This kukicha was received as a sample during one of the STI classes that I attended, in January I believe.
I believe that traditionally, kukicha was specifically only the stems of the tea plant. This kukicha is a mix of both stems and leaves. I do not know if this is a common practice, or if it is just this specific blend by SerendipiTea.
The dry leaves are potent with a nutty, grassy combination in the midst of that aromatic umami aroma that I find so common in Japanese teas. There is a slight resemblance to raw sugar in the scent.
The aroma in the first infusion was identical to that of the dry leaf, except much more potent. It had a creamy texture and a hearty nutty taste.
A mild astringency presented itself on the finish.
The second infusion had a strong vegetal taste and the liquor was a much more opaque, vibrant green. There was not a sweetness as I had anticipated. It was very wheat-grassy in taste.
One more brew.
This time it was a strong citrus (lime) taste, which matched the color perfectly. The liquor was tart and this time the sweet finish was brought out.
I am enjoying using my kyusu.
It functions well, and looks good.
I probably won't be needing another one for a long while. I try to make my tea ware last as long as possible.
I didn't eat the stem filled leaves. I figured I might have a fiber overdose.