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
Cultivar: Yabukita & Okumidori
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:
Leaf-water ratio: 2-3g(1 heaping tsp) per 4oz
Steep: 60 sec
2nd Cup: Water boiled; Steep 15 sec