Iced Mugicha Barley Tea in a glass and jar
Health | | C. Yu

4 Health Benefits of Mugicha Barley Tea

Mugicha (麦茶) is a Japanese herbal tea made from roasted barley that is delicious both hot or cold. This non-caffeinated barley tea is a staple in many east Asian countries in particular, with tons of health benefits. On a hot summer day in Japan, it is typical to have iced barley tea, or Mugicha, with meals or as a quick refresher.

Below, we explore the history and health benefits of Mugicha barley tea.

The information presented in this article is in no way intended as medical advice or as a substitute for medical treatment. You should always consult with your physician or other health care professional before adopting any treatment for a health problem.


iced Mugicha Barley Tea in cups

Brief History of Mugicha

The origin of Mugicha dates back to the Heian period (794-1185), where military commanders drank a mixture of “parched” (dry roasted) barley flour and sugar dissolved in hot water or alcohol. Barley tea became more popular to the common class throughout the late Edo period (1603-1868) to the Meiji era (1868-1912). As a result, Mugicha was frequently available in many cafes and homes. Finally, with the rise of refrigeration in the 1950s, Barley tea was established as a summer drink due to being harvested during the season. By 1965, Barley tea was officially named “Mugicha”.  


brewed iced Mugicha Barley Tea in a glass

Mugicha Barley Tea Health Benefits

Overall since Mugicha is caffeine-free, it is an excellent drink at any time of day for people of all ages. After all, Mugicha is a great summer drink because it has a cooling effect on your body while replenishing your body with nutrients. Additionally, the health benefits of Mugicha include:

  • Good for digestion: Mugicha is known as a natural antacid that helps to ease painful heartburn. Additionally, barley grains consist of high levels of fiber that help with constipation and boost healthy bowel movements.
  • Enhances the immune system: Mugicha contains vitamin C that helps protect the immune system from various diseases and infections.
  • Prevents tooth decay: Mugicha has polyphenols and antioxidants that can prevent tooth decay. These powerful compounds even help in protecting teeth from plaque build-up.
  • Weight loss: Mugicha, because of its health benefits, is an ideal replacement for drinks that contain a lot of sugar. As a result, drinking Mugicha may help you maintain weight with a healthy lifestyle.


Iced Mugicha Barley Tea in a glass and jar

How To Brew Mugicha (Using Our Mugicha Itsuki)

Cold Brew

  1. Pour one liter or one quart of cold water over a packet of Mugicha in a large pitcher or cold brew bottle.
  2. Let the packet steep for 2 hours in the fridge. *Steep up to 2 times
  3. Pour into your favorite cup and enjoy!

Hot Brew

  1. Pour one liter or one quart of 203°F (95°C) hot water over a packet of Mugicha in a heat-proof kettle.
  2. Let the packet steep for 3-5 minutes *Steep up to 2 times
  3. Keep or remove the teabag, depending on your preference.
  4. Pour into your favorite yunomi or teacup and enjoy!

Mugicha, or barley tea, is a tea rich in Asian culture. We recommend trying some iced Mugicha for the upcoming warmer months to indulge in its refreshing flavor and fantastic health properties. Similarly, try some other Japanese herbal tea varieties such as Kuromamecha (black soybean tea) and Sobacha (buckwheat tea). Not only are they also both caffeine-free but also offer amazing health benefits.   

🍵 Drinking our tea? Take a picture and tag us on Instagram at @senbirdtea or #senbirdtea. We’d love to see your moment with tea!

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