Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Power of Mugicha (Japanese Barley Tea)

Roasted Barley or "Mugi"

Ever since I first met my husband I have become the greatest fan of Mugicha, or as we say here, Japanese barley tea.  I always knew barley tea existed, but not in the form in which he prepares it, the quantity in which he drinks it and the purpose for which he does so.  In my mind, barley tea was typically one that you purchase as a loose grain and enjoy hot, usually at a trendy tea boutique or perhaps at home on a rare occasion…which is all true, but what I didn’t know was that there is a much simpler and might I add addictive way to enjoy this highly therapeutic tea.  Barley tea is available in tea bag form and can be enjoyed chilled.  Not only is it so simple to prepare, delicious and hydrating…but roasted barley also possesses some truly beneficial health properties namely antioxidative, antibacterial and anticoagulative (blood thinning).  And one more thing, it’s caffeine-free!  Does it get any better?  You can enjoy this tea into the evening knowing that it wont keep you awake late at night. 

If you are interested, feel free to read the primary literature that brought the medicinal properties of roasted barley to light: 

Barley the Antioxidant: Anti-Oxidative Compounds in Barley Tea

Starting the day off with a tall cold glass of Mugicha :-)

My advice: please buy some barley tea bags and pop one or two into a pitcher (the tea packaging will give you exact directions), add water, place into the fridge and in a few hours you will have some of the tastiest and most hydrating preventive medicine in drink form you ever knew existed!  It really hits the spot on a hot summer day or after an intense workout, but enjoy it all year round at any time of day.  And the best part is, over time you will (hopefully) find it will replace any sugary drinks you have at home as your palate develops a taste for the roasted barley and you realize how much more satisfied and refreshed you feel after a tall cold cup.  And FYI, depending on your mood, you can either enjoy this cold tea solo or add a wedge of lemon and a teaspoon of honey for a kick.  Either way, this cold tea has become a staple in our home and I can honestly say that I am in love with it.

Here is one of the Mugicha brands we use at home.  There are many others so please feel free to try them out :-)

Hope you enjoy!

PS- my only word of caution is that barley does contain gluten so if you are gluten-sensitive you should avoid  


Mafalda said...

I love Barley tea, so I understand your point.

It's a wonderful tea to replace coffee for example, as it tastes and smells like coffee!

I do drink it often, especially in the summer as it keeps me hydrated, but I also enjoy having it to improve my digestion or treat cold symptoms.

Do you have other favourite teas? I enjoy herbals in general, but I am also a big fan of black teas.

Solmaz Amirnazmi said...

Thanks so much for your comment-- it is a fantastic tea to replace coffee and keeps one hydrated along with the many health benefits. I do enjoy many different types of teas- black, green and for decaf, I really like chamomile. But my all time favorite is freshly brewed Persian tea, which I grew up with. The flavor is absolutely amazing and it always hits the spot for me.

Mafalda said...

Persian tea seems an interesting choice! I'll look into it.

What about white tea? Have you ever tried it?

It's quite delicate, but extremely healthy as it is the least processed tea.

Daniel said...

I never had barley tea until I went to Japan, where it is considered the quintessential summer drink. I came to really enjoy it and also started drinking Japanese green teas on a daily basis. These days, I can't even stand to drink sugary drinks anymore and drink nothing but tea or water.

Anonymous said...

drinking it right noe..

MarthaB said...

I love mugicha and was planning to shift from coffee to drink more of it. I just read that roasted grain beverages have high levels of acrylamide formed during the roasting process. What do you know about cancer links in Asian countries where people drink a lot of roasted barley tea? What do you think about the concerns of carcinogenicity compared with the antibacterial and other "good" aspects of mugicha?

Kat D said...

That link to the mugicha is SOOOO expensive. The most popular brand is what i used in Japan and still do. Here is a link to getting the best tea that most Japanese drink for under $3.

Miriam S. said...

I just discovered barley tea a month ago at the base commissary. I love that it is caffeine free and so refreshing. The brand I bought was this one on the link. I do not know if its good quality but it tastes good to me.

christyjames said...

Actually green tea is a wonderful solution for making your health fit & perfect, if you have using ayurvedic its a added advantage to have so that Buy Green Tea online and it is so popular today and also good for our health.

Unknown said...

Is this hato mugi cha( i.e., made with Job's tears ? Or American barley as in the roasted coffee? The Asian version is a different grain than the one Americans associate with barley.

Michael said...

I also discovered roasted barley tea recently. Any recommendation where to order it online? I saw somebody posting about roasted barley tea on Yunomi:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the great information. You are also incredibly beautiful! Take care