
- Nijo Mugicha (二条麦茶): The one using two-row barley. Two-row barley is large-sized and rich in starch compared to six-row barley. With Nijo Mugicha, you can enjoy the natural sweetness of barley.
- Blend Mugicha (ブレンド麦茶): The blended one. Blend Mugicha may use six-row barley, two-row barley, naked barley, and other grains like rice, corn, millet, foxtail millet, and Job’s tears or Hatomugi. Hence, with Blend Mugicha, you can enjoy various tastes.
How to Make Mugicha from Tea Bags
As mentioned in the first paragraph, there are two ways of making Mugicha from tea bags; infusing or boiling to bring out the flavor.
You can enjoy Mugicha barley tea, both hot and cold, but we usually serve it chilled.
Put the tea bag in a jar of hot or cold water and let it steep for a while (up to 2 hours).
A typical boiling method is to boil a pot of water, turn off the heat, add the teabag, and let it infuse for about 10 minutes. After that, stir the contents lightly and remove the teabag.
Mugicha has an antioxidant action with components effective in preventing cancer, apoplexy, and heart attacks. The tea can also make the blood flow smoothly.