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Karigane (Gyokuro Kukicha)

Tea type
Green Tea
Ingredients
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Flavors
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Caffeine
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Certification
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Edit tea info Last updated by Just John
Average preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 30 sec 6 oz / 177 ml

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5 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Today we are experiencing something beautiful, a blend of emerald and jade colored leaves, Karigane (Gyokuro Kukicha). This very pretty tea is made from the stems and stalks of Gyokuro, the famed...” Read full tasting note
    94
    SoggyEnderman 199 tasting notes
  • “I keep drinking this while eating food because I think the very clean, vegetal taste goes well with Asian foods without adding too much extra flavor that competes with food. Additionally, there's...” Read full tasting note
    91
    jennkay19 349 tasting notes
  • “ok maybe it is my taste buds, but is this the second over-umami'd green tea from Den's in a row for me? i like it, but i don't believe i could drink this all day. i'll try a second steeping out...” Read full tasting note
    87
    juliebeth 129 tasting notes

From Den's Tea

Description:
Kukicha is usually made from the stems and stalks of Sencha. In the Kyoto area Kukicha is called “Karigane” and is made from Gyokuro.
Den’s Karigane is 100% first flush Gyokuro Kukicha grown in Asahina, Shizuoka – one of prestige Gyokuro producing areas.
Gyokuro leaves contain higher levels of theanine – a factor of Umami or sweetness – than Sencha leaves. Kukicha or twig tea also contains higher levels theanine than tea made with just leaves. Consequently, you can imagine how Den’s Karigane has an impressive flavor. It is like mixing Gyokuro’s Umami and Kukicha’s green vegetable flavor.

Origin: Asahina, Shizuoka
Harvest: First Flush 2013
Species: Yabukita & Okumidori

Tasting Profile:
Similar to Gyokuro, Karigane has a good level of Umami and like Kukicha is also has a mild green vegetable flavor. The vegetable flavor lingers for a while and the Umami comes back as an after taste.
Karigane is a tea that can be brewed “casually”. Try a slightly higher water temperature or vary the brewing time to find the flavor that suits your taste.

Den’s Preferred Brewing:
Water: 3oz @ 180F
Leaves: 2 grams or 1 heaping teaspoon
Steep: 60 sec
2nd Cup: Water boiled; Steep 15 sec

About Den's Tea View company

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5 Tasting Notes

94
199 tasting notes

Today we are experiencing something beautiful, a blend of emerald and jade colored leaves, Karigane (Gyokuro Kukicha). This very pretty tea is made from the stems and stalks of Gyokuro, the famed Jade Dew Japanese Green tea. For those who do not know, Kukicha is usually made from the stalks and stems of Sencha, and Gyokuro is thought of as one of the finest Japanese teas and it is certainly one of the priciest. I have never tried Gyokuro (I do have some on the way from Japan, exciting!) so I was excited to dip my…you know, foot doesn’t really work in this analogy, so tongue into this pool of tea. The aroma of this exceptionally visually pleasing tea is very sweet for a green tea and delightfully vegetal. The vegetal notes are that of artichoke, a touch of chestnut, and a mild underlying hint of kelp. I really love how mild the aroma of this tea is.

Time to officially break in the new pot! The leaves take on a hint of lime that mixes with notes of woodsy and herbaceous. It smells like stems! Picking up the aroma of stems and knowing, I am smelling stems, really put a smile on my face. I also detects notes of the beloved umami, which is exciting. The liquid once the leaves have been removed (or, once I have poured it out of my Kyusu) has a mixture of sweet vegetal and umami. I am not going to lie, the aroma of the infused leaves is making me salivate.

The first thing I notice is umami goodness, I love that aspect of certain green teas, the savory umami taste is delicious and reminds me of eating certain seaweeds. There are also notes of chestnut that give the tea a bit of sweetness. As the tea cools the gentle sweetness becomes significantly sweeter and it masks the umami. The texture becomes almost creamy and it makes my mouth feel alive (juices like wine, I’m on the hunt I’m after you…sorry, 80s moment) I am amazed at how complex the flavor is for a tea that is so pale, more proof that looks can be deceiving when it comes to teas. I certainly cannot wait to try Gyokuro now.

For blog post and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2013/10/dens-tea-karigane-gyokuro-kukicha-tea.html

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91
349 tasting notes

I keep drinking this while eating food because I think the very clean, vegetal taste goes well with Asian foods without adding too much extra flavor that competes with food. Additionally, there’s not bitterness or astringency, so I feel ok about gulping it down.

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87
129 tasting notes

ok maybe it is my taste buds, but is this the second over-umami’d green tea from Den’s in a row for me? i like it, but i don’t believe i could drink this all day. i’ll try a second steeping out of curiosity, i’m sure, but this is just too…TOO. there’s something sharper, more ribbed and less squishy about my favorite Sencha Fuka-Midori, i’m not really sure what causes it or how to describe it. but this tea makes me miss it.

perhaps i’m not classy enough or something, but the pricier, more exclusive teas seem to NOT be my favorites. this one gets a solid C from me.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML
juliebeth

oh wait, i just realized. higher temps cause these teas to taste less like the ideal, right? perhaps 2nd steeping will be boilt. off to go try.

__Morgana__

Gyokuros like very low temps and longer steeps. I would try it at 140 for two minutes and see how that works.

juliebeth

good thing i’m a procrastinator, as i didn’t yet go boil those leaves. trying your advice right now! (the above was the Den’s recommended treatment, btw.) (dangit, i really need a tea thermometer. i’m going to have to go with “feels about 20 deg cooler than last time” LOL!)

__Morgana__

Good luck!

juliebeth

OH i liked that! the seaweed was under control, and the vegetable-y was improved! liked so much i’m going to try again with fresh tea and your parameters!
Thanks, Morgana! U rock!

__Morgana__

Great! So glad it turned out.

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