Discover the Rejuvenating Aroma and Health Benefits of Barley Tea – A Korean Delight

Unearth the treasure trove of a refreshingly warm and healthy beverage popularised by East Asia. Dive into the invigorating world of barley tea, a Korean delight that captures the essence of health benefits, aromatic brews, and the perfect substitute for caffeine-laden drinks. Let’s discover why its typically preferred.

What is Barley Tea and Why is it Preferred?

Barley tea, locally known as mugicha in Japan and boricha in Korea, is a beverage made from roasted barley grains. Brewed to a rich, golden hue, barley tea is a popular wellness drink that’s made into a feast for the senses, boasting a unique aroma and flavor.

Understanding the Popularity of Barley Tea

The worldwide popularity of Barley tea stems from its distinct taste and health benefits. In Korea and Japan, it’s super common, often served chilled in the fridge during summer and hot in winters, where it warms you down to your toes.

The Aroma and Flavour of Barley Tea

Upon brewing, the roast barley unleashes a nutty aroma and a slightly sweet, toasty flavor. The unique taste is why the barley tea is made into a regular household beverage.

Barley Tea as a Caffeine-Free Substitute

Did you know? Barley tea is also a fantastic caffeine-free substitute for regular tea or coffee — a vital feature for those seeking healthy alternatives.

How to Brew the Perfect Cup of Barley Tea?

Making barley tea is simple: It’s made by either simmering barley grains in hot water, filtering out the grains, and serving hot or cold or by simply boiling a barley tea bag.

Brewing with Roasted Barley and Hot Water

Roasted barley tea can be made from loose leaf tea or barley grains. The grains are introduced into hot water, boiled to perfection, and the will make barley tea or water served as a hot or cold beverage.

Using a Barley Tea Bag for Convenience

For busy tea lovers, using barley tea bags containing ground roasted barley grains is a convenient way to enjoy this wholesome drink. After steeping for a few minutes, discard the tea bag and savor the flavor-rich infusion.

Tips to Capture the Perfect Flavour

To fully capture the flavor, steep the tea longer. Adjust the steeping duration and choose between hot and cold water to match your preferred taste and heat profile.

Unearth the Health Benefits of Barley Tea

The wellness advantages of barley tea extend far beyond its delightful taste. Barley grass, the grain used to brew tea, packs a multitude of nutrients, and the tea has been a stalwart in Chinese medicine.

Nutritional Benefits of Barley and Barley Tea

Barley tea carries the benefits of barley grain, rich in antioxidants, fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals. These nutrients contribute to the refreshing and nourishing attributes of the tea.

How Barley Tea Contributes to Detox

The barley tea is also known for its detoxifying properties. It promotes digestion and flushes toxins out, positively affecting liver function.

The Role of Barley Tea in Chinese Medicine

In Chinese medicine, the brewed barley water is seen as a remedial agent for various ailments, further cementing its place as a health-oriented beverage.

Barley Tea Varieties: Pearl Barley, Seed Tea, and More

Demonstrating the versatility of grain tea, barley tea outlines several authentic takes, including the unconventional brews of pearl barley and seed tea.

The Difference Between Loose Leaf Tea and Barley Tea Bags

While barley tea bags are about ease and speed, loose leaf tea offers a traditional and enriching brewing experience, thus allowing you to engage with your brew in a more intimate way.

Exploring the Aesthetics of Brewed Tea Leaves

Watching the barley grains or tea leaves dance around in the hot water is part of the traditional tea brewing journey — an experience one might miss when using teabags.

Pearl Barley and Seed Tea: Unconventional Brews

Beyond regular barley infusions recipes, pearl barley and seed tea offer an exciting twist, presenting new ways to enjoy this tasty and beneficial grain.

Expanding Your Palate: Other Korean Teas to Try

If barley tea has captured your interest, other Korean teas like the nutritious boricha (buckwheat tea), brown rice tea, and Cassia seed tea await your discovery.

Discovering Boricha: The Korean Buckwheat Tea

Boricha, another popular Korean tea, is a hearty brew made from whole roasted grains of buckwheat. The term ‘bo’ refers to barley, but it’s made primarily from buckwheat, offering an earthy, roasty beverage.

The Nutritious Brown Rice Tea

Brown Rice Tea, imbued with the goodness of brown rice, is known for its unique aroma and deep flavor profiles, mirroring the versatility of Korean tea culture.

Refreshing your Senses with Cassia Seed Tea and Red Beans

Last but not least, the unconventional brews of cassia seeds and red beans await the adventurous tea connoisseur, ready to engage the palate in an exciting escapade of taste and aroma.


Q: What is mugicha?

A: Mugicha is a traditional Japanese beverage made by steeping roasted corn and barley kernels in water. It is a caffeine-free and popular alternative to tea and coffee.

Q: What are the health benefits of barley tea?

A: Barley tea is most commonly consumed for its refreshing taste, but it also offers various health benefits such as hydration, for weight loss and management, and serving as a caffeine-free and low-calorie alternative to sugary drinks.

Q: How do I make roasted barley tea at home?

A: To make roasted barley tea at home, simply toast loose grains of barley in a skillet until they turn golden brown and then steep them in hot water. You can enjoy it hot or as a cold, refreshing beverage.

Q: Is barley tea caffeine-free?

A: Yes, barley tea is caffeine-free, making it a great alternative for those looking to reduce their caffeine intake or avoid it altogether.

Q: What are some other names for roasted barley tea?

A: Roasted barley tea is also known as “mugicha” in Japan and “boricha” in Korea. In some cases, it might be referred to as corn tea or roasting barley corn tea.

Q: Can I enjoy barley tea as a cold beverage?

A: Yes, barley tea can be brewed and enjoyed as a cold beverage, especially during hot summer months. It can be prepared and stored in a pitcher in the refrigerator for a refreshing and hydrating drink.

Q: Is barley tea available in flavored varieties?

A: Yes, you can find barley tea in flavored options, such as lemon or peach-infused variations, for those looking for additional sweetness and variety in their beverage choices.

Q: Where is barley tea most commonly consumed?

A: Barley tea is a very popular beverage in East Asian countries like Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. It is often enjoyed as a refreshing drink throughout the year.

Q: Is there any added sugar in bottled barley tea?

A: It’s typically recommended to check the label, but bottled barley tea is usually caffeine-free and may not contain added sugar, making it a healthier alternative to sugary drinks.

Q: Is barley tea a good coffee substitute?

A: Yes, for those looking for a caffeine-free coffee substitute, roasted barley tea can be a great option due to its rich flavor and versatility.

Colin Manson drinking tea on the decking
About the author

Hi, I am Colin, a Scotsman with an insatiable love for tea who now calls Ireland home. This blog is a blend of tea reviews, brewing tips, and some heartwarming stories that reflect my journey through the world of tea. Join me as I explore and share the joy of steeping a perfect cup….and yes, that is a Sports Direct Mug I drink my tea from!