Yuzu Kukicha is a loose twig Japanese green tea (kukicha) flavored with yuzu and matcha. I got Yuzu Kukicha from Den’s Tea, an online tea seller of Japanese Green teas.
In case you were wondering, Yuzu is an aromatic tart citrus fruit which kinda looks like a grapefruit/lemon.
DRY LEAF: Zesty, fresh citrus scent – kind of a mix of grapefruit and lime to me. Close up, the leaves for Yuzu Kukicha are very pretty – love the yuzu bits and the dusting of matcha.
Oooh, very pretty looking tea!
STEEPED: Okay – I strictly followed the steeping instructions here – I did 180F for 1 minute, then a resteep of 15 seconds. Don’t do boiling water!
The cup comes out an interesting green yellow. Yuzu Kukicha in a cup reminds me of some new green yellow grass peeking out of the snow.
TASTE: Yuzu Kukicha has a mellowy sweet green tea flavor, slightly vegetal like a snow pea. My mouth is filled with that mellow green, with the end of sip perking up to an interesting citrus flavor, which doesn’t linger very long after my sip. There is also a matcha flavor that tastes nice and fresh adding extra flavor. This tea is not tart, however distinctly citrus. There is no bitterness.
RESTEEP: a 15 second resteep? Pretty fast, eh? The resteep looks a little more yellow and lighter.
The yuzu flavor moved throughout the sip this time with that signature zip at the end. The green tea is much light here. Little bit of tart as an aftertaste – very minimal, 2/10 on the Tart-o-meter. The tartness tastes natural, like I nibbled on a chunk of citrus.
COMMENTS: I’ve had yuzu in ponzu sauce mostly and some Japanese items, and I never had Kukicha before. I love the mild sweetness and mellow, but more so that citrus zip at the end. The yuzu in this is like “Hey, enjoy me too!” at the end of my cup. The resteep is good, however first steeping was my favourite.
I think this tea sweetened and iced would be very tasty!
If you like lemon teas, this would be a fun switch up. I know a number of people who like lemon teas, but not lemongrass, which is often tossed in – Yuku Kukicha lacks lemongrass, but still has full citrus flavor.
FYI, Yuzu Kukicha is a seasonal exclusive tea – so I’d snag this one now or put it on your list for next winter.