K stands for Kukicha

Several posts ago, I shared with you some information about Kukicha.

The dry leaves…

The dry leaves were extremely attractive, very distinctive looking – all those linear strips of varied, yet tonally cohesive greens. There were two distinct kinds of leaves- tiny, dark green grass clipping like leaves and longer, yellowish green blades. If you have been following my blog for a while, you’ll know that green teas are not by favorite, so although the leaves were extremely attractive, their aroma had a VERY definite cooked fishy scent to me. Heavy marine notes – they reminded me of the song “By the Sea, By the Beautiful Sea!” Way too fishy for me!

Brewing…

Just a word of caution…Kukicha requires a little bit of care in its preparation to ensure you end up with a tasty and flavorful cup, like most green teas. I used a scant 2 teaspoons of tea with 8 ounces of water, and the water temperature was 170 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure you use the correct water temperature. Using the right water temperature (170ºF to 180ºF) will extract the tea leaves’ sweet soluble components such as theanine. Using a higher temperature will bring a high amount of the bitter and astringent components, such as caffeine and catechins. My first infusion was just over a minute, the second was two minutes.

In my cup…

WOW! What a color, a bright chartreuse and opaque, which I wasn’t expecting- really eye catching – you know the green that was often used in psychedelic art or in clothing fashions from the 60’s. There was a little exceptionally fine tea dust at the bottom of my cup. For me, it had that classic, grassy ‘green’ taste. A little grassy both on the top note and body, with some undertones and a finish that was slightly nutty, perhaps. Also, somewhere in there were those faint marine notes, reminiscent of the smell of seaweed. It did become slightly astringent as it cooled, but it never turned bitter. Also, it surprised me, but the second infusion was a little bit sweeter than the first.

Now just because green teas are not on my “hit parade” list, don’t be hesitant to give Kukicha try because of the twigs and stems. It was lightly grassy, without tasting like vegetation – well balanced, with a pleasant, subtle sweetness and exceptionally low in astringency. And if the word grassy scares you, know that it doesn’t taste like lawn clippings; it’s just a good way to describe it. One thing though, Kukicha is extremely easy to oversteep, so be careful when brewing. I’d give this a 3 on our rating scale.

Rating Scale

tea rating

All teas will be rated on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 for dislike and 5 as love:

  1. Dislike (I didn’t like the tea and would not repurchase)
  2. Passable (I didn’t dislike the tea, but I didn’t think it was very good)
  3. Average (I didn’t find it good or bad and would drink it again)
  4. Good (I liked it but it and may repurchase)
  5. Love (I enjoyed it lot and would repurchase)

Next.. L stands for Lu Tong

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