I have had the joy of working in a coffee shop for almost 11 out of the last 12 years. One of the many, many highlights of this job is the sheer number of teas and coffees I have been privileged enough to taste along the way. A steadfast favorite tea is The Republic of Tea’s Tea of Inquiry. It’s a classic genmaicha, green tea with toasted rice. The depth and warmth the toasted rice lends to the tea is what made me fall so quickly in love with it. After going through several tins I decided to try my hand at toasted rice and mixing it with different types of tea. Oolong, black, white, pu-erh — all have been made better with a small handful of toasty brown rice.
The last time a brewed a cup, I wondered how toasted brown rice would fare in ice cream form. My first instinct was to steep the rice with tea leaves for an ice cream take on genmaicha, but I have a handful of other tea-themed ice creams already up my sleeve. So I decided to pair it with the sweet molasses flavor of brown sugar. The results were beyond my expectations. Dark, toasty, creamy and sweet, this ice cream has a subtle depth that keeps your spoon going back for more.