Mugicha: Refreshing Barley Tea

This post is also available in Dutch! 

Mugicha (Japanese) or Boricha (Korean) is a refreshing barley tea that you can drink either warm (traditionally done in Korea and China) or cold (traditionally done in Japan). You can enjoy this tea the whole year through! It tastes nutty and somewhat bitter.

You can buy barley tea in Chinese, Japanese or Korean shops / grocery stores. It contains roasted, ground barley grains. But barley tea is also very cheap and easy to make yourself.

Barley is a grain, related to oats, wheat and rice. Barley contains a lot of good nutrients. Barley has a lot of fiber, selenium and other minerals. Researchers link eating barley with a decreased risk on diabetes, gallstones and breast cancer. Barley is sometimes preferred over oats, because of all these good qualities.

Koreans and Japanese drink barley tea because they believe barley tea detoxes your body. The tea also helps to thin your blood.

So, how do you make barley tea?

You will need the following!

50 gram / 0.5 cups barley grains (available in nature stores)

1.5 liters of water

 1. You have to roast the barley, so add the barley to a (cold) pan. Put the pan on medium high heat.

2. Shake the pan every 3 – 5 minutes. After a while, you’ll see that the grains are darkening.

3. Let the grains roast for 5 more minutes. If the grains look like pictured below, you’ll have to keep an eye on the grains, but we aren’t done yet.

4. If the grains are darker than the normal ‘roasted’ color, then the barley is done.

The grains are a little darker now. You can even let them roast even longer, but pay attention that they don’t burn. Let the grains cool down a little.

5. Put the grains in a large pot with the 1.5 liters cold water. This will result in a medium strong tea (you can really taste the barley). If you want a tea that is less strong, use 2 liters of water.

6. Bring the barley to a boil and let it simmer for 20 minutes. 

7. Strain out the barley grains (don’t throw these away) and reserve the liquid.

You can let the barley cool down or drink it immediately. The barley tea looks cloudy and has an amber color.

Note: we drink the barley tea, as is, but if you feel the need to add some sugar or honey, do this, before the tea cools down. 

 Now you have delicious tea AND cooked barley grains. These are delicious to eat with a little bit of salt. Consume at dinner, during lunch or even at breakfast!

8. Store the tea in a glass jar or bottle. You can store this for up to 1 week.

Enjoy this unique and flavorful tea.

What is your favorite tea?

Leave a comment down below!

Thanks for reading and remember, eat your veg! ^.^
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