Elwood 5566

Korean Teas: Barley Tea – (보리차)

Posted in tea (cereal, herb) by 노강호 on August 26, 2010

Sugar Puff water minus the sugar

Specifics: A cereal tea made from roasted barley. The tea can be made from commercially available roasted barley of purchased in tea bags ranging from single cup size to larger bags sufficient to make a litre.

Perhaps this drink, more than any other, reminds me of Korea, especially if I drink it in the UK. When I’m living in the UK a store of barley tea (보리차) or the closely related corn tea (옥수수차), are always on my shopping list. Some drinks don’t ‘transport’ well; soju for example, needs Korean weather, Korean food and a Korean ambiance to be fully appreciated but most of the cereal teas both taste the same and don’t seem out-of-place a couple of thousands miles from their point of origin.

Barley tea, made from roasted barley, can be bought as whole grain, in tea bags or already bottled. I have drunk most of the bottled varieties and don’t like them as they are often bitter and naturally, some preservative has been added. The tea bags however, make a decent drink. You can drink barley tea both hot or cold. I seldom drink it hot but along with my favourite ‘tea,’ mistletoe (겨우사리),  have a two liter bottle in my fridge most of the time. Like all Korean teas, they are ‘just’ (그냥), so don’t expect anything startling. It lacks any tartness and has a mild  barley taste, reminiscent of sugar-less  Sugar Puffs. However, at quenching your thirst in hot weather or after a workout, Barley tea, like many other ‘teas,’ are superior to any sugary chemical concoction and infinitely cheaper (unless you buy it bottled). I tend to use a large tea bag per 1.5 liters, in the case the tea is almost the same darkness as milk-less conventional teas but I suspect many Koreans drink it much weaker.

Creative Commons License© Nick Elwood 2010 Creative Commons Licence.

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