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Saturday, August 29, 2009

A Unique Tea: Kukicha (Twig Tea)

Japanese tea is plucked four times during the growing season. That last plucking is used to make bancha, which means "last tea." At the same time twigs are pruned from the [tea] bushes and used for twig tea or kukicha. It's really a sort of clean-up of the bushes as the growing season ends. I suppose this isn't really too surprising as land is so scarce in Japan. If I were a Japanese tea farmer, I would want to extract as much value from each tea bush as possible.

Some kukicha is roasted and therefore very brown and "twiggy" (as in the image above), and some kukicha blends are very green and contains pieces of leaf.

I think I would like to try a roasted kukicha. For those of you who already have, what can you tell us about it?

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