Master Hideyuki Kumagai
This shaded kukicha is reminiscent of velvety-smooth edamame with a noticeably rich creaminess. Kukicha is stem tea, meaning the main component is stems instead of leaves. Kanae’s highest quality stems are known as karigane in most regions in Japan but in the Kyushu dialect, they are revered as shiraore. Master Kumagai chooses exceptional quality kabusecha stems through a critical selection process to provide incredible flavour and depth. Stems have less caffeine than leaves, so there is no trace of bitterness. Ordinary kukicha contains by-product stems and is fired in the finishing stage to hide the lower quality. This sets Kumagai’s shiraore apart and creates this dazzling tea. Delight in the stems floating on top while the few leaves it contains, unfurl below as you steep this magical brew.
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