Green tea is known for its high antioxidant content, which is evidenced here by the bright-green color of the brew.
Kukicha is often made as a by-product of other teas, after the tea has been picked, steamed, and dried, when the stems and leaves are separated. In the past, thrifty tea farmers would often keep this less prized part of the tea plant to use themselves, while selling the leaves. Although seemingly humble, kukicha is a lovely tea in its own right, and lower-grade does not equate to lower quality. A cup of this tea reveals a beautiful depth of flavor, and kukicha is a good fit for anyone who enjoys the flavor of green tea but dislikes astringency or bitterness.
Origin: Shizuoka, Japan.
Standard Brewing: Steep 1 tsp of Kukicha in 8 oz of water at 170℉ for 2 minutes.
Be sure to remove the tea leaves promptly or pour all the water off to ensure the tea doesn’t over-steep. In Japanese tea, the last drop that pours out of the teapot is called the golden drop because it has the richest, fullest flavor. Make sure to get that golden drop out!
For the correct water temperature, you can use a thermometer or an electric kettle with temperature settings, or you can observe the water as it heats. 170℉ is cooler than boiling, when the water is steaming and small bubbles have formed. In a cup or pitcher, it should be just hotter than is comfortable to hold with a bare hand.
To brew the tea multiple times, try this re-steeping method:
1st brew: 2 tsp per 8oz for 1 minute at 160-170℉
2nd brew: pour another 8 oz of water over the same leaves, hotter this time (about 180-190℉), steep about 30 seconds
3rd brew: using the same leaves, steep 2 minutes in boiling water (212℉ )