What is Kukicha?
Kukicha (茎茶) means ‘stem tea’ and refers to the tea’s content. Kukicha is a kind of tea made from the young stems and stalks of the tea plant. After steaming and processing the harvested leaves, the stems are separated and then dried to make Kukicha. Reflecting on the ‘wholeness’ philosophy of Japanese Zen Buddhism the whole tea leaf is turned into tea without waisting any of its parts.
Kukicha is full of nutrition as lots of the vitamins are concentrated in the stems of the leaves and these are released by the brewing process. The bitter substances on the other hand are weak so that the tea has a refreshing, almost grassy flavor. Kukicha is naturally very low in caffeine, as most of the caffeine is in the actual leaves and buds. This makes Kukicha an excellent drink for any time of the day.
Reference: ‘Comparison of flavor components between kukicha (stalk green tea) and sencha (green tea)’, by Hara , T. Fukatsu , S. Ina , K.
Akihiro “Akky” Kita is our president and lead farmer here at Obubu. His desire to make this tea available to the general public is the foundation of Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms. In college, Akky took up a part-time job as a farmhand in Wazuka, and fell in love with the tea of this region. He made the decision then to leave college and devote his time to mastering the art of tea farming. Recognizing the need for independent farmers like himself to spread the joy of drinking Japanese tea, he travels each year during the winter off-season to bring Japanese tea to people all over the world.
How to Brew Kukicha