Kukicha Roasted Twig Tea

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Green Tea
Kukicha Twig Tea -Uji
Lightly-Roasted

 

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Appearance: lightly roasted small twig cuttings from tea bushes grown for green tea production

Oxidation: none

Manufacture: roasted and oven-fired (baked) Sencha twigs

Flavor: sweet, roasted flavor

Aroma: Nutty, caramelized scent

Liquor: golden-brown colored broth

 

Uji (Ujitawara),
Kyoto Prefecture, Japan

Use 1 Tablespoon (4 grams) per 4 oz of water
Steep 1-2 infusions at 45 seconds each
Water temperature should be 175°F-185°F

 

Notes on Steeping Japanese Green Tea

Green tea leaf varies more by volume to weight than any other class of tea except white tea. Some green teas are comprised of large leaves, others have small leaves. Some green teas are light and fluffy; others are rolled, twisted and dense. Our recommendation for how much to use for each of our green teas may surprise you with the quantity listed, but they are all measured to deliver delicious taste. Toasted green tea is particularly bulky, so make sure you use plenty of leaf.

Japanese green teas are generally uniform in shape and size.
If you will be re-steeping your Japanese green tea, it is important to use a full measure of leaf when steeping green tea.

Measure the capacity of your teapot
Fill your teapot to its functional capacity with water and then measure this volume of water in ounces. Divide this number by 4. Most recommendations for the amount of Japanese green tea to use are based on 4 ounces of water. So, for example, a 24-ounce teapot would require 6 measures of tea to make a full-strength pot of tea.
If you intend to re-steep the leaf, you may want to only prepare half a teapot of tea and then re-steep the leaf.
Steeping tips for preparing Japanese Green Tea
Keep the tea twig in the water for the appropriate amount of time.
Toasted green tea can be ‘in the water’ for many different lengths of time. Try a 2 minute steep, and taste it every 30 seconds after. Some enthusiasts steep this leaf for 20 minutes!

Toasted green tea can be steeped again, usually 2 to 3 times (depending on the initial steep time) at the same or a slightly hotter water temperature than used for the initial steeping.

There are many flavor nuances that can be discovered by adjusting the length of time when steeping green tea.

Try both longer and shorter steeping times and see which you prefer.

Kukicha is colloquially known as twig tea because it is made from slender twigs pruned from tea bushes grown for sencha tea. Regular annual pruning of the bushes for health and vigor yields a bounty of cut twigs which are further cut very finely by hand and then roasted to make this refreshing, low-caffeine tea.

Confusingly, Kukicha comes in three (maybe more!) types. It is also sold as Karigane in some parts of Japan. Some Kukicha twig tea, such as this one, is given a light roasting. Or Kukicha can be given a medium roasting such as our Kukicha Medium Roasted Twig Tea, which is the more traditional taste and primarily manufactured in Shizuoka Prefecture.

Twig tea is also manufactured as a green tea ( see our Green Kukicha ) which is comprised of both twigs and finely cut sencha green tea leaf. The best Kukicha ( no matter the type ) is made in the late spring/early summer from the slender twigs clipped from high-grade Sencha and Gyokuro tea bushes during leaf production in the spring. Because the twig needs to sun-dry before manufacture the twig tea is produced just after the green tea harvests are winding down.

Fatter, woody stems plucked lower down on the tea bush or Kukicha made in the late summer months is not as pleasing in taste as Kukicha made early in the spring from young, thin twigs. A quick glance will tell which season a batch of Kukicha is from!

After roasting, the twigs are combined with a very small percentage of roasted tea leaves to add additional flavor and body to the finished tea. Kukicha Lightly Roasted Twig Tea is big on flavor, high in the calming amino acid theanine but low in caffeine.
This Kukicha has a gorgeous soft russet color. It retains an underlying woody-sweetness in the cup that is very appealing. It has more layers of flavor than does our Kukicha Medium Roasted Twig Tea, and is delicious hot or iced.

Serve mixed with apple juice and chill for a refreshing cold beverage.