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Anybody drink Genmai cha?

Here is a question for all the tea-lovers on VegWeb: anybody know about Genmai cha? It's tea with toasted brown rice. I guess it's green tea, and it's Japanese; and where I live it's hideously expensive. 10 Euros for a couple of ounces. On the Internet I see all kinds of health claims, but I'd rather find out what y'all think of it.

I do know that green tea I buy here from regular tea shops makes me retain water. The woman in the Asian supermarket says there are different types of green tea, maybe I just have the wrong one.

All tea comes from the same plant.  There are different processes like roasting, fermenting etc that give the teas their different flavours and names.  You could look up some sites that have info about all the different kinds.  I like the roasty flavour of Genmai but I don't think the benefits would be all that much more to make it really expensive.  There are a lot of grades which effect pricing too. 

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Genmaicha is one of my favorites. I think mine is from Teavanna, or someplace else. It's delicious, I don't know about health claims, I just drink it cause it's tasty :)

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Some genmaicha has matcha added (makes things extra green), which might be part of why it's so expensive. But I'm guessing it's the import thing.

I've had genmaicha. It's ok; I usually can't get past the roasted rice flavor - it makes me think less of tea and more of the burnt rice on the rice cooker. I like hojicha better (roasted green tea - it's delicious!)

Green, black, and white tea are all the same plant (but different regional varieties for green v black). Does black tea also make you retain water, or worse? ('cause if so, maybe it's the caffeine). With the different types of green tea, the main difference is the age of the plant. The younger spring tea is more expensive, more vegetabley tasting, greener, and has a different composition that supposedly inhibits caffeine absorption (i had a good source on this, but lost it :( maybe it's the catechins or something). Apparently the younger tea has more caffeine, but there's more of those compounds that present absorption, so the net result is less caffeine absorbed, and more slowly. Maybe if the caffeine is what makes you retain water, the younger varieties would be better.

Younger ones:
matcha
gyokurocha (expensive!!)

Youngish-middle:
sencha

Older, regular ole green tea:
bancha

as far as health benefits, the younger varieties have more of the catechin antioxidants that are supposed to be awesome. For genmaicha, it's going to depend on the brand for what type of tea they use. The two I've had use sencha, but I'm guessing it depends.

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Faunablues, black tea doesn't make me retain at all! Weird, but true.
I know that there's another type of tea called Assam tea or "red" tea which is Camellia assamica, a subspecies of Camellia sinensis.
So I guess genmaicha will be filed under "interesting but too expensive" in my personal system. I can't read Japanese and there is nothing on the package that says which particular type is in the bag. I would like to learn to read Japanese but I've been told that it's really tough!! And since I never managed Russian, I suppose it's just a dream.

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I don't know about health claims, but this is the most delicious tea known to humankind. I will drink cup after cup of this. Yamamoto Yama brand makes it in bags, and I get 16 bags for less than $2. Oooh it's soooo good!

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I don't know about health claims, but this is the most delicious tea known to humankind. I will drink cup after cup of this. Yamamoto Yama brand makes it in bags, and I get 16 bags for less than $2. Oooh it's soooo good!

That's less than 10c a bag. I am officially jealous.  :'(

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I don't know about health claims, but this is the most delicious tea known to humankind. I will drink cup after cup of this. Yamamoto Yama brand makes it in bags, and I get 16 bags for less than $2. Oooh it's soooo good!

That's less than 10c a bag. I am officially jealous.  :'(

That was the brand I tried first.  It is suprizingly good for as cheep as it is.  I don't think I have found any of their teas that I would not drink.  I am upstairs right now so can not check the brand on the loose Genmai cha that I have that is much better and about the same cost per cup.  I get it at a large Asian chain store in my area that has a "tea isle" instead of 6' of isle space like most grocery stores. 

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I also get it from a store with an entire aisle for tea. I also get it from an Asian market attached to a sushi restaurant, both for about the same price. I want some now!

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