Tea is one of the most important parts of food culture in Japan, and Kukicha tea one of the most popular drinks in the country. The Japanese have a long history with tea, with many ceremonies and traditions that include the beverage. Among that tea history, green tea is a standout figure!
What is Kukicha green tea?
Kukicha is a specialty Japanese tea that is in the same family as green tea but made in a unique way. Its uniqueness comes from the fact that it’s made from the stems and twigs of the plant instead of the leaves. Kukicha comes from the Camellia sinensis plant, the same one that’s used to make black tea, white tea, and others.
It was initially thought of as a beverage for the lowers classes but quickly gained popularity. It is now one of the most famous in the country.
What makes Kukicha tea special?
The fact that kukicha tea is made from these different parts of the plant gives it a different consistency, more milky and nutty than other green teas. It is now a staple in sushi service and meals in many homes.
What are some of the benefits of Kukicha tea?
This well-loved drink is not only satisfying in taste it also has a lot of potential health perks.
If you need more reasons to try Kukicha then take a look at these impressive wellness benefits.
It’s an alkaline drink
Kukicha tea, like fresh fruits and veggies, an alkaline food that has a stabilizing effect on the body. Meaning that it can combat acidity levels and create more balance. Why is this good? Too much acidity can cause the body to start consuming calcium, magnesium in higher-level depleting minerals. It can also lead to weight gain. This tea has the strongest alkaline powers of any of the Japanese teas.
Full of antioxidants
This tea is full of components like polyphenols and tannins, which give it a high antioxidant count and functions. Consuming a diet with plenty of antioxidants can help prevent a lot of diseases like arthritis, is good the skin, and other health issues.
While it is still a form of green tea, Kukicha is a much less caffeinated drink than regular green tea and matcha. The concentration of caffeine in Kukicha tea is about three milligrams per ounce. Making it a great option for those that want to drink green tea late at night or those sensitive to caffeine.
Good for your teeth
This drink contains minerals like calcium and fluoride which both can work to protect the enamel of teeth and prevent cavities.
Kukicha tea is offered in almost all Japanese sushi services. Why? Because it’s a great companion for food, it’s hydrating and calming on the stomach. Plus, a study found that ellagitannin, which Kukicha has a lot of, can promote gut health and help digestion.
Where can you buy Japanese green tea?
One of the most important parts of getting the perfect cup of tea is to make sure you buy your tea from reputable sellers. Another thing to keep in mind with Kukicha tea is that it is a uniquely made mix. So, it would be advisable to go with boutique sellers over mass-produced brands.
In specialty tea shops you can even more special mixes for this drink like Kukicha with Yuzu giving it an extra citrus touch, or even create your own version of this ancestral drink. So, take your time to find the perfect tea store where you can buy genuine products and have the full experience of drinking Kukicha tea.
How to make a perfect cup of Kukicha tea?
To brew a stellar cup of Kukicha tea it is best to stick to the original concept. Use the loose tea ingredients instead of a bagged tea mix. Try to use the organic mix with the stems and twigs. Because this is how the original is made and it also means fewer pesticides and chemicals came in contact with the tea.
Steep this mix using water at a temperature between 70 to 80 degrees celsius, for 1 to 3 minutes. As expected, the longer you steam Kukicha tea the stronger the flavor will be.
Cool fact: You could re-infuse Kukicha tea mix up to 3 times.