Kukicha


Made from leaves that have not been oxidized.

Kukicha

Postby Ed » Jan 3rd, '07, 09:52

I am particularly fond of Adagio's Kukicha and was wondering if their Kukicha is fairly similar to Kukicha from other vendors...? I've seen some Kukicha that is priced as high as a good sencha. Is there a big difference in taste? The only thing I wish is that Adagio's Kukicha was organic, but other than that, it's superb. Descriptions call it "nutty" but I would rather say it tastes like buttery veggies - I love it.

Now if only I could bribe Fed-Ex to deliver my 16 ounce bag today instead of later this week. I'm on my last pot :cry:
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Postby Chip » Jan 3rd, '07, 10:17

I have seen some kukicha that contains gyokuro stems and is supposed to be sweeter. Sometimes it is given the name karigani...which is a glorified kukicha. I have had some kukicha that is entirely stems with no leaf particles and others that contain a good deal of leaf mixed in with the stems.

These things could certainly affect pricing as well as where is it from. Uji is going to be higher than other regional kukicha.

The kukicha I am just now trying is very different. The flavor profile reminds me of...well...if someone was able to extract only the good essence of the beach...they would come up with this kukicha. I am not sure I like it quite yet, but I just tried my first session.

I like to have kukicha around mainly because I believe the stems are very low in caffeine vs for example a fine sencha which is produced mainly from the leaf tips which have higher caffeine levels.
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Postby Ed » Jan 3rd, '07, 10:27

Yeah, I also like that Kukicha is lower in caffeine. I probably would never have left coffee behind and tried green tea if it wasn't for my caffeine sensitivity. I'm not sure I will bother trying Hojicha, even though it is low in caffeine, I prefer my green teas to be green and not toasted.

Let us know your impression of this new Kukicha you're trying, chip.

Thanks for the reply.
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Postby TeaFanatic » Jan 3rd, '07, 13:23

Ed, I would give their samples (if they have samples) a try first to see if you like the higher priced kukicha, and then you can decide if it is worth the extra money.

I would say just stick with what you like, so if you like adagio's, then stick with it.
Last edited by TeaFanatic on Jan 3rd, '07, 14:35, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Ed » Jan 3rd, '07, 14:32

Thanks, TeaFanatic. That's definitely a good idea.

Hopefully this pound will last me a while. :)

After trying some good Japanese greens, the Chinese greens are just tasting awfully bland - even the flavored ones. I guess it all depends on what you expect out of a good cup. I like a little kick in the tastebuds. The good Senchas and Kukicha are like Springtime in a cup.
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Postby Chip » Jan 3rd, '07, 14:46

There is nothing like a great sencha. I think most people who complain about Japanese tea have never had a really good sencha that was prepared properly.

The roasted flavor of hojicha is ok every so often, but it is not anywhere near an everyday thing for me...maybe a few times a month.

Of course, there is also roasted kukicha which is very similar to hojicha's flavor and aroma.

Hojicha is typically roasted bancha. It will be lower in caffeine than sencha but more caffeine than kukicha since it is leaf. So, you could drink bancha and eliminate at least some of the caffeine. Bancha does not give me the caffeine rush that sencha does.

If caffeine is an issue for you...you can virtually decaf your tea...since caffeine is very water soluble, when you brew tea, you can pour off the water from the first minute of brewing thus eliminating 80-90% of the caffeine. If you want to eliminate around 50% of the caffeine, I would think 30 seconds for the first steep would do.
Last edited by Chip on Jan 3rd, '07, 14:48, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby TeaFanatic » Jan 3rd, '07, 14:46

It can certainly be difficult to switch between Chinese and Japanese green teas. Japanese green teas have a distinctive flavor that typically is stronger than chinese green teas.

I don't think, however, that chinese green teas are bland, I just think the flavor can be harder to find sometimes, and requires a very delicate palette. I like japanese greens, but I find the subtilties of chinese greens to be extraordinary.
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Postby Chip » Jan 3rd, '07, 14:50

TeaFanatic wrote:It can certainly be difficult to switch between Chinese and Japanese green teas. Japanese green teas have a distinctive flavor that typically is stronger than chinese green teas.

I don't think, however, that chinese green teas are bland, I just think the flavor can be harder to find sometimes, and requires a very delicate palette. I like japanese greens, but I find the subtilties of chinese greens to be extraordinary.


Chinese teas are like an art form...a fine crafted long jing is a true pleasure to behold and sublime in the cup...

Japanese is tea is so...vivid in all aspects...appearance, aroma, taste...there is little similarity to Chinese green...

I split my time between both.
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Postby Ed » Jan 3rd, '07, 15:19

I hope to try some Shincha this Spring. It's not something that's practical to order often, but it must taste incredible straight from Japan (shipped nitro flushed). :o

Yeah, I need to try some quality Dragonwell, too. That's another one where you get what you pay for...
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Postby Chip » Jan 3rd, '07, 15:37

...most of the better Japanese vendors will sell shincha only through the end of May, June or July for that year's harvest...I forget which month it is. Traditionally that is the case...Shincha is packaged for sale immediately at the end of processing and is the freshest tea on the planet.

Ichiban, which is also first flush, is available year round...but ichiban is stored typically in huge climate controlled facilities with very low humidity and around 33* F. It is typically stored in large bales and pulled for final packaging usually right when there is demand for it. So, it too can be very fresh...

O-cha has an interesting video showing most of the process...pretty cool. Check it out.
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Postby Chip » Jan 13th, '07, 01:31

Ed wrote:
Let us know your impression of this new Kukicha you're trying, chip.

Thanks for the reply.


Well, the verdict is in, I like this green kukicha. It was a little adjustment to the new taste sensation, but Den's Tea did a very good job making twig tea enjoyable. I am getting 3-5 steeps good per session which surprises me for a tea consisting of around 75% stems. So if I have at 8 in the evening, I will have tea most of the night...cool!!! 8)

I plan on having kukicha around all the time for when I need a tea fix but it is too late for anything else.
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Postby Ed » Jan 13th, '07, 02:54

I'll have to give that kukicha a try when I run out of mine. I noticed their description says they roast it lightly at the finish. I wonder if this is common for kukicha...?

Unfortunately even kukicha has kept me up all night if I drink it late in the evening. I might try pouring out the first infusion and drinking the second next time.
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Postby Chip » Jan 13th, '07, 03:12

Ed wrote:I'll have to give that kukicha a try when I run out of mine. I noticed their description says they roast it lightly at the finish. I wonder if this is common for kukicha...?

Unfortunately even kukicha has kept me up all night if I drink it late in the evening. I might try pouring out the first infusion and drinking the second next time.


Yeah, Den's says that about a couple of their teas, but I noticed no roasted character at all...so I have no idea what they are talking about. It is also very green???????????????

Have you tried infusing the kukicha for around 30-60 seconds to wash away some of the caffeine???
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Postby Ed » Jan 13th, '07, 10:37

I'll give that a try next time. Seems like such a waste to dump out any good tea! I think the caffeine adds to the flavor of that first infusion.

I've known so many people who can drink coffee or tea all day long and never even notice the caffeine. Must be nice! :?
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Postby Chip » Jan 13th, '07, 13:26

Ed wrote:I'll give that a try next time. Seems like such a waste to dump out any good tea! I think the caffeine adds to the flavor of that first infusion.

I've known so many people who can drink coffee or tea all day long and never even notice the caffeine. Must be nice! :?


I hear you...I do not think I could pour off a first infusion. I enjoy the transition from steep to steep...perhaps this is why I pursue so many steeps per session.

But Japanese seems to have a caffeine kick to it that is greater than Chinese green...but then again, with Japanese tea, you typically use about 1/3 more leaf based on weight than Chinese per session...and with gyokuro, at least 2X as much.
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