Feeling stressed out? Can’t sleep well? Then grab a glass of barley tea, sit back and let it take effect!

Barley tea - boricha or mugicha

Not only is barley tea naturally caffeine free, it also contains melatonin, which helps relaxation and adjust your sleep-wake pattern.

Barley tea is a very popular summer beverage in Korea (boricha), Japan (mugicha), and Taiwan (behate), and one I keep in my fridge at all times because it’s so refreshing. It’s the perfect drink to have on a hot summer night while watching television, munching on snacks, and hearing the sound of wind chimes gently swinging in the breeze.

There are two easy ways to make roasted barley tea:

  1. Throwing a barley tea bag in iced or hot water and letting it steep.
  2. Boiling the grains in water.

Ready to make delicious Korean/Japanese/Taiwanese barley tea? Let’s go!

Ito En Mugicha - barley tea

Where to Buy Barley Tea (Boricha, Mugicha)

Barley tea is very easy to find! You can find it at most Asian grocery stores and Japanese supermarkets (ask for mugicha or boricha if you cannot find it). You can also order it on Amazon, they have really good brands such as Ito En, a famous Japanese tea maker that sells barley tea bags. You can also find barley grains both at the store and online. I’m using ROM AMERICA premium roasted barley tea in these images.

What Does it Taste Like?

While the run-of-the-mill unsweetened iced tea is both bitter and floral, barley tea is more on the nutty side and doesn’t have any bitterness.

If you like oolong tea, you will love barley tea.

The taste is very similar but milder and nuttier than oolong tea. It’s a kid friendly beverage (that’s pretty much all I ever drank whenever I visited Japan as a kid) that’s both healthy and practically calorie-free.

barley grains to make mugicha and boricha

Ingredients for Barley Tea

To make barley tea using grains you will need:

  • Kettle or pot: To boil  the water and brew the tea.
  • Tea filter bag or tea strainer: To place the barley grains so they are easy to remove once the tea is brewed.
  • Barley grains: Use about 2 tablespoons per liter of water. You can use more for a stronger taste.
  • Water: Two liters or more if you have a bigger pitcher. Just make sure to adjust the measurements for the barley grains, accordingly.

To make barley tea using a tea bag you will need:

  • Barley tea bags: Look for mugicha or boricha tea bags, you only need one per two liters.
  • Water: Two liters, or more if you have a bigger pitcher. You might need to add an additional tea bag if you use more than two liters but I suggest doing a taste test first.
  • Pitcher: To brew the tea. I’m using an infusion maker, it’s easier to pour since the bag doesn’t block the spout.
how to make barley tea - how to make mugicha - how to make boricha

How To Make Barley Tea (Boricha/Mugicha)

The brewing process is… Very easy!

To make it with barley grains:

  1. Give the barley grains a quick rinse and drain well. Add the grains to a tea filter bag or place them in a tea strainer.
  2. Fill a kettle or pot with two liters of water and bring to a boil. Turn the heat off and add the tea bag or tea strainer.
  3. Let brew for 10 minutes, or leave it for longer for a stronger taste.
  4. Remove the tea bag and drink hot, or transfer to a pitcher and refrigerate until it’s cold.

To make it with pre-made tea bags:

  1. Fill a pitcher with cold water and add one tea bag. Refrigerate and brew for at least two hours before drinking.
  2. To make it hot, bring a kettle or pot of water to boil and turn the heat off. Add the tea bag and leave for 10 minutes, or longer for a stronger taste.
  3. Remove the bag and enjoy.

How Long Can I Brew Barley Tea?

Honestly, I’m not sure.
I like my barley tea strong so I leave the teabag it the infuser and forget about it. It stays there until I’m done drinking the pitcher which usually takes one or two days.
The flavor is concentrated but never bitter or unpleasant.
barley tea bags
Takeya infusion maker with mugicha
Did you like this Barley Tea Recipe? Are there changes you made that you would like to share? Share your tips and recommendations in the comments section below!

Barley Tea (Boricha/Mugicha)

Feeling stressed out? Can’t sleep well? Then grab a glass of barley tea, sit back and let it take effect!

  • Author: Caroline Phelps
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 drinks 1x
  • Category: Drinks
  • Method: Brewing
  • Cuisine: Japanese



Using barley grains:

  • 2 liters water
  • 1/4 cup barley grains

Using tea bag:


Using barley grains:

  1. Rinse the barley grains under water and drain. 
  2. Transfer the grains to a tea filter bag or place them in a tea strainer. 
  3. Pour the water into a pot and bring to a boil. Add the tea bag or place the tea strainer in the pot and lower the heat to a simmer. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes. The longer you simmer, the stronger the taste.  
  4. Remove the barley and pour the tea into a pitcher.
  5. Drink hot or refrigerate until cold, for up  to 4 days.

Cold brewing with tea bag:

  • Place on tea bag in a pitcher with cold water. Refrigerate for about 2 hours and enjoy.

Hot brewing with tea bag:

  • Bring water to a boil and turn the heat off. Add the tea bag to the pot or kettle and let brew for about 15 minutes. Remove the tea bag and enjoy.


Barley tea will keep refrigerated for up to 4 days.

Keywords: Korean barley tea, Japanese barley tea,

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