Tea type
Green Tea
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Earth, Grass, Hay, Cut grass, Sweet
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Edit tea info Last updated by steepster
Average preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec 20 oz / 591 ml

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21 Tasting Notes View all

  • “This tea was so unexciting the first time I had it, it’s been sitting in my pantry for the past 5 months, ignored and unloved. But with The Final Sipdown: Day 3 approaching...” Read full tasting note
  • “This was my 1st order from Rishi and only my 2nd tea that I know of that was Rishi. I’ve had their matcha prepared at a cafe once. But I could have well tried a sample of something at my...” Read full tasting note
  • “Hello. Meet my absolute favourite COLD-BREW tea in the entire world!!!!!!!!!!!!! Organic Kukicha. (This tea is unbe-freaking-lievable. I...” Read full tasting note
  • “Bought some at the bulk section of Central Market. I was intrigued by the beautiful parakeet yellow-green stems and the description of a creamy, low astringency, umami brew. It smells like…...” Read full tasting note

From Rishi Tea

Kukicha is noted for its fresh green flavor and low astringency. Our Organic Kukicha has an emerald green infusion and creamy mouthfeel with a balanced bittersweet and umami flavor.

About Rishi Tea View company

Rishi Tea specializes in sourcing the most rarefied teas and botanical ingredients from exotic origins around the globe. This forms a palette from which we craft original blends inspired by equal parts ancient herbal wisdom and modern culinary innovation. Discover new tastes and join us on our journey to leave ‘No Leaf Unturned’.

21 Tasting Notes

911 tasting notes

This tea was so unexciting the first time I had it, it’s been sitting in my pantry for the past 5 months, ignored and unloved. But with The Final Sipdown: Day 3 approaching rapidly, I decided to do some prep work and used up about half of the remaining sample. For one really big cup. Okay, the initial idea was to decupboard more than one tea today, but I do not need to drink 40-some oz of green tea at a go, so it’s being split in half. Plan on seeing this one go bye-bye tomorrow.

It’s not as bad as I remember it but it’s still not super-tasty. I decreased the steep time by a minute and that helped it a lot – there is a fair amount of astringency but it doesn’t dip into bitterness like it did at 3minutes. I’m sure being abandoned in my pantry for months and months has not helped it any as far as freshness but it was still acceptably tasty. I tend to prefer deeper steamed senchas and this one doesn’t have that same sweetness or quite the same thickness I’d get with one of those, but as lighter steaming goes, it’s nifty.

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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865 tasting notes

This was my 1st order from Rishi and only my 2nd tea that I know of that was Rishi. I’ve had their matcha prepared at a cafe once. But I could have well tried a sample of something at my local tea shop (they have 7 per day) that was indeed Rishi.

While I absolutely loved Rishi’s daily sales they had last month, I wasn’t going to cave because I have neither the money or the storage space. Til I saw this one. The tea itself didn’t really grab me, it’s the recipe for sole they have on the info page that suckered me in. I’m also also determined to learn to be able to define exactly what umami is, specifically in teas so I want to try every umami tea I can get my hands on. When it comes to trying a recipe for the 1st time I’m very anal about making it verbatum, yes even down to the brand of tea.

As I said before, I have very little experience w/ Rishi’s products and even less experience w/ dealing w/ their company directly but my 1st experience wasn’t a very positive one. I learned a very important lesson: when trying a new company, especially if your purchase will be a small one, investigate shipping. My purchase consisted of just this 50g (1oz is ~28g) pouch of tea which I got for only $3.75 (regularly priced $10) which costed $8 to ship an entire 90 miles. What’s worse, it was supposed to take 4 days to get here (quite long in my book), but ended up taking 9! I can order something from Adagio all the way in NJ, only pay $3.75 for shipping, and get it in a week.

Not only was this my 1st experience ordering from Rishi, it was also my first Kukicha. I opened the pouch and was quite surprised to see 2 different kinds of leaves- tiny, dark green grass clipping like leaves and longer, yellowish green blades. And the smell… Now I’m normally very good about not letting the smell of the raw leaves affect my perspective (I am a huge fan of Adagio’s white cucumber after all lol), but this is… how do I even discribe this? Putrid. That’s it. It smells like wet, moldy hay. Yuck. Oh well. I’ll give it a shot.

The steeping instructions suggest 1TB in 8oz of water heated to 185 degrees for 3-4min. Except for the amount of leaf (which seems like a lot), this seems awfully suspicious of the general steeping times for all greens, including Japanese, that most companies suggest so I went to Den’s Tea’s website to see what they suggest because I know their steeping parameters are unique to each type of tea. Yep. I was right. Den’s suggests 1tsp of leaf steeped in 6oz of water heated to 180 degrees for only 45 sec. Well, I’ll try Rishi’s steeping parameters 1st then try Den’s and compare them.

The discription of this says the liquor is emerald, but that isn’t true. It’s more “the person that used the bathroom before me didn’t flush and I can tell they have a urinary tract infection.” Thank God the aroma is virtually nothing like the raw leaves. There is an extremely faint hay like taste but that is easily covered by the bitter sweet (but definitely more sweet) flavor that they said I should expect. I’m also not getting the creamy mouth feel they discribe.

Conclusions: Surprisingly good tea even using their steeping parameters, but I wish they’d have more unique steeping parameters. I can’t wait to make the sole recipe. I’ll try different brands to compare both flavor and price, but if I decide that this is indeed the Kukicha for me, I’ll be buying it my local tea shop for $5.75/oz (and for every $100 spent I get $5 off). I also have 2 pu erh recommendations that are Rishi. I’m absolutely terrified of pu erh and I don’t want to waste money on something I don’t like so I’ll be buying those locally as well. My tea shop has an awesome return policy. The shipping is just absolutely not worth it, even if the products are.

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

They have some interesting stuff


2nd infusion, 4 min. Definitely not the “That person needs an antibiotic” liquor of the 1st infusion although it is more cloudy and opaque. Like a dark chicken stock? And the flavor… holy sweeTEAness! While there is definitely a light savory note in the the background. This infusion is not bittersweet at all. Just sweet.


3rd infusion, 5 min. Liquor is very much like infusion 2. Flavor is solid, crisp, clean, and sweet. While not creamy in taste at all, I think I might be starting to get the “creamy” mouthfeel that they discribe. Although I’d call it clean and smooth. The word creamy to me implies a thick texture, and that definitely doesn’t apply here.


4th infusion, 6 min. Hmmm… Interesting. Very white tea-esk both in liquor and taste. I like it!

Wiseman Tea Co.

I enjoyed reading your detailed review of Kucicha. Towards the end you mentioned that you’re terrified of Pu-erh I’m curious to hear why? I watched a documentary stating that in China Pu-erh bricks are valued in excess of a million dollars. I wonder if Pu-erh will ever gain popularity in the U.S. market.


The one I tried was absolutely vile, but I’m gonna be brave and try a chocolate pu erh tomorrow. Really only because it’s chocolate lol. Especially since there’s also rooibos in it, and I’m not a fan of that either.

Wiseman Tea Co.

I admire your courage! Initially, I was a bit put off by the smell. In fact a customer of mine described it as poo erh once, real original right? But I began to appreciate Pu-Erh because of the complexity, and body of the brew. Thick and malty it has the consistency of a cup of coffee. I look forward to hearing your review of a flavored pu-erh, I cannot imagine what that is like.

Phil Hovatter

I’ve had a serious approach / avoidance conflict brewing inside of me regarding pu erh. I still haven’t tried it (being a noob, I still have many things that don’t give me pause that I want to try), but I created a baby steps custom blend on Adagio. It’s 50% peach oolong, 20% cinnamon, and 30% of the dreaded pu erh dante. I haven’t tried it yet (I have to get the coin together to actually buy it), but I designed it to be a gentle introduction to the world of pu erh. If any robust sole would like to be my guinea pig and report on your experience, I would be greatly appreciative. You’ll find it in Adagio’s blends section under the catchy name of (wait for it…) Peach Pu Erh.


If you like chocolate, give Numi’s Chocolate pu erh a shot!=D

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84 tasting notes

Hello. Meet my absolute favourite COLD-BREW tea in the entire world!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Organic Kukicha.
(This tea is unbe-freaking-lievable. I probably have at least 1 pot a day. Not counting the steady supply of cold-brew harios in my fridge.)

Hario Pitcher + 2 Tblsp Kukicha + Fill to top with COLD water.
Leave in fridge for 4+ hours. Enjoy! Feel free to re-infuse and do it all over again.
(Tip: a splash of warm water before filling the hario with cold water does a nice job of getting the leaves to open up if you like it a teeny bit more pronounced.)

Seriously… try it.
And FYI you can find the Hario Pitchers I’m referring to on Rishi’s website. I own 6. Best investment I’ve ever made. Ever. And when any of you try it… let me know afterward how you feel about it. We’ll embrace.

(P.S. Word on the street is that if you use the coupon code “GIVETEA10” on Rishi’s website, you get 20% off your order. Get a hario! And by street, I mean my inbox.)

Has anyone found a favourite Kukicha from any other tea company? I’m just curious. I tried one from Adagio one time… meh… didn’t compare. And it was powdery. I want full twigs n leaves people!

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 45 sec
Tea Love and Care

Hey Oh Cha! Great Kukicha review. I’ve wanted to try the green tea Kukicha myself but haven’t had a chance. I did, however, try (and LOVE) The Tao of Tea’s Kukicha. There are no green tea leaves in it, just straight-up twigs. It is the smoothest tasting tea I’ve ever had. It brews up rather dark and has a mild nutty/chocolate flavour.

The twigs are pretty thick, so in comparison to your method of refrigeration, I actually boil this tea in water for about 2-4 minutes. It really releases the flavours. It also tastes great after cooling down during the day.

You’ve got me really interested in these Hario pitchers and cold brews.


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39 tasting notes

Bought some at the bulk section of Central Market. I was intrigued by the beautiful parakeet yellow-green stems and the description of a creamy, low astringency, umami brew. It smells like… God, does anyone remember the crackers ’Munch’Ems’? They were delicious, thin, salty, buttery, savory crackers I loved as a kid. The leaves smell like Munch’Ems mixed with onigiri wrapped in a big sheet of nori. The tea itself is light, creamy, and no astringency to speak of. Not something I am in the mood for every day, but when I want it, it hits just the right spot. P.S. Rishi’s instructions are 1 tbsp for 3-4 minutes, but I used only a teaspoon for 1.5 minutes the first brew, and 2.5 minutes the second time.

170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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64 tasting notes

I’m back been busy but I’m back
BACKLOG: I saw this at whole foods and loved the color bought a bag.
Very creamy and grassy with some sea-spray essence to it :)

180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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26 tasting notes

Tried the 2010 Shincha version of this. Quite enjoyable, displays a rounded flavour profile with some nutty elements. Fairly simple but nicely refreshing.

Price: $9USD for 50grams
Buy again: Maybe

165 °F / 73 °C 1 min, 0 sec

Their Gokubo 1st flush Fukamushi Kukicha is awesome; I definitely recommend ($8.50 for 50g)


Thanks, got more tea than I know what to do with at the moment, but will definitely add it to the list to try!


Yeah; that makes sense… it seems like one they carry normally, not one of those seasonal specials that may not come back, so there’s probably a good chance it will be available often.

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7 tasting notes

The first thing that hit me was GRASS. Fresh-cut grass. It tastes good, it’s smooth, not bitter, very full and robust. It won’t replace Rishi’s Jasmine Pearl or Genmaicha as my favorite everyday green tea, but it’s nice for something different on occasion.

Flavors: Earth, Grass, Hay

180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 30 sec 6 tsp 32 OZ / 946 ML

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53 tasting notes

I know this tea requires a much lower boiling point, but I prefer to steep all my teas at boiling and to leave the leaves in the pot until I finish drinking. I do multiple tastings to determine my preferred time to taste.

Tasting #1 – Steep Time 1 Minute
The tea has a slightly bitter flavor that I can barely taste over the heat.

Tasting #2 – Steep Time 4 Minutes
The tea has a mild grassy flavor, still a bit over powering but the tea is also just slightly too hot at this point.

Tasting # 3 – Steep Time 8 Minutes
The tea has a light grassy flavor and the temperature is just right. There is a definite sweetness in aroma and almost one in flavor. Easily my favorite steep time for this tea.

I did continue tasting after this point, but the flavors got stronger after this point from sitting in the pot for so long.

Flavors: Cut grass, Hay, Sweet

Boiling 8 min or more 4 tsp 32 OZ / 946 ML

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2 tasting notes

This was probably the most expensive tea by weight of any of the bulk teas from Central Market, but it’s so lightweight that you can try it out fairly cheap. I brewed mine as per the instructions and used my iron kettle to rock and pour the kukicha to bring out all the flavor. Honestly, I get the smooth, thick, umami thing from this like they suggest, but it reminded me of spinach water. Like, if you drain the water from steamed spinach and drink that, that’s this tea. Not a bad thing. I sort of enjoyed it. You could definitely drink this with a meal.

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24 tasting notes

Trying the Kukicha again – This time with less loose tea, although I kept the steep time and temperature about the same. (A little cooler, because I was distracted.)

Again, I am in love with the fragrance of this tea, both loose and steeped. It reminds me of Gyokuro- rich and fresh and creamy. The flavor was also much better with less loose tea. This steep completely lacked the bitterness that I had noticed the first time I made it. It’s smooth and has a subtle richness to it. Definitely a new favorite.

I also did a cold resteep for 2 hours, and it was excellent. Very sweet and delicate.

170 °F / 76 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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