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Toasted Barley Tea

Categories: DrinksKoreanWorld Cuisine
Contributed by:Jacqueline&David

Some babies come home from Korea used to having their formula made not w/ straight water, but barley tea. There is no caffeine in it, so don't worry. It just gives the water a barley flavor and I believe some healthy minerals are imparted in small quantities. I've heard it may be a digestive aid, but I don't know if this is fact or not. Sometimes barley tea is given straight in a bottle without mixing w/ formula for some liquid between feedings. It'll be worth it to find out if your baby's foster family served the baby their formula in this manner, as you can continue the practice to keep things similar once the baby comes home and adjusts. Your baby will appreciate the familiar! 

Koreans, whether adults or kids drink lots of barley tea instead of plain water. It's usually served cold I believe. You can either use barley tea bags sold at Korean markets to brew it (the large bag is for 2 liters of water, according to a website I'm looking at,) or you can buy regular toasted barley in a Korean or asian grocery store and brew it according to below recipe.You can also toast your own before brewing, if you are more adventurous, though it's not hard. I found this recipe online on a Korean blog.


  • 1/4 C toasted bo ri (barley)
  • 4 C water


1.In a kettle or sauce pan, add cold water and barley.
2. Bring to a boil, reduce to medium and boil 10 minutes.
3. Let cool. Put in fridge. Serve cold. 

If you opt to toast your own barley (and it isn't sold pretoasted at the store that way) you just put the barley in a pot on medium heat and stir constantly until toasted a golden color.