In Malaysia, barley is a common staple drink. However, It is not known as barley tea but as a refreshing drink. I was told from young that it is a healthy drink but honestly, I did not like the taste. For decades, this refreshing drink is prepared the same way at home or in the restaurants – white pearl barley is rinsed, boiled with a few Pandan/Screwpine leaves to enhance the aroma and when it is almost done, sugar will be added to taste. Yes, I know. It sounds boring.
Recently, I went to a Korean Restaurant for tea with my mom and we ordered Boricha (Korean barley tea). Somehow, the aroma of Korean barley tea hits my senses and I instantly fell in love with the aromatic and nutty smell of this tea. It has such an amazing toasty and slightly bitter taste. It’s a great substitute for coffee but I’m not thinking of giving up coffee as it will always be my first love.
I have since included this intoxicating drink in my daily routine mainly because of its health benefits. I really do not know where to buy Korean barley tea, so I decided to try roasting the pearl barley and prepare this tea in the comfort of my own kitchen.
I will now share and show you how to make this delightful beau-tea recipe.
How to toast your own barley
I like to roast a bit more and store them in a jar. The pearl barley I bought comes in 300g/packet.
1. 600 g of pearl barley washed and rinsed well
2.You will need a pan or a pot. But I like to use the wok. Heat up the wok on medium heat and pour in the pearl barley.
3. With a wooden spoon, stir the barley every 30 seconds to a minute. It’s very much like toasting nuts and it gets burned easily. It will take about 20 minutes or longer until the barley turned dark brown and it should smell a bit burnt.
4.Pour the roasted barley onto a tray to cool before storing it in a jar.
How to make roasted barley tea
You can boil the roasted barley in water as it is but I like to blend the roasted barley first before boiling it for more flavor.
5 tbsp of roasted barley (blended but not too powdery)
5 cups of water (you can add more water if you find it too strong)
1. In a small pot, boil the barley and water and simmer it for about 15 – 20 minutes.
2. When it’s done boiling use the strainer to sieve the grains.
3. Serve hot or let it cool and chill it in the refrigerator.
[Note: If you have a filter bag for tea, you can skip step no. 2]