- Tea Knowledge
Markedly different in flavor to teas produced only with leaves, Kukicha represents a category of its own, and a very economical one at that, considering the time-consuming tasks of sorting and sieving the harvest. Kukicha, the 'twig tea', is composed more of the stalks, stems, and larger leaf veins of the tea plant than the actual leaves, giving it a milder and sweeter flavor than some other Japanese greens like Sencha or Bancha.
This Kukicha is not without substance, though, and leads with green pea sweetness in a brothy mouthfeel, complemented by the distinct cooling aftertaste of mint and a nose of boiled chestnut—think of the perfect fresh pea soup. A short shading just before harvest has enabled this especial richness, and it will also sustain multiple infusions, satisfying long afternoon tea sessions. Perhaps it is no wonder then, that it represents the highest quality of the type, referred to as 'karigane'.
Too high water temperature would burn the leaves, resulting in bitter taste.