Review: Maeda-en Kuki-Cha Twig Tea With Matcha

Japanese Tea, Kukicha Tea, Maeda-en, Matcha Tea Add comments
Scott’s Teaview Snapshot
Thumbs up!"Both matcha and tea-twigs come together to make a very nice, nutty cup of tea."
Scott’s Teaview: 8.3/10
Other Teaviews: Katie gave it 7.5/10, Lynn gave it 7.5/10, Steven gave it 6/10, Vanessa gave it 6.5/10, Troy gave it 8/10
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maedakukichaAccording to their website, www.maeda-en.com, "Kuki-cha, also known as Twig Tea, is made mainly with tea stems. Our Blender's Kuki-cha is selected from fine quality Sen-cha, and then tossed with Matcha powder to give its mellow flavor and bright green liquor. It leaves a lingering sweetness on your palate, and pairs wonderfully with sweets."

Twig teas have always interested me. There is so much focus on just the leaves of the tea bush that the stems often get neglected. I find that the stems have an equally interesting flavor profile as the buds and leaves. Originally used back when tea was extremely expensive to stretch tea and make it last longer (along with popped rice, like a genmaicha), it imparts a beautiful nuttiness and robustness to a cup of tea that I find endearing. The site recommended a 180F brewing temperature so I combined this with 1 teaspoon of kuki-cha. Here are the notes:

Steep 1: The color is neon green thanks to the matcha powder added. To be honest, this tea has the smell of good fried chicken and walnuts, which made my stomach rumble with anticipation. The brew itself is very nutty with a light sweetness that develops into a nice bitterness at the end. It is very dry, like a dry wine. It has a certain meaty/umami quality to it as well from the roasted twigs. The body is thin but pleasant.

This is a good cup. All of the flavor components come together, both expensive matcha and frugal twigs, to make a rather delightful cup of tea. I'd recommend it.

— To purchase Maeda-en Kuki-Cha Twig Tea With Matcha, or for more specific information on ingredients or the story behind this particular tea, click here to go directly to the manufacturer's web site.

Teaviews Member: Scott Scott
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