On a hot, humid summer day in Japan, you can find just about everyone drinking cold brew Mugicha tea. An extremely refreshing, cooling beverage, mugicha will immediately quench your thirst, in a way iced water can’t compare to.
While it’s said that Mugicha has been drunk by the Japanese people for over a thousand years, it only became popularized in the 60s when refrigerators became more commonplace to store the cold drink in.1
Mugicha is made from roasted barley (called mugicha – mugi for barley and cha for tea), and has a toasty taste, with slightly bitter undertones. A bit of an acquired taste, it’s more savoury than sweet, from the unhulled barley that’s roasted until caramel-hued.2 If you like oolong tea, chances are you will really like barley tea. Its taste is very similar, just with the toasted nutty flavour added. Oolong can taste strong and bitter, while mugicha is much milder.
And because Mugicha is caffeine-free, it can be enjoyed by all, at any time. At night, you can use it as a sleeping aid as it contains melatonin, which helps relaxation and tryptophan, which aids in sleeping. And in the day, enjoy guilt-free whenever you need a quick burst of hydration as each serving has only 2 calories.3
Health Benefits of Mugicha Tea
Drinking Mugicha regularly:
- Facilitates digestion and helps the body flush out impurities.
- Reduces fat and cholesterol.
- Has antibacterial properties that help with congestion and bronchitis, and protecting teeth against cavities.
- Helps maintain good blood circulation.
- Contains a variety of antioxidants that help prevent cardiovascular diseases.
- May also work to relieve fever.
How to Make The Perfect Iced Mugicha Tea for Summer
Making Mugicha is extremely easy. To make it cold, it’s as simple as throwing the tea into a pitcher of water and letting it brew chilled.
All you need is:
- About 8 cups of water
- 4-6 tablespoons of loose leaf Mugicha tea
- A loose leaf tea infuser
- A pitcher
- Ice cubes
- Honey to sweeten (optional)
* These measurements make a large pitcher, use half water and tea for a smaller serving.
And, all you have to do is:
- Fill your pitcher with water.
- Place the loose leaf mugicha into your infuser.
- Add mugicha infuser to the pitcher of water.
- Place pitcher in the fridge.
- Let the tea brew in the fridge for about an hour.4
- Remove the pitcher from the fridge and discard the loose leaf mugicha.
- Serve with ice and sweeten with honey if desired.
* Once finished, remember to seal your tea container tightly, to keep it fresh and prevent barley grains from turning rancid. You can even transfer to a freezer safe airtight container and store in the freezer for the best results.5
- Japanese Cooking 101, Mugicha (Barley Tea) Recipe
- Tasting Table, Barley Legal
- Oh, how civilized, How to Make Barley Tea
- Pickledplum, MUGICHA – THE PERFECT SUMMER DRINK
- Just hungry, Mugicha (barley tea) is the flavor of summer in Japan