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A glass of cold roasted barley tea.
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5 from 2 votes

Korean Barley Tea Recipe (Boricha) (Mugicha)

A deliciously nutty and aromatic no-caffeine tea that can be drunk both hot and cold. Ice barley tea is great on a hot day!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Chinese, Japanese, korean
Servings: 1 person
Calories: 131kcal
Author: Zen


  • Thin bottom skillet
  • heat proof spatula
  • Pot/ Kettle
  • Jar


Using shopbought pre-roasted kernels/ home toasted kernels

  • 1- 1½ Tablespoon roasted barley kernels Depending on how toasted the grains are and how deep a flavour you want
  • 1 Litres Water

Using a store bought tea bag

  • Water Usually either 1 Cup or 2 Litres of water per bag- check the back of the packet for instructions
  • 1 Tea Bag


Roasting the barley grains

  • Using a thin bottom skillet, heat the barley grains on medium (Heat level: I recommend 5 on a Bosch induction stove with a maximum of 9. My pan is from WMF.) I usually roasting ½-1 Cup of roasted barley at a time- if you crowd the skillet, it'll take longer to dry fry.
    Stir every now and then- you'll have to stir more as the grains get browner. This will take 20-30 minutes depending on how brown you want your grains and how thick your pan is.
    Do not use a heavy pan like Le Creuset if you don't want to be at the stove for an hour! Scroll back up the post for photos of how brown the kernels get every 5 minutes.
  • Once the barley has cooled, you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 weeks.
  • Optional: get empty disposable tea bags and pack tea bags for friends.

Barley tea from toasted whole kernels (shopbought/ home toasted)

  • Add 1-2 Tablespoons of the toasted grains into a tea strainer, pour in some hot water, swirl it around the grains then toss the water out.
  • With the same tea strainer, add 1 litres of water. (If you don't have a strainer, use a sieve) Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the fire and allow it to simmer for 10-20 minutes. Alternatively, you can switch off the fire and steep the barley till it's at your desired strength.
  • After the tea is at your desired strength, take out the kernels. You can drink it rightaway or cool and store it in the fridge for 1-2 days. (To cool it quickly, put the pot in a basin of ice)

Barley tea from a store-bought tea bag (Single-use, usually Korean)

  • Make it the way you do your regular tea: Put the tea bag in a mug, add some hot water to wash the tea bag then throw it away. Add approximately 1 Cup of hot water to the same mug and tea bag, allow to steep then drink and enjoy.
  • You can top up the water in the mug once done, but successive cups tend to be quite diluted.

Japanese Barley tea from a store-bought tea bag (mugicha)

  • Your packet should have instructions at the back but, if not, Japanese mugicha usually calls for bringing 1.5-2 litres of water to the boil, adding the tea bag, then turning off the fire to steep the tea for 10-20 minutes. Note some tea bags are for use with cold/ room temperature water so check first!
  • Remove the tea bag (optional- depending on how strong a flavour you want) and after the tea has cooled, store in the fridge. (Mugicha is usually drunk cold during summer. You can expedite the cooling process by placing the pot in cold water.) Finish within 1-2 days.


Warning: The barley grains and pan get very hot so be careful!
Note: the serving size is for the drink and not toasting your own grains! As this tea can't be kept for very long, I've given quantities to make 1 litre only. If you want more, just multiply the ingredients accordingly.
Optional, non-traditional variations
Sweet barley tea: stir in some honey or sugar. You can also add roasted corn kernels for a naturally sweet toaste
With a twist: adding a squeeze of lemon and sugar is delicious
Barley milk tea: Add some milk and sugar and (optional) cooked tapioca pearls for bubble tea
Cold brew: steep the grains/ tea bag in room temperature water for a few hours- overnight
Note: the nutritional information is an estimate automatically calculated using the WPRM recipe maker and I am not responsible for its veracity.


Calories: 131kcal | Carbohydrates: 27g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 54mg | Potassium: 167mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 0.3g | Vitamin A: 8IU | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 1mg