Karigane (Gyokuro Kukicha)Karigane (Gyokuro Kukicha)

Karigane (Gyokuro Kukicha)


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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

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:
Leaf-water ratio: 2-3g(1 heaping tsp) per 4oz
Water: 180F
Steep: 60 sec
2nd Cup: Water boiled; Steep 15 sec

Reviews (3)

by George S.

I drink several cups of (Den's) green tea every morning. Several years ago, I would not have chosen Karigane as a favorite, but something about Karigane made me continue to purchase it occasionally. Eventually, I began to look forward to drinking it routinely. Right now, Karigane is 1 of 2 of Den's green teas that are my morning staples. I love the (persistent) aroma of the dried stems in the bag and in my storage tin ... I've not experienced another green tea with that aroma but, admittedly, I am not a connoisseur and don't have broad experience. Brewed Karigane has a subtle flavor but the finish is everything. Is the expense worth it? For me, it appears the aroma of the unbrewed stems, the subtle flavor of the brewed tea, and the finish is worth the expense.

by Sam K.

This has become my favorite tea offered by Den's. It's a very affordable way to experience the rich umami flavors of finer green tea. There are different brewing parameters one could use to brew karigane, but I actually prefer to brew it closer to how one would brew gyokuro, with high leaf volume and cooler water (around 130-140 degrees fahrenheit). With each additional steep, I increase the water temperature, finishing it off with a near boiling steep. I can usually get 4 to 5 flavorful steepings. The early steepings are umami-filled, while the later steepings are full of the distinctively delicious woody kukicha notes.

by Victor W.

This is a delicious blend of Karigane (taken from stalks and veins of tea leaves) and tea leaves (presumably Gyokuro). You can tell from the color what the ratio is, but it seems about 50/50. I like this combination a lot and drink it regularly. The Karigane is the high quality Kukicha (also stems and veins), and in my opinion, worth the price difference. And Gyokuro is the highest grade Japanese tea. So, together they make a great product. Also, the caffeine is controlled, because the Karigane component has virtually none. My only wish is that I could find Karigane that was just, well, Karigane...