Kariganecha vs. Kukicha
Kariganecha is a tea made from stalks of Gyokuro and sometimes other blends. This term is mainly used in Kyoto province but also outside to make it different from Kukicha. People love stalk tea because it also has healthy nutrients, rich umami flavor, sweetness, and an appetizing aroma. The stalks of tea plants receive less sunlight, which becomes the reason for fewer catechins and makes the tea sweeter. It has a pale green color and may look like a washed-out version of Gyokuro, but it is not true as it has great taste and nutrition. It is brewed just like Gyokuro, slow and at low temperatures.
|Stalk tea||Stem tea or Twig tea|
|Made from Gyokuro||Made from Sencha or other variety blends|
|Referred mostly in Kyoto Province||Term used all over the Japan for stem tea|
|Pale green and more umami flavor||Less bitter and light green color|
Kukicha is known as “stem tea” or “twig tea” as it is formed using stems, twigs, and stalks of the Sencha plant. After the processing of Sencha and Matcha, all the leftover stalks and stems in the sorting machine are collected to make Kukicha. Sencha has a dark green color, but its stems have light green due to receiving less sunlight, giving it less bitterness. While brewing, it takes a longer time than Sencha and has a less bitter taste with a refreshing aroma. Many prefer to drink it daily because of its smooth and light taste.
Sometimes, the Sencha plant is grown and mature for three years, and then its stalks and stems are used to make Kukicha. It differs from other varieties because most of them are leaves only, and it has stalks and stems only. It is not considered a general green tea form, therefore labeled as second grade. If you make Kukicha from the Gyokuro tea plant, it changes its name to Kariganecha, which is mostly used in Kyoto province but sometimes outside.
|Loose stalks or stems||One teaspoon or 3 grams||One teaspoon or 4 grams|
|Water temperature||80°C or 176°F||80°C or 176°F|
|Steeping time||40-60 seconds||One minute|
|Infuisons||Two infusions||Three infusions|
Here are examples of tea we carried mentioned in this blog post:
- KagoshimaTea – Matcha Karigane Sencha
- ShizuokaTea – Kukichcha
- KagoshimaTea – Organic Gyokuro Premium – Single Origin Estate
- ShizuokaTea – Premium Gyokuro Okabe – Single Estate Origin