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Tea leaves undergo a series steaming, kneading, rolling and drying within hours of being harvested, thus retaining the essence and vitality contained within. At this point, the craftsman has a created Aracha, or farmer's tea. This aracha is then sifted and sorted in order to separate the premium leaf from other plant parts, such as twigs, lower grade leaf and stems.
Although traditionally considered as peasant tea, hojicha, kukicha, bancha and genmaicha have evolved and developed into teas full of character and as equally enjoyable as sencha.
Kukicha is primarily made from leaf stems, fine twigs and leaf fragments. It is naturally sweet, slightly floral and very low in caffeine.
Hojicha varies in its makeup but it can generally be considered to be a roasted version of kukicha. Its taste is of toasted grain or nuts with a mild sweetness. Also low in caffeine.
Genmaicha was originally made as a way to improve the taste and bulk up lower grade second or third harvest sencha. It is the green tea most often served in sushi restaurants.
Total net weight 30 grams. (10g of each)
Kukicha Organic is favoured in macrobiotic diets for it's alkalizing and pH balancing effects, and is naturally low in caffeine, making it ideal for evening tea or those with caffeine sensitivity. The taste is of high floral and light marine notes and a lasting sweetness in the mouth. This kukicha can be steeped several times, making it a very economical daily tea.
Hojicha Kiriyama brews up a bright amber liquor and a warming, sweet grain aroma reminiscent of breakfast cereal. Matsumoto-san's skill is evident with the consisting processing of this 100% Yabukita from the first harvest, or Ichibancha, in May. It consists of a fine balance of stems for sweetness and leaf fragments for slight astringency and then lightly toasted for a nutty finish.
Genmaicha Organic is harvested in early summer, following the vibrant growth of spring. Flavours of popped corn and pistachios, from the toasted rice kernels, combined with the gentle sweetness of bancha makes for a comforting everyday tea, especially during the winter months. Being a second harvest tea makes it a good choice for those who want a tea with less caffeine.