Ingredient: Organic Japanese Kukicha Loose Leaf
Iced: For instructions on how to make a delicious cold brew click here.
Hot: Steep 1 heaping teaspoon of leaves in 8 ounces of hot water (about 175º F) for 2-3 minutes.
Using the same leaves, use hot water (about 180º F) and brew for 5 seconds.
Net Weight: 100g/3.53g (Makes about 50 – 8 oz cups)
Storage: After use reseal bag with a clip getting out as much air as possible storing in a cool dry place away from any direct sunlight. For more information on storage click here.
This organic green Kukicha is a celebration of both tea and tradition. Made from the stems and twigs of the tea plant rather than the leaf, the flavors of this tea are a refreshing change from other types of green tea. The use of these parts allows for less waste during harvest, and opens up a new host of experiences and flavors. For someone who hasn’t experienced the special qualities of a stem tea, this will be quite the treat. Originating centuries ago in the tea gardens of Uji, Japan, this was once known as “peasants tea” – as it was harvested after the more expensive leaves went to market. Today it is prized for its value as a healthy, light tea option, with very little caffeine and a distinctive flavor. It is light in tannins, and thus perfect for people who have a hard time with drinking leaf tea. Coupled with the warm, sweet notes, this gives Kukicha a broad appeal that has made it very popular with tea lovers in Japan and abroad. This vibrant tea offers a sweet, playful alternative to a traditional green tea. It contains significantly less caffeine than leaf tea, and has a diversity of flavors and nutritional value found only in a Kukicha. This tea lacks the bitterness and sharp notes of leaf tea, allowing lighter flavors more of an identity.
The first steep produces a vibrant, chartreuse liquor with sweet, grassy aromas, along with the faintest hint of passionfruit. The flavor is true to the nose, but also boasts hints of green beans and fresh hay. The mouthfeel is satiny and light, which works in concert with the flavor to provide a well-rounded sipping experience. The second steep reveals a slightly darker tea, more amber in quality. The sweetness increases greatly over the first steep, with a bright, refreshing quality that gives way to a slight, vegetal finish, lending the tea a fresh, vital quality. This second steep is lighter in body, but not in flavor.
When you open the double-sealed bag, you are treated to a bright, sweet aroma with green, slightly fruity notes.
The tea is cut well and is attractive; light and varied in color.
The sweet, light qualities of this tea are due to the stems being lower in caffeine and other bitter compounds, and higher in amino acids like L-theanine. Additionally, it contains a wealth of vitamins and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and copper. The lighter nature of Kukicha gives it a carefree ease of use that is unique. It shines as a fresh-tasting, all-day sip, well suited as a travel beverage or to an active lifestyle; providing a healthful boost and the calming effects and focus associated with the high levels of L-theanine particular to Kukicha.
Emmental or Swiss Cheese, Japanese Foods
There are countless uses for this tea, hot or cold. The Japanese technique of kouridashi – the placing of tea leaves over ice, left to melt so as to slowly extract a smooth, non-bitter flavor – is practiced with Kukicha in order to maximize the sweet, smooth flavors. The level of caffeine in iced preparations is even lower than in hot Kukicha, which already boasts a low caffeine content; so you can enjoy it at your leisure.
Cold brews are uniquely suited to this tea, and offer up sweet, clean flavors without a trace of bitterness. There are different ways to prepare these, all of which impart their own qualities. The preferred method – prepared by placing the tea atop ice in a kyusu or similar vessel, which is then allowed to melt – yields a special liquor. It has an intriguingly smooth quality that works with the sweet, vegetal essence that is sumptuous and one-of-a-kind. Prepared as a traditional cold brew, a lighter liquor results, sweeter in character and with a less pronounced vegetal component. Both methods of cold preparation yield tea darker in color than when prepared hot, but with a lighter mouthful and flavor profile. The light, amber quality of these cold brews is pleasing to the eye, and presents beautifully in the glass, pitcher, or infuser bottle. Kukicha is a fun sip that you will want to brew often and share with others. The sense of satisfaction that comes from a tea that is grown organically, sustainably, and allows for optimal utilization of the plant during harvest- is one of many rewards to be had from the addition of this quality, organic green Kukicha to your tea collection. It is an opportunity to enjoy tea more fully, offering a chance to explore something new that is sure to become a treasured favorite.