When I was growing up my mom would often have a pot of Roasted Barley Tea simmering on the stove. It always seemed like a lot of work and it was simmering for hours. She would actually complain about what a pain it was! I love Barley Tea. In Japan, it's mostly a summer drink, something to drink to keep cool, but I like to drink it year round. I've been looking forever at the Japanese markets for the loose Roasted Barley, but could never find any. The Japanese have become lazier and only sell the Barley Tea Bags;o) Well, it is much more convenient and my mom was sure happy when they came out with these!
I was out at a Korean Restaurant with a friend of mine last weekend and he said his mother still makes the barley tea with the loose barley and they sell it at all Korean markets. We got into this conversation because the restaurant was serving hot Barley Tea. It seems like most Korean restaurants do. Nowadays, I like it hot or cold. After dinner, we all went over to a new Korean market called Galleria in Koreatown and sure enough, there it was. Yay!! Not only do they have barley, but they have roasted corn too! I couldn't resist getting both!
Loose Roasted Barley
It comes from China!
I was out at a Korean restaurant with my mom over 10 years ago and the place served this delicious tea. With the language barrier, it was a little hard to communicate, but we thought the lady said it was corn. Corn? How strange. Really? So, the lady actually brought out the corn kernals for us to see. When I got home, I tried to roast regular popcorn kernals, so I could have this tea. I'm not even sure how I did it it without the popcorn popping...lol The kernals did get brown, but there was no flavor. I'd forgotten about this tea and am so happy that I rediscovered it!
I also bought a bottle of premade cold Roasted Corn Tea at the store, but it tasted strange, very artificial. It was almost like drinking a very light flavored corn on the cob. Hubby said it tasted like cardboard;o)
The little window where you can see the kernals....
I love Asian packaging and their directions, you don't need to be able to read it!
The Japanese Barley Tea Bags
This one you can put on the stove and simmer it, but most of them you just throw a bag in cold water, stick it in the frig for a couple of hours and voila, you have Barley Tea :o) I like to drink the first couple of cups hot and then cut the rest with some water and put it in the refrigerator.
My retro little kettle...I love this thing :o)
I mixed both the corn and barley in cold water, then brought it to a boil, lowered the heat for 5 mins then turned it off and drank it! It's just sitting on the stove now, waiting to be put in the refrigerator or waiting for me to have one more cup of hot tea!
It turns out that the flavor isn't that much different than the teabags, but I still like the fact of taking a little more time and using the loose barley & corn. I think I need to put more corn in it next time, the flavor is very slight in this one. I did read somewhere that if you brew the corn too strong it will turn into a laxative...oops, I better be careful about that....lol