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Korean Barley Tea (Boricha)

Discover Korean barley tea and learn how to make it at home! It’s super easy, delicious and it comes with many health benefits! Korean Barley Tea (Boricha) Recipe | MyKoreanKitchen.com

Do you like tea? I do! I don’t drink English style tea much, but I’ve been drinking Korean barley tea and Korean corn tea every day in the last few weeks. (I read that it’s good for my diet! Lol)

And, when I was little, Korean tea was our water alternative at our home.

My mom would put some large quantity of water in a kettle then add some loose grains of tea. Boil it until pipping hot then cool it down by immersing the kettle in cold water. When the tea cooled down, we drank it. That is how we drank our “water” for like 20 years growing up in Korea.

The tea we often drank was made with roasted cassia tora seed (gyeolmyeongja, 결명자).  It has a somewhat coffee like aroma, color and bitter sweet taste. I didn’t like the taste as much as some other Korean tea even though my mom kept telling me that this tea is good for improving eye sight! (Maybe that’s why my sight is still good after these many years!)

Though, when I visited my friend’s place, their water tasted different to ours. It’s usually made with either roasted corn or roasted barley.

Unlike cassia tora seed tea, they had a lot milder, nutty and maybe even slightly sweet taste. I absolutely loved these! So you might be wondering what’s Korean barley tea?

Korean Roasted Barley Tea (Boricha) | MyKoreanKitchen.com

What is Korean Barley Tea

Korean barley tea (boricha, 보리차) is made with roasted barley and water. (I know! So simple!) In Japan, it’s known as mugicha.

You can buy pre-roasted barley grains from a Korean / Asian grocery store or you can roast barley yourself at home.

Alternatively, you can buy roasted barley tea bags, which makes all the work easier and quicker!

The picture below is pearled barley, which I used to make roasted barley because I couldn’t get the pre-roasted barley grains. Roasting barley is quite easy and straightforward. I will show you how soon.

Korean Pearl Barley | MyKoreanKitchen.com

Benefits of Korean Barley Tea

I didn’t know these until recently, but apparently there are some benefits of having Korean barley tea!

Though, what I’m about to spill out below is very high level and is for information only. Consult with your medical / health professional if you want to use it for medicinal purposes.

Korean barley tea

  • is caffeine free and there’s no known side affects. So you can drink as much as you like any time of the day
  • can help with digestion
  • can help with weight loss
  • can help control blood sugar level

How great is this tea!?

Korean barley tea for babies | MyKoreanKitchen.com

Korean Barley Tea for Babies

Many Korean mom’s give barley tea to their babies, and it’s usually when the baby is around 6 months old. There are even barley tea’s specifically made for babies in Korea. These products use non bleached tea bags.

I don’t think there’s any specific reasons for giving the barley tea to babies. I certainly didn’t do that with my daughter. She’s now nearly 4 years old and she thinks the taste of barley tea is yucky. (According to my hubby, it has an acquired taste.) But I tell you, it’s nothing like Kimchi! Lol. I hope it grows on her eventually!

Anyway, I hope you enjoy making some Korean barley tea at home. It’s a perfect cooler drink in summer! (It’s also great in winter. Just serve it warm or hot.) 🙂

P.S. If you like Korean tea, I suggest these teas for you to try too! Plum Tea and Citron Tea

Ingredients for Korean Barley Tea

* If you’re using a barley tea bag, follow the package instruction. It’s typically 2 L boiled water per one tea bag (10 g / 0.4 ounces)

** 1 Tbsp = 15 ml

How to Roast Barley

(This step is only relevant if you are using non-roasted barley)

1. Preheat a wok or skillet over low heat. Add the barley and stir around until it browns. (It takes about 10 to 12 mins.) FYI, I didn’t use any cooking oil. How to roast barley for tea | MyKoreanKitchen.com

How to Make Korean Barley Tea

A tea bag version

1. Boil the water in a kettle (pot) until rapidly boiling. Remove the kettle from the heat then add the roasted barley tea bag. Brew it for about 10 mins. Don’t forget to squeeze out the tea bag using tongs, to get the last drop of essence. Discard the tea bag. You will noticed that the color of the water has changed to a brownish color. Cool it down. (You can submerge the kettle in cold water to make this process quicker.) Transfer the tea into a jug then refrigerate until needed.

Korean Barley Tea with Tea Bag

Loose roasted barley grains version

1. Boil the water in a kettle or pot until rapidly boiling. Add the roasted barley (in a tea strainer container if you have one) then boil further 5 mins on low to medium low heat. Remove the kettle from the heat and remove the roasted barley from the kettle. Cool the tea down then transfer it into a jug. Refrigerate until needed. (If you didn’t use the tea strainer container, you will have to use the strainer to sieve the grains).

Brewing Korean Barley Tea

How to Make Korean Barley Tea (Boricha) | MyKoreanKitchen.com

Korean Barley Tea (Boricha) Recipe | MyKoreanKitchen.com

Korean Barley Tea (Boricha)

Easy Korean barley tea recipe
4.8 from 10 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Korean
Keyword: barley, tea
Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 14 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories: 5kcal
Author: Sue | My Korean Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 2 liters water
  • 3 Tbsp roasted barley grains , or more to taste

Instructions

A TEA BAG VERSION

  • Boil the water in a kettle (pot) until rapidly boiling. Remove the kettle from the heat then add the roasted barley tea bag. Brew it for about 10 mins. Don’t forget to squeeze out the tea bag using tongs, to get the last drop of essence. Discard the tea bag. You will noticed that the color of the water has changed to a brownish color. Cool it down. (You can submerge the kettle in cold water to make this process quicker.) Transfer the tea into a jug then refrigerate until needed.

LOOSE ROASTED BARLEY GRAINS VERSION

  • Boil the water in a kettle or pot until rapidly boiling. Add the roasted barley (in a tea strainer container if you have one) then boil further 5 mins on low to medium low heat. Remove the kettle from the heat and remove the roasted barley from the kettle. Cool the tea down then transfer it into a jug. Refrigerate until needed. (If you didn’t use the tea strainer container, you will have to use the strainer to sieve the grains).

Notes

* If you’re using a barley tea bag, follow the package instruction. It’s typically 2 L boiled water per one tea bag (10 g / 0.4 ounces)
** 1 Tbsp = 15 ml

Nutrition

Calories: 5kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Sodium: 10mg | Potassium: 4mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 0.1mg
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Written by: Sue

Last Updated: May 13, 2019

Hi, I'm Sue and I am the creator of My Korean Kitchen. Thank you for joining me in this delicious culinary journey!

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22 thoughts on “Korean Barley Tea (Boricha)”

  1. I love the barley tea! I was wondering how to make it less cloudy? I bought the bags and the tea comes out crystal clear with a rich reddish color. When I make it at home, the color is not reddish, more beige and cloudy. What am I doing wrong?
    Thanks!

  2. The recipe was really easy to follow. I could never make it right and I’m glad I came across this recipe. It’s not as complicated as the other ones that I’ve come across where it states to put salt? I like this version and very refreshing. Thanks for sharing this recipe!!

  3. Hi Sue,
    I was reading a beverage blog on an an international education site and someone must have mentioned this as a favorite beverage.

    I bought hulled barley today because it seemed less processed than the pearled, but I imagine the whole kernel is best???
    I forgot that it will need roasting, but is there anything missing from the nutrition value if it’s raw, which I guess this is or is “hulled” also roasted?

    Also, I like the comment from the May 2018 contributor who decided to eat the barley too! Cause I was wondering about that. Do you?

    Thank you so much for sharing. I see you have a following for other recipes too, so I will check them out.
    Stephanie

  4. I just made roasted barley tea; then I salted the leftover cooked barley, added some furikake, and ate it! Delish!

  5. Thanks for all the recipes. I was a Peace Corps Volunteer a very long time ago in S. Korea and we often had this drink at small eating places or in our host family homes. It was always so refreshing on a hot day.

  6. I tried just pouring hot water in to my cup of roasted barley. It taste much milder than the tea bag version. And i do not have the time or convenince of boiling it. Would it help if i crush the roasted barley and put them in tea bags? Is it alright to drink it as water the whole day everyday? I was told certain teas are only good to drink once a week or so.

    • 1. To get stronger flavor, you could increase the roasted barley and steep it longer.
      2. Haven’t tried crushed barley tea, but I can see that it could help with the intensity of flavor. Though, to me, crushing is more work than boiling it. LOL
      3. I can’t give you medical/health advice. But, many Koreans drink barley tea every day (several times a day) as water alternative.

  7. Hello miss Sue!? I recently bought a 5lb bag of roasted barley tea from one of the korean restaurants i frequent and they also gave me smaller bag of Kyul Myung Ja or semen casstae torae. The instructions were to boil the roasted barley for 20 min. The ratio is 10 to 1, barley to kyul. So I’m asking you if you know about this other ingredient, and when would i add it to the barley? they put it in the tea they prepare and it’s amazing!!! Your instructions say to use 3 tablespoons for 2 litres of water. What would u recommend? Thank you and take care

    • Hi Shaun, you add the roasted barley and the roasted cassia tora seed at the same time. Roasted cassia tora seed gives a bitter taste, so you don’t want to add a lot of it.

      I would start by adding 3 Tbsp roasted barley tea and 1/4 tsp – 1/2 tsp roasted cassia tora seed for 2 litres of water. Then adjust the ratio, if necessary, to suit my taste after this batch. Hope this helps. 🙂

  8. So interesting. When I was growing up my mom and grandmothers always made barley coffee made of roasted and ground malted barley. You could drink it black or with milk.

  9. Hello,
    Do you know how long the tea is good for in the fridge? I would like to make bigger batches since we go through a lot of beverages at our house.
    Thank you!

  10. Hey Sue, Thanks for the brilliant recipe. Do you know, In India, Barley water is given to people who have kidney stones? The idea of barley tea sounds good and I will give a try.

  11. I love tea too! My favorite is verbena by far but I pretty much love all teas. My favorite Korean tea is buckwheat. I will try your barley tea recipe, my husband really enjoys barley tea.

  12. It is quite hot where I live right now and I made a batch of this tea yesterday. I LOVE it! It is perfectly refreshing. I saw Roasted Corn tea on the shelf at the market. Do you make roasted corn tea the same way?
    I also made your recent cucumber Kimchi recipe, also delicious, you are having a big influence on my families menus!

    • Hi Katherine, So happy to hear that! 🙂
      Yes, you can make the roasted corn tea the same way. If you want, you can even make the cocktail version by combining the barley tea & corn tea. Some people make it this way. Enjoy!

  13. Thank you for posting about Korean barley tea. We love droning this tea whenever we eat at a Korean restaurant. Now, we can have it at home too. Thanks also for the other suggestions. I really love your website.

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