Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Pure Twig Kukicha

I have had Kukicha before, but not pure twigs.
This tea was bought at a local store that specializes in health foods, foreign foods, and all natural products.
The Japanese waste nothing, and so what better to do than make an infusion out of the twigs collected by the mechanical harvesting.

The dry leaf, or rather twig, smells heavily of walnut, caramel, and fired oak.
In essence, it is another form of a houjicha.
This is definitely a roasted creation.

In brewing this tea, I filled the petite kyusu about 1/3 full of leaf.
I made this method as an adaptation of the chao zhou method.
Espresso method, if you will. My intent was to pull as much flavor as possible out of the dark stems

Once the water was poured in, a strong scent of cocoa rose out of the pot.

For how dark the infusion was, there was not as bold of a flavor as I thought there would be.
The liquor conjured up a multitude of flavors to try to describe;
Maple, chocolate, vanilla, toast, oak, and a bit of brown sugar.
The sweetness reminded me of an aged oolong.

The texture was unbelievably smooth and had only the slightest detectable astringency.

The second infusion only brought out a bit of cherry on the palate, but maintained quite the same profile.

This tea is quite an easy drinker.
I would not necessarily spend much time with this tea, as it is not so complex.
It is on the opposite spectrum as teas such as This.

My recommended settings for this tea;
cold night, blanketed, sitting by the fire with family and friends.



  1. Interesting look and interesting idea to drink it, now if only I had a fireplace :P.

  2. Ice,

    One does not need a fireplace specifically to enjoy this tea! Just a relaxing setting =]

  3. I had a very similar tea from Upton Tea Imports: Roasted Kukicha - TJ32 (link is to my review).

    My experience drinking it was very similar to what you describe in this tea...very aromatic (the tea I tried seemed coffee-like, with a rich roasted aroma), but when I drank the cup, it was mellow.

    I think I prefer roasted leaf tea, or green kukicha, but it was interesting to try, and I'd like to try more. I want to try more hojicha in general because I've noticed that the level of roast changes. Obubu Tea sells hojicha with differing levels of roast, and they also have a smoked hojicha. I hope to some day to be able to do a tasting of teas like this.

  4. Alex,

    A side by side of differing houjichas would be quite interesting! Especially if they came from the same garden and then were processed differently. It would make for a very unique cupping session!