How to make red bean tea: azuki bean tea (Azukicha)

Enjoy this caffeine-free tea made from roasted adzuki beans

Red bean tea with home roasted azuki

Red bean tea, also known as azuki tea, is a delicious and healthy drink made from azuki beans.
This post will teach you how to make your own red bean tea at home using azuki beans and water.

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What is azukicha?

Azukicha (小豆茶) is a type of Japanese tea made from azuki or adzuki beans, also known as red beans or red mung beans.

Azuki beans (Vigna angularis) are small, red beans that are native to East Asia.
They have a nutty flavor and are often used for sweet dishes.
In fact, anko, the sweet brown paste that’s so popular in East Asian desserts, is made from azuki.

Azuki tea has a mild, naturally sweet flavor and it can be served hot or cold.
There is no real tea in azdukicha, so it’s a caffeine-free tisane.

Also, since azuki beans are a great source of polyphenols, minerals, vitamins and fiber, you may expect benefits from drinking azuki tea as well.

How to prepare azuki tea

Azukicha tea and liquor

There are different ways to prepare adzuki tea.
For example, some prepare it by simmering raw azuki beans in water, but the most common method is steeping roasted azuki beans in water:

How to make a cup of red bean tea

  1. Pour freshly boiled water into a red bean tea bag or around 15 roasted azuki beans (roughly a teaspoon) per cup.
  2. Let steep for 10 minutes
  3. Enjoy your azuki tea!

Removing the beans before drinking is optional and you can eat them afterwards (if you are using teabags, you can OPEN THEM and eat the bean pieces or use them in other dishes).

How to make red bean tea from scratch

While you can get ready-to-use azuki tea bags (the are easy to come by in Japan), you can also make your own at home using regular azuki beans:

Time needed: 12 hours.

How to roast azuki beans to make azukicha

  1. Pre-soak

    Soak the azuki beans for around 8 hours

  2. Drain

    Discard the water and let the red beans dry as good as possible.
    I allow them to dry naturally overnight and if I still see some moisture on the surface, I remove it with a cloth. When they have water drops on them, their surface may burn.Drained azuki beans in strainer

  3. Roast

    You can roast red beans in the stovetop, in the oven or in a microwave:
    A) Roasting in stovetop – put the beans in a uncoated pan or saucepan at low/medium heat. Move them occasionally so they get roasted evenly. It takes around 30 minutes.
    B) In the oven: extend the azuki beans in the oven tray and roast at 170 °C (338 °F). Move the beans a couple of times. It takes around 40 minutes.
    C) In the microwave: heat the beans in a microwave safe container for 3 minutes at 600 W. Move the azuki and add another minute roast time, until you have the desired roasting grade.
    The azuki beans will be ready when they smell nutty and have a darker red-violet color on the outside (most azuki beans will NOT crack).Roasting azuki beans at home

  4. Enjoy or store for later

    You can use them to make tea as soon as they are finished or store them in an airtight container after they cooled down.Home roasted red beans

  5. Optionally crush the beans to make tea bags

    If you want to shorten the steeping time of your red bean tea, you can coarsely grind the azuki with a mortar and put it in a tea bag.Grinding roasted azuki

Frequently asked questions about red bean tea

Do I need to pre-soak azuki beans?

Azuki doesn’t necessarily need pre-soaking, but soaking them will make them cook faster and also make them easier to digest.

Can I use a different type of bean?

While it tastes different, black soybeans (kuromame) also make a great tea. You can see here how to make black soybean tea.
Kidney beans can be a good substitute for azuki beans in savory meals, but they don’t work to make tea.

Do you sweeten azuki tea?

Since azuki tea tastes very mild and it’s naturally sweet, it’s served as is, without sugar or milk.
However, if you want it sweeter, you could add sugar, honey, or any other type of sweetener to taste.

What’s the difference between azuki tea and azuki latte?

Azuki tea or red bean tea is made by steeping roasted red beans, while azuki latte is made by combining anko (sweet azuki paste) with milk.

Which is the best azuki variety to make tea?

You can use any azuki variety.
However, if you can choose between different brands, I recommend choosing the one with the biggest beans, since I’ve found it easier to roast them.

Red bean tea with home roasted azuki
5 from 1 vote

Red bean tea recipe (azuki tea)

How to make azukicha
Print Recipe
Prep Time:12 hrs
Cook Time:40 mins
Steeping time:10 mins
Total Time:12 hrs 50 mins

Equipment

  • Saucepan, pan or oven

Ingredients

  • 100 grams red beans (azuki beans) depending on the size of your pan/oven tray

Instructions

If roasting red beans yourself

  • Soak beans for 8 hours or overnight.
  • Drain the beans: discharge the water and let them dry.
    Drained azuki beans in strainer
  • Roast the red beans:
    A) In the stovetop: roast them in a pan at low heat. Move occasionally.
    B) In the oven: roast at 170 °C (338°F). Move the beans a couple of times.
    C) In a microwave: heat for 3 minutes at 600W. Move and add another minute for a couple of times, until the azuki is roasted.
    Roasting azuki beans at home

Steeping

  • Cover around 15 beans (a teaspoon) or a teabag with fresh boiled water
    Roasted red beans
  • Steep for 10 minutes
    Red bean tea with home roasted azuki
  • You can eat the beans (even if they are from a tea bag) after steeping

Notes

To cold steep, let the azuki tea steep for around 2 hours in cold or room temperature water.

Nutrition

Calories: 5kcal
Course: Drinks, Tea
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: caffeine free, cold drink, Japanese tea
Servings: 50 Servings
Calories: 5kcal

Red bean tea is a delicious and nutritious way to enjoy tea time that is both caffeine free and full of antioxidants.
So, why not give azukicha a try the next time you’re looking for a tasty snack or relaxing cup of tea?

Looking for further caffeine-free teas that are popular in Japan? Learn how to make them at home:

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One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    I’ve always loved Azuki tea because of its slightly sweet and mild flavor, but I didn’t know I how to prepare it at home.
    Thank you very much for this!

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