Korean Barley Tea (Bori Cha)

Korean barley tea recipe

The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 25 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Yield: 8 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
3 Calories
0g Fat
1g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 3
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 10mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 1g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 7mg 1%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 2mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Roasted barley tea may be the most popular beverage in Korea. It's traditionally served both hot and cold in homes, in restaurants, and at other gatherings, either in place of water or alongside water, and many Koreans drink copious amounts of it each day.

It's known as bori cha (or sometimes boricha) in Korean. People in Japan and China also drink roasted barley tea. In Japan, it's known as mugicha, and in China, it's known as dàmàichá or màichá. You shouldn't confuse it with matcha tea, though; matcha is Japanese green tea, not barley tea.

Roasted barley tea is most popular in the summer in Japan, but is served all year long in Korea. Its temperature can vary with the seasons: in the summer, you'll probably prepare it cold, while in the winter, it's more likely to be hot.

So what does roasted barley tea taste like? It's generally light and nutty in flavor, although its character can vary significantly depending on how much barley is used, how long (and at what temperature) the barley is roasted, and how long the tea is steeped. As with all teas, letting it steep longer will produce a stronger tea. Steeped for too long, it can taste somewhat like coffee.

Look for roasted barley in a local Asian market, or for ready-to-steep roasted barley tea (loose or in tea bags) in markets or online. You also can purchase raw barley and toast it yourself before making tea—be sure not to over-cook it, or your tea will taste burnt.

Serve your tea immediately or refrigerate it. Since roasted barley tea contains a bit of starch, it can go bad unless refrigerated.


  • 2 tablespoons roasted barley

  • 8 cups water

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for barley tea
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  2. In a small pot, bring barley (in a tea strainer container) and water to a boil.

    In a small pot
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel 
  3. Reduce to simmer, cover, and cook for 20 minutes.

    Reduce to simmer
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel
  4. Remove the strainer with the barley in it and serve immediately or store in the refrigerator and serve cold.

    Remove strainer
    The Spruce Eats / Teena Agnel 


  • If you cannot find the roasted barley, you can make your own by toasting barley in a sauté pan over medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the grains turn a dark brown color.

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