Of the four Light of Day Organics teas that I brought home during this last trip, I believe I chose Kuki-cha Twig Tea both because it was packaged as limited edition, as well as the fact that it’s, well, Kukicha. Kukicha is made from the stalk of the tea leaf, rather than the leaf itself. In this way, to some extent, I can get a better sense of the quality of the plant overall. Theoretically, if the kukicha is as healthy and robust as the leaves from the same harvest, one can rest assured (whatever that means).
Sadly, Kukicha doesn’t have nearly as much aroma as its leafy counterpart. Oftentimes it just smells like dirt. In the case of Light of Day Organic’s Kuki-cha Twig Tea, it smells like fresh java or the work area of a coffee house (at least in my limited barista experience). What it does have is flavor. Kukicha is toasted using a similar method to a Houjicha or a Genmaicha. I’ve always liked Kukicha in that by not discarding all the tea stalks, the farmer is using a more holistic approach.
Kuki-cha Twig Tea has both flavor and texture (as well as a decent liquor coloration). Compared to other Kukichas, Light of Day Organic’s is lighter and brisker, but not necessarily thinner. The wheat-like biscuity toasted malt warmth of its flavor balances well against a full-tingly grit texture (that managed to survive the filter on my TeaVana Perfect T-maker which usually holds back all the grit). Since it’s limited ed., I can’t say how long it’ll be available, but so far among Light of Day Organics teas, Kuki-cha Twig Tea is my favorite. My best guess is, once I’ve completed their Tea 101 course this Saturday, I’ll have a new favorite to offer.
- Aroma – 90
- Taste – 91
- Texture – 92
- Spunk – 94
- Price – 96 ($30 for 2 ounces)
- Availability – 99 (limited ed., only grown in one place in North America…)
- Appearance – 93
Mean score – 94%! Very impressive for a tea grown in Michigan. ;)