Kukicha & other roasted teas

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Mitoku Organic Kukicha is a deliciously soothing roasted tea, having a warm brown color and mild flavor with rich roasted aroma. The tea is made from twigs, stalks and stems of older and coarser leaves remained after sencha harvest. As a matter of fact, kukicha was traditionally called ‘a poor man’s drink’ as tea farmers would make kukicha for themselves after selling the more valuable leaves.

Overseas, Kukicha was first introduced to the West by George Ohsawa, the founder of the macrobiotics food movement about 40 years ago. Ohsawa considered it to be both a perfect complement to the grain-based diet he advocated, as well as to be the most balanced of all the Japanese teas. The kukicha tea supposedly balances the acidity levels in the body as it is the most alkalinizing, which can help to prevent disease. Kukicha is also rich in vitamins and minerals.

The most characteristic of Kukicha would be it does not have any stimulating effect as the tea has only one-tenth of the caffeine content of sencha. While the young leaves of the green tea plant, Camellia sinensis tends to have the highest concentrations of caffeine, the leaves used for kukicha are older so it has naturally less caffeine. Furthermore, kukicha is a roasted tea. The roasting process takes place over a high heat, during which time much of the caffeine as well as astringency-imparting catechin are rendered ineffective. Kukicha is the tea of choice for those that follow a macrobiotic diet as well as for any tea lovers especially people with sickness and children.

Tea leaves for Kukicha grows strongly under the direct sunlight so they are full of vitality. Soon after harvesting, twigs are stored while and then cut and graded to size. Each grade is then roasted separately at different high temperatures and lengths of time to ensure uniformity. Finally, the twigs are blended and packaged to the right ratio.

  • Organic Kukicha

    • Organic
    • Kosher

    Organic tea twigs, stems and leaves

    Available in teabag and loose form in bags or bulk

  • Organic Hojicha

    • Organic
    • Kosher

    Organic roasted Japanese green tea

    Available in teabag and loose form in bags or bulk

  • Organic Brown Rice Kukicha

    • Organic
    • Kosher

    Organic tea twigs, stems and leaves and organic brown rice

    Available in teabag and loose form in bags or bulk

While little medical research has been carried out on Kukicha specifically, the tea is traditionally considered to have a number of benefits on well-being. These include a soothing effect on digestion and the mind. Kukicha is also used in a number of macrobiotic healing tonics, together with other traditional ingredients such as soy sauce and umeboshi. These tonics have been traditionally used to sooth some conditions, such as hangovers. Kukicha contains vitamins A and C, as well as calcium and iron, and has a comparatively low caffeine content and much less than Sencha.

Find the examples of traditional folk remedies having roots in the ancient medicines of Japan and China.

To make a perfect cup of Japanese tea, the most important points are the water used, the temperature of the water, the ratio of tea leaves to water, and the steeping time. Where possible, soft water should be used. If only hard water is available, leaving the water overnight can help to reduce the smell of chlorine that can be characteristic of hard water.

Water should then be boiled and poured over tea leaves, then left to steep. The hotter the water, the greater the volume of catechin – a type of antioxidant—released into the tea, resulting in a rich intensity of active ingredients and a more pronounced bitterness to the tea. The cooler the water, the greater the volume of amino acids in the resulting tea, and the more pronounced the umami taste. Higher grade teas are best prepared using warm, rather than piping hot, water. Water that is too hot may mask the delicate taste of green tea. Equally, steeping the leaves for too long can leave tea dark and bitter.

Kukicha is the easiest Japanese tea to brew. Unlike other varieties, which are never boiled, kukicha is simmered to extract the full flavor from its twigs.

Loose tea

Makes 1 litre

  1. Add 3 level tbsp of leaves to a saucepan, together with 1 litre of water.
  2. Bring to a boil and simmer gently for 3-5 minutes.
  3. Strain and serve hot or chilled.

Make 2 cups (300ml)

  1. lace 2 tsp (5g) Kukicha tea leaves in a teapot, or more according to your taste.
  2. Pour 300ml boiling water into a teapot and steep for 2 minutes, or 3 – 5 minutes for a stronger taste.

Teabag

  1. Pour boiling water (90 – 100℃) over a teabag in a mug or cup.
  2. Steep for 1-2 minutes.

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