What is Mugicha? How to Brew a Delicious and Authentic Mugicha

Barley tea, or Mugicha as it is lovingly called in Japan, is a beloved and renowned beverage in the Land of the Rising Sun. This humble tea has a unique story to tell and a special place in the hearts of the Japanese. Today, we delve into the world of Mugicha, exploring its origins, its journey to becoming a household favorite, and why it is so revered in Japanese culture. Get ready to be charmed by the simple yet captivating tale of this humble tea!


Mugicha, or barley tea, is a popular and beloved drink in Japanese tea culture. In this article, we will explore the origins, benefits, and preparation methods of this unique tea, so grab a cup and join us on this journey!

1 What is Mugicha?

All About Mugicha

Mugicha, or barley tea, is a traditional Japanese beverage made from a special variety of local barley called “Mugi.” This tea offers a refreshing and subtly sweet flavor profile while also boasting antioxidant properties and providing essential nutrients to the body.

During the hot Japanese summers, Mugicha is a go-to drink for its cooling and refreshing qualities. It holds a significant place in Japanese culture, similar to other renowned teas such as Matcha, Bancha, and Houjicha.

2 The History of Mugicha

Unraveling the Origins

The origins of Mugicha can be traced back to Japan’s Heian period, when people commonly consumed powdered barley, mixed with kinako (roasted soybean flour), dissolved in hot water. During the Warring States period, military commanders and high-ranking officials often enjoyed hot barley tea blended with alcohol. This beverage gradually gained popularity among the common folk towards the end of the Edo period.

In the Meiji era, mugicha tea houses began to spring up, eventually outnumbering coffee houses. However, it was only in the year 1965 that this tea officially acquired the name “Mugicha.”

3 Health Benefits of Mugicha

Unlocking the Benefits

Mugicha boasts an impressive range of health benefits beyond its cooling properties. These include:

  • Reducing bad cholesterol and preventing cardiovascular diseases, as well as helping manage diabetes.
  • Containing essential amino acids, vitamins, and minerals while also aiding in weight loss.
  • Improving digestive health and relieving constipation.
  • Being caffeine-free, making it suitable for all ages, from children to the elderly.

4 How to Brew Mugicha

Brewing Techniques

There are two primary methods for brewing Mugicha, and we’ve outlined them below to help you create the perfect cup:

Method 1:

Step 1 – Add 30g of Mugicha to a pitcher.
Step 2 – Pour 200ml of boiling water into the pitcher and let the tea steep for 10-15 minutes.
Step 3 – Strain the tea, allow it to cool, add ice, and enjoy!

Method 2:

Step 1 – Place 30g of Mugicha in a pitcher of cold water (about 2 liters).
Step 2 – Refrigerate the pitcher for 1-3 hours to allow the tea to infuse.
Step 3 – Strain the tea and serve chilled.

Now you know all about Mugicha, from its history to its health benefits and brewing techniques. We hope this article has inspired you to explore and appreciate this unique Japanese tea. Cheers to a healthier and more refreshing you!

Frequently asked questions

Mugicha, or barley tea, is a popular East Asian beverage made from roasted barley grains. It has a mild, nutty flavor and is often served cold in the summer and hot in the winter.

To brew delicious and authentic mugicha, start by roasting barley grains in a frying pan over medium heat until they are a deep brown color. Then, boil the roasted grains in water for about 15 minutes. Finally, strain the liquid and serve it with ice or hot, depending on your preference.

Mugicha is believed to have various health benefits, including improving digestion, boosting immunity, and lowering blood sugar levels. It is also a good source of antioxidants and minerals such as magnesium and potassium.

Yes, mugicha is naturally caffeine-free, making it a great beverage option for those who are sensitive to caffeine or looking for a refreshing drink to enjoy throughout the day.

Although mugicha is typically enjoyed without any added sweeteners, you can add honey or sugar to taste if you prefer a sweeter beverage. Some people also like to add a squeeze of lemon or lime juice for a touch of acidity.