What Is Kukicha?

Kukicha is tea made from collecting twigs which have dropped out during the selection and sorting process of sencha and gyokuro tea leaves. In Kyoto, the stems of high quality gyokuro have been especially called “Karigane,” but today all kinds of tea stems are often called by the same name. They also can be called by different names such as “Shiraore” depending on the region. Kukicha is easy to drink thanks to its light and plain taste. It can also be recommended as an easily brewable tea, as this tea releases comparatively less bitterness and astringency even when prepared with boiling water.

Quality Differences

We carry three kinds of kukicha: Sencha, kabusecha and gyokuro. Here the main focus goes to Sencha Karigane.

  • sweetness


    Weaker and more plain in comparison to the sweetness of regular tea leaves. Does not liger on the tongue or in the back of the throat.

    Hardly felt.
  • umami


    Weaker and more plain in comparison to the sweetness of regular tea leaves. Does not liger in the aftertaste.

    Hardly felt.
  • bitter and astringent


    Harshness and astringency are faint. Is well harmonised with the sweetness and deliciousness.

    Subtle. Released when brewed with boiling water, but harshness is faint.
  • aroma


    The pure aroma of sencha with a subtle green fragrance, unique to twigs. The tea is imbued with the strong aroma of twigs when brewed at higher temperatures. The aroma does not have a clean finish.

    A monotonous aroma unique to stems. Superficial and disappears immediately.
  • colour


    The twigs are greenish and soft. No parts are brown. Similar to the tints of leaves.

    The twigs are white and hard. Some parts are brown. Obviously thick.
  • liquor colour


    None to minor red- and darkness. Clear golden yellow. Hardly cloudy and highly transparent.

    Yellower than leaves. Pale and lacks in brightness. Kukicha of sencha can be reddish as long as it does not affect the flavour.

How to Make Good Cups of Tea (for two)

As tea stems contain less tastes than regular leaves, kukicha tastes brisk and plain. It is a type of tea easy to brew even for beginners because it releases less bitterness and astringency even when brewed with boiling water. However, the tea may taste weak after the second round compared to a leaf tea.

  • Recommended Way To Taste

  • To Bring Out Sweetness

how to store

Here are some tips to keep your tea fresh and enjoy it tastily.