What is kukicha?
Kukicha is a kind of green tea consisting mainly of dried stalks and tea twigs. The name of this tea comes from the Japanese word "kuki", meaning stems.
Kukicha is unique in that it consists of parts of the bush that are not normally used to produce green tea. The twigs and stems that make up this tea come from the production process of high-quality sencha or matcha, during which the petioles and stems are removed. They are a byproduct of the production of these teas, and yet kukicha is a tea that is highly valued and has many valuable properties that other teas do not possess to this degree.
Good quality kukicha is less bitter than sencha and can be more pleasant to drink for those just starting their adventure with green tea or for those who prefer sweeter flavors. Recommended for people for whom sencha is too intense. In our store it is one of the most recommended tea.
Properties of kukicha tea
Kukicha has all the properties and benefits of green tea, but almost does not contain theine (theine is the caffeine found in tea). Theine accumulates mainly in the leaves of the tea bush, and only in very small amounts in the twigs and stalks that make up kukicha. It is a mild tea, and because it contains very little caffeine, it can be consumed at any time of the day.
Due to the low caffeine content, kukicha is a good choice for vegans and other people limiting caffeine in their diet.
Kukicha has a sweet taste because it is rich in the valuable amino acid L-theanine. L-theanine is naturally produced in the roots of the plant and then transported to the leaves through the stems. Kukicha, consisting of stalks and pstems is naturally rich in this amino acid. L-Theanine has a relaxing effect on the body.
Kukicha is one of the preferred teas in the macrobiotic diet. Macrobiotic founder George Ohsawa recommends kukicha among all teas and promotes its positive effect on the body. It was he who discovered kukicha tea for the western world. Kukicha is rich in vitamins (especially vitamin C) and minerals, and has a high calcium content. Kukicha has is slightly alkaline and in the macrobiotic diet it is considered a drink that helps fighting acidification of the body.
How to brew kukicha tea?
As with all green teas, the secret to the properties and taste of kukicha tea lies in the way it is brewed.
Kukicha tastes best when brewed at 70-80ºC for about 1 minute.
Well-brewed kukicha has a yellow-golden color and slightly nutty, sweet taste.