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Other namesStalk tea, stick tea, twig tea

Quick descriptionPopular in Japan, taste between that of gyokuro and sencha, with a light flavour and a fresh green aroma

Temperature80 °C (176 °F)
Time40 sec to 1 min

Kukicha (茎茶), or twig tea, also known as bōcha (棒茶), is a Japanese blend made of stems, stalks, and twigs. It is available as a green tea or in more oxidised processing. Kukicha has a unique flavour and aroma among teas, due to its being composed of parts of the tea plant that are excluded from most other teas.[1]

Regular kukicha material comes from production of sencha or matcha. When coming from gyokuro's production, it takes the name karigane (雁ヶ音 / かりがね) or shiraore (白折 / しらおれ).[2]

Kukicha has a mildly nutty and slightly creamy sweet flavour. It is made of four sorts of stems, stalks, and twigs of Camellia sinensis. For best results, kukicha is steeped in water between 70 and 80 °C (158 and 176 °F). Green varieties are best steeped for less than one minute (oversteeping or steeping too hot, as with all green teas, results in a bitter, unsavoury brew).[3][4]

It is common to steep kukicha for three or four infusions.

Kukicha is one of the preferred teas of the macrobiotic diet.[5]


  1. ^ "Kukicha". Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  2. ^ "Karigane Usugasum (s Matchou)". Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  3. ^ "Adagio Teas". Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  4. ^ "My Japanese Green Tea". Retrieved 2016-02-23.
  5. ^ Ferre, Carl. "What is Macrobiotics?". George Ohsawa Macrobiotic Foundation.