Our organic Kukicha (pronounced KU-key-cha) is a distinctive-looking organic Japanese green tea from the Kagoshima Prefecture that consists of tea leaves mixed with the young stems of the tea plant. For this reason, this organic loose leaf tea is also known as "twig tea." The resulting mixture consists of fairly uniform yellow and medium-green fragments, which yield a pale yellow-green infusion with a sweet aroma. It has an extraordinarily fresh taste with moderate bitterness and notes of cucumber skin. It is not as vegetal as most of our other organic green tea from Japan.
Please note: this Kukicha is not roasted. However, if you are looking for a roasted Japansese Green tea checkout our Organic Houjicha Green Tea. Roasted to perfection, our Houjicha has notes of toasted grain and honey.
Ingredients: organic Japanese green tea
Serving Size: one level teaspoon per 8 oz cup of water
Aubrey Says: I love the appearance of the dry leaf. I think this tea is especially fresh tasting!
Jeremy Says: I find this tea a nice alternative to some of our other Japanese green teas when I'm not in the mood for quite as "bold" of a green tea flavor.
Posted by Andrea on 1st Jun 2014
I was introduced to Kukicha when I was researching macrobiotic diets (I am a vegan-macrobiotic). It's been my tea of choice for years, and I believe this one to be the best I've ever tasted. Not only is it very low on caffeine, which I am very sensitive to, but you can play with the flavor by adding a pinch more or letting it brew for longer; and I do not find it to be bitter, even when I brew it strong and for a longer period of time (I should add that I love bitter greens so the more vegetal flavor it has, the better).
Posted by Candice Fryda on 10th Nov 2013
I was introduced to kukicha through a tea class, and it soon became one of my favorite teas. This twig tea is great not only for the amazingly fresh flavor that is a mixture between grassy and nutty, but also because it is extremely low in caffeine as it is comprised mostly of the twigs and not the leaves that contain all the caffeine. This means you can drink some green tea before bed and not be kept up all night. I love green teas and want to drink them all throughout the day-but I also like to sleep. I start drinking in the evening when I want green tea and it gives me the best of all worlds. Totally worth the price, I start to panic when my stash is getting low!
Posted by Andy on 30th May 2013
This tea compares favorablly to other more expensive Kukicha teas I have purchased from other sites. The flavor is fresh and light, but with an impressive "kick".
Posted by Alise on 9th Dec 2012
I love Gyokuro but this is fairly similar in that vegetal flavor I turn to Gyokuro for. I set up 8 green teas today to sample so I could pick out my favorites from Arbor Teas. Their Gyokuro is slightly more astringent than others I have had and Kukicha prevailed in my taste test here. This and Dragonwell (Chinese Green) were my favorites in terms of nice overall smooth, vegetal qualities. There are quite a few stems in this mix but that is purposeful in the making of Kukicha.
Posted by Bob on 15th Oct 2012
First pressing: If you hit the sweet spot in regards to water temperature and steep time, you are rewarded with an excellent brew with hints of asparagus and notes of green chard. After about a minute of the tea pot starting to make noise, the water is ready. Steep for only three minutes or less, otherwise bitter. Kukicha is an unforgiving tea. There is a small window of proper steep time and water temperature. Consider watering the plants with it if you miss the window, or pour over ice, sweetened with honey.
Posted by Dimitra on 15th Oct 2012
This uplifting tea makes me feel good. Great morning tea, as well as for an afternoon pick me up. Beautiful grassy vegetal flavor. I often do a second pressing for less caffeine in the afternoon. The cup of tea has less depth, but still has a wonderful, smooth and nourishing flavor.
Posted by Richard Sitorius on 27th Feb 2012
Love this tea. I'm a huge Gyokuro lover, and this tea is very much akin to it in my opinion. Love it. Had to give it 5/5. A very delicious vegetal tea. Not quite as delicate & complex as gyokuro, but close. I was very pleasantly surprised by this one.
Posted by Unknown on 13th Feb 2012
This green was part of the Japanese sampler, and it was my least favorite of the bunch. I found the flavor to be so subtle that it just felt like it was a weaker version of a Japanese green tea. It's still better than your average green tea, but there are better greens available here.
Posted by Anne C on 10th Oct 2011
If you've tried other greens and found them too powerful, I'd give this one a try. Vegetal smell, but calm, soothing flavor. Relaxing cup. I wouldn't turn it down if offered, but I don't know if I'd buy the full size. Will definitely finish the sample, perhaps its lightness will grow on me.
Posted by Gretchen on 15th Apr 2008
This is one of my favorite teas--vibrant green color vegetal flavor. Delicious!
Posted by Bill Edwards on 7th Jan 2008
I have been drinking this tea for three days in an effort to describe it. The twig-like leaves are distinctive. They brew to a bright yellow green exceptionally clear. It has a pleasant aroma with a hint of smoked sweetness. It has a toasted grain taste that I find enjoyable. In my review of sencha I said it was less vegetal than kukicha but that is incorrect. This is the least vegetal of the Japanese teas.
We at Arbor Teas firmly believe that tea should be brewed to suit your personal taste. With that being said, here are some recommendations to get you started, but please remember you can make adjustments based on your own personal taste.
There are three main considerations when brewing tea: quantity of tea, water temperature and steeping time.
Quantity of tea: one level teaspoon per 8 oz cup of water
Water temperature: use water that has been heated until bubbles begin to form on the bottom of the pot (180° F)
Steeping time: 2-3 minutes
Tip #1: Use fresh water whenever possible - water that has been sitting in your kettle overnight may impart a flat or stale taste to your tea. Be careful not to boil your water for too long. Over boiled water can sometimes impart an unwanted taste.
Tip #2: Keep in mind that brewing your tea for too long can extract undesirable bitterness from the leaves, so steeping time matters! For a stronger brew, don’t steep longer, just use more tea.
Learn more from our How To Guides on how to brew loose leaf tea, how to make iced tea, and how to make tea lattes. And don’t forget to check out our Eco-Brewing Tips, too!
There are five significant components found in all tea from the plant camellia sinensis: essential oils, which are the source of tea’s delicious flavor and aroma; polyphenols, which are antioxidants that provide the tea’s brisk flavor and many of its health benefits; phytonutrients, which are small amounts of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids including L-theanine (a very rare molecule that has been found in only three sources including camellia sinensis!) ; enzymes; and methylxanthines, which are a family of alkaloids that include caffeine. Each of these components work differently in the human body and a full description is best left to a medical journal. However, recent research exploring the potential health attributes of tea is leading many scientists to agree that tea, may contribute positively to a healthy lifestyle.
Some research comparing different types of tea has shown that the manufacturing process does affect the level of antioxidants present in the final tea leaf. According to a 2006 review of the beneficial effects of green tea in the Journal of American College of Nutrition, when comparing dry leaves, unoxidized green tea retains more antioxidants than black, oolong, or pu-erh. The catechin (or antioxidant) that displays the greatest increase in green tea when compared to the black, oolong and pu-erh is EGCG (epigallocatechin-3-gallate). (Reference: "Beneficial Effects of Green Tea - A Review" Journal of the American College of Nutrition, Vol 25, No 2 (2006))
For a more in-depth discussion of Tea and Health Benefits check here.
For a more in-depth discussion of Tea and Caffeine check here.
The verdant color and melt-in-your-mouth goodness of the matcha cake is topped with an organic kukicha green tea-infused whipped cream. This recipe can also be adapted to make petit fours! These adorable little gems are enveloped in marzipan and topped with crystallized lilacs and just perhaps may be a welcome accompaniment to a warm cup of your favorite organic tea. Check here to view the full recipe for Matcha Cake with Ice Cream and Kukicha-Infused Whipped Cream!