For a slightly different take on herbal tea, you should take a look at buckwheat tea. Some herbal teas have a polarizing or astringent flavor that many tea drinkers may consider an acquired taste. However, buckwheat tea is an herbal tea variety that enjoys more universal popularity, at least among those who have managed to try it.
Buckwheat tea (also known as sobacha or memil-cha) is a tea made by steeping the roasted grains of the buckwheat plant. Buckwheat is consumed for its medicinal properties and also for recreation. Like many herbal teas, buckwheat tea is usually served without sweeteners or milk.
Buckwheat tea has been around as a beverage for over eight thousand years, but it’s enjoying renewed popularity worldwide for its delicious flavors and its health benefits alike. Read on to learn more about buckwheat tea and how to prepare it.
This post may contain affiliate links. My full disclosure policy is sort of boring, but you can find it here.
Where Do People Drink Buckwheat Tea?
Buckwheat tea originated as a popular drink in South Asia, and is primarily consumed by people in China, Korea, and Japan. In Korea, buckwheat tea is known as memil-cha. In Japan, it’s known as sobacha. In China, it is known as kuqiao-cha. In all three of these countries, it’s known as a delicious tea variety for cold winter evenings due to its warming effects.
Even though buckwheat tea still maintains its greatest popularity in Asia, this herbal tea has managed to make its way around the world. Thanks to buckwheat’s adaptability, other countries can also grow and enjoy this ancient grain in the form of tea.
Health Benefits of Buckwheat Tea
While many people drink buckwheat tea just because it tastes good, this herbal tea is also consumed for its medicinal properties and the health benefits of drinking it regularly. Here are a few of the health advantages that regular consumption of buckwheat tea can provide:
- Naturally caffeine-free: If you’re trying to kick a coffee habit but you find it difficult to give up your hot morning drink, replacing caffeinated hot drinks with buckwheat tea can help you reduce the amount of caffeine in your diet more easily.
- Naturally gluten-free: Buckwheat tea doesn’t contain any gluten. This makes it a good option for people with celiac disease or other wheat-based sensitivities.
- Dietary fiber: Buckwheat is a good source of dietary fiber. Buckwheat tea can help act as a mild laxative to keep your digestive system regular.
- Reduces blood sugar levels: Buckwheat is known for being able to reduce and stabilize blood sugar levels. This makes it a great health tonic for people who have metabolic diseases, such as diabetes.
- Anti-inflammatory properties: Buckwheat contains polyphenols and other antioxidants that contain anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation in the body is associated with many serious chronic health conditions such as stroke, heart attack, pain, fatigue, and cancer.
Even if buckwheat tea didn’t taste good, there are still plenty of smart reasons why it’s a good tea to include in your weekly rotation. Luckily, the great flavors in buckwheat tea ensure that you get the best of both worlds.
What Does Buckwheat Tea Taste Like?
Buckwheat tea is the perfect herbal tea for people who find other non-caffeinated teas too floral, minty, or cloying. Buckwheat has an aroma and flavor that is more reminiscent of coffee than traditional herbal teas like mint or lemon balm, so it’s a good option for people who are looking for a coffee substitute other than chicory tea.
Buckwheat is known for having a light toasted, nutty flavor with notes of malt and earth. When brewed, this tea makes a pale, translucent liquor with a pleasant roasted scent. Since it has a warm and well-rounded flavor, buckwheat pairs well with both sweet and savory foods.
How to Make Buckwheat Tea
Like most tisanes or herbal tea infusions, buckwheat tea is brewed by steeping the roasted grains in boiling water. Here’s a breakdown of the steps you need to take to brew a pot of buckwheat tea:
- Boil the water. Bring three and a half cups of water in a saucepan or tea kettle to a boil.
- Add the buckwheat. Add two tablespoons of roasted buckwheat grains to the water and boil them for thirty seconds.
- Add more buckwheat. Once the first two tablespoons of buckwheat have boiled in the saucepan, add the boiling water to the teapot along with two additional tablespoons of buckwheat.
- Steep the tea. Allow the buckwheat tea to steep in the teapot for 3-4 minutes.
- Strain the tea. Strain boiled buckwheat grains out of the tea before serving it into tea cups to guests.
Buckwheat tea is not generally served with milk, lemon, or sweeteners, but you can offer or use these tea additions if you like. Just because something isn’t traditional doesn’t mean it won’t be delicious, so don’t be afraid to experiment!
Can You Eat Buckwheat Tea?
Besides just brewing the roasted buckwheat kernels, you can also eat it! It’s a delicious and crunchy addition to foods like ice cream, yogurt, smoothies, and salads.
Buckwheat Tea Is a Savory Winter Treat
If you’re tired of the same old peppermint or chamomile tea, buckwheat tea might just be the toasty tea you’ve been searching for. Perfect for a chilly, dark winter morning or a brisk autumn dusk, this healthy orange tea will warm you inside and out.