Friday, February 29, 2008

Den's Tea Kukicha

Kukicha, literally twig tea, also know by its stage name, Karigane, was my first Japanese tea and still one of my favorites. Technically it is a by-product tea, and sometimes looked down on or considered inferior because of this. All I have to say about that is "hmph."

This tea is from Shizuoka as well.

Kukicha tends to be flexible and forgiving, so play around with it and find the way that suits you best. I like 5.5-6 g. for about 210 ml starting at 180-ish for 60 s, 30 s, 45 s.

The aroma is sweet, but when put in the preheated kyusu it turns vegetal, thick.

The first infusion tastes like it smells, thick mouth-feel, vegetal, not astringent, moderately sweet, The second steep (pictured) the liquor turns cloudy and very green, soupy. There's a crispness. The tea is developing notes similar to Hibiki-an's gyokuro karigane. The third and final steep has a much lighter mouth-feel, and it mellows out.

Last week I had a perfect session with this tea, five amazing steeps. I have since been unable to reproduce the same results. Even so, I like this tea, ad it has potential to be great.

Kamikaze Girls
(Shimotsuma monogatari)

This movie is a story about the unlikely friendship between two girls, Momoko, a "lolita" and Ichiko, a "yanki" (yakuza wannabe). It has a lot of heart, style, and humor, but most important, it also has a decent bit of head-butting. Its so...visceral. When ninety-pound girls head-butt each other, everyone wins.

The DVD includes a special feature that provides cultural tidbits concerning the film as you watch it. Last night I learned about pachinko (a cross between pinball and slot machines), where to do the best shopping in Tokyo (Daikanyama), and the difference between a "baby lolita" and a "goth-lolita" (it has to do with colors and quantities of lace).

If you get a chance, its worth the two hours of your life.


Cap & Kettle said...

Nice report on a tea I otherwise, usually detest. And not because of it's humble origins. Also, glad to see that new piece from Japan getting some use. Third photo is MARVELOUS. How did you do that?

Space Samurai said...

Thanks Garrett.

How did I do that? Sweet, merciful, serendipitous luck.

Steven Dodd said...

Mmmm goth lolita... wait, what? Oh, nice tea.

buy upc said...

That new piece from Japan getting some use really awesome. Karigane was my first Japanese tea. I like to drink this tea. I impressed by that.