Kukicha


$ 5.00




Kukicha, or “stem tea”, is a specialty green tea made from the stems of green tea leaves. Kukicha typically is only made during the spring using a careful process to separate the leaves and stems. This kukicha is made even more delicious by using the flavorful first flush of the tea plants, after they have gone through their period of winter dormancy.

This wonderful tea is from Toshiaki Kinezuka's small, completely organic farm in Shizuoka. Their natural growing practices are an anomaly in the midst of Japan’s typically heavy use of chemicals in their industrialized tea industry.

The farm is now being led by Toshiaki's eldest daughter, Ayumi Kinezuka. Her passion is to keep Japanese tea traditions alive, while also gaining knowledge from other tea traditions. She studied black tea production in Sri Lanka.

She works alongside her father, mother, younger brother, and younger sister on the farm. Leaves of Cha is especially proud to support women-run tea businesses in what is a primarily male-run industry.

Provenance:

  • Origin: Nakayama Village in Fujieda, Shizuoka, Japan
  • Grower/Teamaster: Kinezuka Family/Ayumi Kinezuka
  • Elevation: 350m (1150ft)
  • Harvest Date: Spring 2016
  • Cultivar: Yabukita
  • Cultivation: Natural (Organic, no cert.) Toshiaki Kinezuka started farming with all-natural methods back in 1976, so the farm has been grown with organic practices for 38 years.
  • Plucking Standard: First flush pluck.
  • Processing Notes:  made completely of stems carefully separated during the production process
  • Nickname: Stem Tea

Brewing Suggestions1:

  • Water: 170˚-180˚F
  • Tea: 2g per 4oz of water (about a level 2 tsp2)
  • Infusion: 2 minutes for 2-3 infusions, or brew Eastern/GongFu style (see note1 below)

Tasting Notes:

  • Brilliant bright green appearance and a bright, rich aroma. The flavor is sweet and grassy with fresh citrus notes and a hint of seaweed, with very little bitterness and a very refreshing aftertaste. Cold-brews great for iced tea!

1 Brewing suggestions are just that. Try it the suggested way then experiment. I suggest first experimenting with the quantity of tea per oz of water. I actually use 4g per 4oz of water as I like the stronger flavor of a higher tea to water ratio for Japanese teas in particular. Some tea drinkers like to use slightly hotter and longer times for each subsequent infusion. Also, try it Eastern Gong Fu style: 180˚-190˚F dosed at 1g/oz of water and infused for short times like 10 seconds, 15s, 20s, 30s, 45s, and then 60 seconds until leaves are spent.

2 Weighing your tea is always the best way to control your dosage. I provide approximate volume measures for convenience but they can be problematic due to the variance in tea leaf shape and size. It’s best to use the single appropriate volume measure for the tea, i.e., don’t try to measure 1.5TB using two spoons meant to measure 1 TB and a ½ TB. Use an actual 1.5 TB measuring spoon. Yes, they make them! I like the oblong ones to handle longer leaf styles.


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