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TAKE A PEEK INTO A JAPANESE PANTRY: BARLEY TEA IS A POPULAR SUMMER DRINK

Food & Recipes

Do you know Barley tea?

It is a tea drink made from roasted barley.

Served both hot and cold, it has a light amber color packed with nutty toasty savory tea.

Barley tea in Japan is commonly consumed in the hot summer season.

OVERVIEW OF BARLEY TEA TO TELL YOUR FRIENDS

JAPANESE: MUGI-CHA

RAW MATERIAL: BARLEY (roasted)

COLOR OF TEA: AMBER BROWN

SERVING: HOT OR COLD

GLUTEN, CAFFEINE FREE

HEALTH BENEFITS OF BARLEY TEA

Barley tea plays a role in hydration (especially, cold barley tea in the hot summer season), it is rich in minerals and has various health benefits.

Improves blood circulation

Alkylpyrazine, which is the aroma component of barley tea, has been reported to improve blood flow. Poor blood circulation can lead to the risk of heart disease.

According to the study, there was no particular change in blood before and after drinking mineral water, but drinking barley tea improved blood flow and the effect lasted until 60 minutes later.

Prevents tooth decay

*1) Roasted barley has the function of preventing the formation and adhesion of Streptococcus mutans, which causes tooth decay, and microorganisms.

Barley tea is easy to drink without grassy nitter astringency and tastes like green tea so it is great for kids to drink every day!

*1) https://www.researchgate.net/publication/6575494_Effect_of_Barley_Coffee_on_the_Adhesive_Properties_of_Oral_Streptococci

 Anti-inflammatory properties

Barley tea has antioxidant properties that help prevent or delay harmful substances in our bodies.

Barley tea contains polyphenols which are popular as the representative antioxidant.

Improves Bowel Movement

Barley tea has well-balanced soluble and insoluble dietary fiber.

Since it is rich in dietary fiber, it helps improve bowel movement and the digestive system.

Healthy guts will also lead to healthy skin and immunity functions.

Prevents Heat-related Illness

Heatstroke or heat-related illness is caused by a lack of water and minerals when our body decreases the functions to adjust body temperature.

To prevent heat-related illness, it is important to rehydrate and minerals.

Barley tea plays a role to supply minerals and rehydration both, eventually, it works body temperature lower.

When you sweat a lot, not only water but also minerals (sodium, potassium, magnesium, etc.) are expelled from the body.
Barley tea is rich in minerals, so it is useful not only for hydration but also for body temperature regulation.

It also does not contain caffeine, which is a diuretic, so it is less likely to cause dehydration.

Besides, adding a pinch of salt enhances the effect of prevention of heat-related illness.

MAKE NATURAL MINERAL DRINK WITH BARLEY TEA AND HONEY UMEBOSHI

Adding a pinch of salt itself can work as a healthy summer drink to prevent heat-related illness, adding honey and umeboshi energize our body.

Do you feel sweet in mineral drinks or sports drinks, don’t you?

It is because sugar promotes rehydration processes.

Umeboshi, a traditional Japanese pickled plum, can provide sodium and also citric acid which is effective in relieving fatigue.

Honey is rich in vitamins and minerals.

Therefore, adding umeboshi and honey to barley tea can be a natural mineral drink!

Prepare a small jar and place Umeboshi, then, pour natural honey over Umeboshi plums.

Pickle Umeboshi plums for 2-3 days.

Simply, add honey Umeboshi (you can break it up or add whole) to barely tea.

←←←Homemade Umeboshi Made With Apricots

BARLEY TEA HAS MOSTLY BENEFITS: BUT DOES IT HAVE SIDE EFFECTS?

Barley tea is a great natural mineral drink not only delicious and refreshing but also providing several health benefits.

Especially, in Japan, barley tea is the ideal summer drink to prevent heat-related illness.

Since it has a nutty toasty flavor and low-calorie, non-caffeine, it is a great rehydration for kids to elders.

However, are there any side effects if you drink too much barley tea a day?

Here are four reasons why barley tea can harm your body when drinking it too much.

Read this post, and learn about the daily limit of the amount.

For about the health benefits of barley tea, please read this post!

MUGICHA? HATOMUGICHA?

When looking for “MUGICHA” in Japanese groceries, you may find two different names of MUGICHA-one is MUGICHA, and another is HOTOMUGICHA.

They have similar names in Japanese translation, but, they are made from different raw materials.

Japanese barley tea mainly uses barley called “Rokujo barley”.

Hatomugi refers to a gramineous plant native to South Asia.

Both Rokujo barley and Hatomugi belong to the same Poaceae family, but Hatomugi is a species similar to corn.

Compared to barley tea, hatomugi tea is light brown and mild toasty brown rice-like flavor.

In Chinese medication, Hatomugi (coix seed) is used as an herbal medicine treatment that has anti-inflammatory effects.

How To Brew Barley Tea

In Japan, making barley tea from tea bags is the way since it is easy and saves time.

However, you can enjoy even more delicious barley tea with a richer aroma and deeper flavor when using the barley kernels.

Store homemade barley tea in a fridge and consume it within 2-3 days (within 2 days when you make in cold-brew).

HOW TO MAKE BARLEY TEA IN BAGS

The barley tea bag contains crushed barley kernels, and the most advantage to use bags is easy to brew in hot or cold water.

You can make easily delicious barley tea with tea bags, but, remove brewed tea bags after brewing since the barley tea becomes bitter and turbidity.

HOT BREW BARLEY TEA

There are two ways to make barley tea in hot water.

1. COOK TEA BAGS IN BOILING WATER ON STOVETOP

Bring the water to a boil in a kettle, add barley tea bags (the number of tea bags is following the directions,) and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes.

Turn off the heat and leave the tea bags for 1 hour, then take out.

Transfer the barley tea to a clean jar and store it in a fridge.

2. BREW TEA BAGS IN BOILED WATER

Bring water to a boil and put tea bags after turning off the heat.

Brew for an hour and remove the tea bags.

Transfer the barley tea to a clean jar and store it in a fridge.

The tea flavor becomes lighter than one brewed in boiling water.

COLD BREW BARLEY TEA FROM BARLEY TEA BAGS

When making cold-brew barley tea, use barley teabags made for cold-brewing.

You can brew barley tea by just throwing tea bags into purified water, but, brew the tea bags for 10 minutes in a cup of boiled water first, then, add cold water brings more delicious barley tea.

HOW TO MAKE COLD BREW BARLEY TEA FROM BARLEY TEA BAGS

  1. Brew 1 barley tea bag (made for cold brewing) in a cup of boiled water for 10 minutes.
  2. Add 4 cups of purified water, and the brewed tea bag with boiled water to a clean jar.
  3. Continue brewing for the time that tells you on the instruction on the package.
  4. Remove the tea bag and store the barley tea in a fridge.

HOW TO MAKE BARLEY TEA WITH KERNELS

It takes a little effort to make barley tea using kernels… but it’s not difficult.

*The recipe may differ depending on the products.

Please carefully check the directions on the packaging.

As the guide, prepare 4 cups of water and 3-4 tbsp of barley kernels.

Bring the water to a boil, throw kernels into a pot/kettle, and simmer them for 3-5 minutes.

Leave the kernels for 30 minutes in the tea.

Strain the barley tea into a clean jar.

If you have time, roast barley kernels over medium heat until they are about smoke. In this way, barely tea becomes more toasty and nutty so does delicious. You better do this also when barley kernels get old in the pantry.

Make sure to continue stirring while roasting the kernels. Then, turn off the heat immediately when they start smoking since over-roasting removes flavor.

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