Kukicha Green Tea by Aiya America

Steeping specs: 3 g 1 cup 175° 1.5 minutes

This one was a tea that I could not find on the company’s website, so please forgive me if I don’t steep it according to the ideal specifications. I kind of guessed a bit and I hope I didn’t steep it too hot. It turned out pretty well with the steeping specs I tried, but who knows what would happen with different steeping specs? (I didn’t have a large enough sample to really experiment.)

As it steeps I’m catching buttery, seaweedy fragrances. After steeping, the liquid isn’t nearly as clear as I would’ve expected. It’s cloudy and has what look like tiny T specks throughout the liquid, similar to matcha specks (?) and much smaller than the type of tea specks that normally escape from my tea strainer. So I’m thinking maybe this is an intentional feature of this tea and not a bug. It doesn’t seem to detract from the drinking experience at all and does enhance the tea’s strength.

The flavor is rich and full, with vegetal savory notes, not bitter, and only a little astringent. And it’s very fragrant, but not really floral– it’s more on the grassy side. Its flavor is not just vegetal, but savory in a smooth and buttery kind of way which creates a cohesive flavor profile.

This seems to be quite a strong green tea with plenty of flavor, yet without any unpleasant bitterness. It goes well with sugar too, but seems to be a somewhat less immersive experience somehow once the sugar has been added. Also, I notice the seaweedy notes more once sugar has been added.

This tea is great for when you want a strong, unflavored and non-floral green tea that’s more on the savory side and yet has a very strong presence of its own without any bitterness. (If you don’t like the tiny specks floating around your tea, I would recommend using a very fine steeping mesh or strainer.)

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy:  Aiya 

Kukicha literally means “stem tea” and is made from different varieties of tea stems. Aiya’s Kukicha is a blend of stems from Gyokuro and Sencha. Most of Kukicha available in the market is made by stems from 100% Sencha, however, Aiya’s Kukicha is adding more than 50% of Gyokuro stems for more natural sweetness and rich aroma

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Matcha to Go from Aiya

Today I am reviewing Matcha to Go from Aiya!! When I first opened the stick-pack (easy to use, and perfect for while on the go), there was a very earthy scent. There was a scent that I couldn’t quite place, but after a while I realized that the scent reminded me of seaweed.

Once I stirred and let the tea cool for just a bit, that allowed the earthy matcha scent to become pleasantly strong.

To me the taste is a bit bitter and very much like the scent. However, I figured, from the dark green color, that this would be the case. I know that ceremonial matcha is different from my personal favorite (the kind filled with sugar, a thick latte), so I will try adding a bit of sugar to see if that will make a difference.

Once the sugar was added, that helped!! It’s more mellow, and the slight seaweed taste was no longer there. This tea is, what I would call, a ceremonial matcha (from my own experience) tea, bitter without sugar and more mellow with; it’s also much thinner than the thick latte kind. It’s healthier too. *wink* In fact, Matcha to Go won the Clean Choice – Clean Eating – Award in 2015!!

You can drink this tea hot or cold, so if you love a matcha smoothie, I think it’s worth a try.

It’s not a hot tea for me, though I am interested in trying some Matcha to Go in a smoothie!! If you prefer stronger flavors, healthier tea, some caffeine and a quick pour and stir or shake (I recommend doing so with quite a bit of speed, as I noticed I had some powder left in my tea), try Matcha to Go and let us know what you think!!

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Green/Matcha
Where to Buy: Aiya


All of Aiya’s Matcha is produced in the Nisho region of Aichi prefecture, Japan, where the finest Matcha has been grown for over 800 years.

Each box of Matcha to Go contains ten-4 gram single-serving sticks.

Ingredients: Ceremonial Grade Matcha Green Tea, Non-GMO Soluble Corn Fiber (Dietary Fiber)

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!