Kelp tea

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Kelp tea
Oo-buku-cha, a type of Japanese kelp tea, drunk in New Year.
TypeHerbal tea
Kelp tea
Chinese name
Simplified Chinese海带茶
Traditional Chinese海帶茶
Korean name
Japanese name

Kelp tea is a tea made from kelp.It is called konbu-cha[1] or kobu-cha[2] (昆布茶, meaning "Kombu-tea") in Japan, haidai-cha (海带茶) in China and dasima-cha (다시마차) in Korea.



In Japan, konbu-cha or kobu-cha is kelp tea made by pouring boiling water into chopped edible kelp (kombu) and leaching or pouring hot water into powdered kelp.[2]

Kelp tea for fortune[edit]

The tea served on New Year's Day and at weddings is sometime kelp tea[2] because the pronunciation of kombu is similar to that of the last part of "yorokobu" (喜ぶ, meaning "be happy").[2]

Fuku-cha(福茶, meaning "fortune tea") is sencha green tea with kelp, umeboshi, kuromame (black beans), and sanshō and is drunk on the last day of the year (Ōmisoka), in New Year, and on the day before the beginning of spring (Setsubun) in Kansai region,[3] wishing a long life.[3]

In particular, in New Year, oo-buku-cha or dai-buku-cha (大福茶, meaning "very good fortune tea"), which is sencha green tea with kelp and umeboshi,[4] is drunk in Kansai region[4] wishing good health and happiness.[4]

Instant kelp tea[edit]

Powdery kelp tea is sold as an instant tea under the name of konbu-cha[1] or kobu-cha[2]. It is made by drying kelp to a fine powder and blending it with seasonings such as salt and sugar[2]. It's simply dissolved in hot water and enjoyed as a tea. Note that this type of konbu-cha does not contain any true tea (Camellia sinensis).[5][6][7]

The powdery kelp tea was invented by the founder of GYOKUROEN "Umazou Fujita" in 1918.[1]

Ume-konbu-cha[1] or ume-Kobu-cha,[8] which is powdery kelp tea added freeze-dried crushed umeboshi, is also sold as an instant tea[1] and is drunk as a tea in the same fashion.


Kelp tea is thought to have been drunk from quite a long time ago[2] because "the Japanese have incorporated kelp and seaweed into their diets for 1,500 years".[2][9]

It is said that, in 951, Kūya made a statue of the Ekādaśamukha to cure an epidemic that was spreading in the capital and went around the city giving oo-buku-cha to the sick.[4]

Tea using kelp already existed in Edo period (1603-1868) at the latest,[1] and people in these days drank it by pouring boiling water over chopped kelp.[1]


Either dried kelp powder or julienned kelp can be used to make the tea.[10]

Powdered tea can be made by pan-frying and pounding cleaned and dried kelp.[11] For a cup of hot water, two to three spoons of kelp powder is used.[11] Optionally, sugar or honey can be added.[11]

Alternatively, around 30 grams (1.1 oz) of cleaned kelp pieces are infused in 300–500 millilitres (11–18 imp fl oz; 10–17 US fl oz) of hot water.[12] The kelp slices are removed after infusing, and salt is added to taste.[12]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "The founder of instant beverage originating from the experience of an apothecary". GYOKUROEN. Retrieved 14 May 2024.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "昆布茶(コブチャ)とは? 意味や使い方" [What is "kelp tea"? - meaning and usage]. Kotobank (in Japanese). Retrieved 14 May 2024.
  3. ^ a b "福茶(フクチャ)とは? 意味や使い方" [What is "fuku-cha"? - meaning and usage]. kotobank (in Japanese). Retrieved 15 May 2024.
  4. ^ a b c d "大服茶(オオブクチャ)とは? 意味や使い方" [What is "oo-buku-cha"? - meaning and usage]. kotobank (in Japanese). Retrieved 14 May 2024.
  5. ^ "こんぶ茶 カルシウム入り(顆粒)". Retrieved 14 May 2024.
  6. ^ "不二の昆布茶1kg". 不二食品株式会社. Retrieved 14 May 2024.
  7. ^ "こんぶ茶 70g | 商品情報". 伊藤園 商品情報サイト (in Japanese). Retrieved 14 May 2024.
  8. ^ "梅こぶ茶 – 京昆布舗 田なか". Retrieved 14 May 2024.
  9. ^ Wurges, Jennifer; Frey, Rebecca. "Kelp". Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine. The Gale Group, Inc. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  10. ^ "Dasima-cha" 다시마차. Standard Korean Language Dictionary (in Korean). National Institute of Korean Language. Archived from the original on 23 August 2018. Retrieved 24 July 2017.
  11. ^ a b c 정, 동효; 윤, 백현; 이, 영희, eds. (2012). "다시마차의 건강기능 효과". Cha saenghwal munhwa daejeon 차생활문화대전 (in Korean). Seoul: Hongikjae. ISBN 9788971433515. Retrieved 24 July 2017 – via Naver.
  12. ^ a b "Dasima-cha" 다시마차. Doopedia (in Korean). Doosan Corporation. Retrieved 24 July 2017.