Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Iced mugicha (Japanese roasted barley tea)

Earlier this year I went to Makan2 Cafe in Vic Park where I tried ice barley tea with lemon. Even though I'm sure they put a truck load of sugar in the drink, it was super refreshing and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. Since then, I've had it on my list of things to recreate at home. 

I finally managed to buy some barley grain so that I could make my own barley tea. I did some Googling and found a recipe from La Fugi Mama which also gave some background into the origins of barley tea. I learnt that barley tea originates from Japan and is called mugicha (pronounced "moo-gee-cha").

Homemade barley tea is very simple to make. Aside from actually drinking the iced barley tea, my second favourite part of making this was toasting the barley grains. You will know once they are ready because of the wonderful aroma that will fill your kitchen. It smells like freshly baked bread. Seriously, Heaven must smell like this :P

Once my tea had been chilled, I decided not to add any sugar but just to enjoy it as it is with all the flavour of those beautiful toasted barley grains. So refreshing and so good for you!

Homemade Mugicha (Japanese Roasted Barley Tea)

Makes 8 cups

  • 1/3 cup uncooked pearl barley
  • 8 cups water
  1. Put the barley in a large dry skillet and toast over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring the grains and shaking the skillet occasionally so that they toast evenly, until the grains have turned a dark rich brown color.  Remove from the heat and pour out into a bowl or a paper towel to cool.
  2. Bring the water to a boil in a pot, add the cooled toasted barley, and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes.  Remove from the heat and let the barley continue to steep as the mugicha cools, for about 5 minutes.
  3. Strain out the barley, pour the mugicha into a pitcher and chill.

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