What is Karigane-cha (雁が音茶)
Karigane-cha referred to tea made from stalks especially, from stalks of Gyokuro or high-grade sencha. This term is mainly used in the Kyoto province of Japan, but many from outside use this term to differentiate it from Kukicha, which is stalk tea too but has a blend of Sencha, Gyokuro, and other varieties of green teas. In the Kyusyu area, it may also be called Shiraore (白折). The name of Karigane comes from the fact that the stem of tea looks like a wild goose (雁 Kari) sitting on tree branches above the water. It is in fact a very poetic name. Why do people drink tea made from stalks instead of regular leaf tea? It is because the stalks of green tea are also rich in healthy nutrients, have more umami flavor, appetizing aroma, and sweetness. Stalks and stems receive less sunlight compared to leaves which result in less production of catechins and more sweet notes in brewed tea. Karigane may look like washed-out green tea due to pale color, but it is not true because it is made from high-grade Gyokuro. It is sweet if brewed slowly at low temperatures like Gyuokuro, but with hot water infusion, it will give you a sharp taste.
HOW TO BREW KARIGANECHA THE RIGHT WAY?
You can prepare Kariganecha two ways, hot or cold. For both methods, you only need tea stalks, water and a teapot. For a hot cup of tea, take about one tablespoon or 3grams of kukicha for per cup or as you desire and put it into a teapot. Take 130ml water per cup with 80-degree temperature and pour into the teapot. Let it steep for about 40-60 seconds and then turn the pot around for 2-3 times. Finally pour into the cups and enjoy the refreshing sweet umami flavor of the Kariganecha.
For preparing cold Kariganecha to enjoy during hot days, take the same amount of tea stalks, and water like you took in hot brewing. Put the Karigane and normal spring water in a teapot or bottle. Leave it for several hours or approximately 6 hours, in the refrigerator or at room temperature. Pour it into cups and strain the tea stalks. If you have kept it at room temperature, then add ice as per your liking.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF KARIGANECHA?
Kariganecha, just like other green teas, is enriched in minerals and nutrients which are beneficial for your health. It has rich compounds of L-Theanine, amino acid, folic acid, calcium, and caffeine. L.Theanine is a calming agent that creates alpha waves in your nervous system and makes your nerves and muscles relax. Although caffeine level is low in stalks, it gives you enough energy for the day slowly compared to coffee, in which you get instant energy but for a short amount of time. Calcium present in the tea helps in fighting cavities and makes your teeth and bones strong. Moreover, tea boosts your metabolism, memory, strengthens your immune system, neutralizes acidity, detoxifies the body, relieves anxiety and stress, and keeps you active and fresh all day.
Here is Karigane-cha we carry:
- Kagoshima – Matcha Karigane Sencha (This tea has matcha in addition to Karigane-cha)