Barley tea is a popular East Asian drink made from roasted barley. It’s prevalent throughout Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and China.Served both hot and cold, it has a light amber color and mild, toasted flavor with a hint of bitterness.
In traditional Chinese medicine, barley tea is sometimes used to help treat diarrhea, fatigue, and inflammation. This article reviews barley tea, including how it’s made, its potential benefits and downsides, and how to prepare it.
What it is and how it’s made
Barley is a gluten-containing grain. Its dried kernels are used like many other grains — ground to make flour, cooked whole, or added to soups and stews. It’s also used to make tea.Barley tea is most commonly made by steeping roasted barley kernels in hot water, although premade tea bags containing ground roasted barley are also readily available in East Asian countries.
Whole barley is rich in B vitamins and the minerals iron, zinc, and manganese, but it’s unclear how much of these nutrients are infused into barley tea during the steeping process (1Trusted Source).Traditionally, barley tea is not sweetened, although milk or cream may be added. Similarly, the tea is sometimes mixed with roasted corn tea in South Korea, which adds sweetness. Plus, today you can find sweetened bottled barley tea products in Asian countries.