What is Karigane?
Karigane green tea is a type of stem tea made from shaded tea plants, like those use to produce matcha and gyokuro. Because the tea plants are shaded, karigane takes on a darker green color and a sweeter flavor compared to a normal kukicha stem tea.
Our Karigane is exclusively sourced from small farmers in Japan
After traveling around Japan for the past few years, we’ve had the great opportunity to meet with dozens of farmers and sample hundreds of different green teas. It was only recently that we were introduced to the concept of cold brewed karigane green tea. Mr. Sakamoto served a few glasses to us and we were hooked right away! We knew this karigane green tea was something we needed to share with as many people as possible and we are proud to work with a farmer like Mr. Sakamoto who is not afraid to try new things.
Our Karigane is 100% organically grown and pesticide free
When we visited the legendary karigane and gyokuro farmer Mr. Sakamoto, he demonstrated to us how soft the soil on the tea fields was by driving a large bamboo pole into the ground, with very little resistance. He says that this is because there are no pesticides used on the tea fields, so the earthworms and small insects are able to move around the soil and loosen it up. This not only leads to a more balanced ecosystem, but also more flavorful tea as the roots are able to penetrate deeper into the ground and absorb more nutrients.
Karigane flavor profile
The flavor of karigane green tea is somewhere in between a kukicha and a gyokuro. While gyokuro plays on these powerful savory notes, the karigane is much more mild and nuanced, allowing you to drink more of it throughout the day without getting tired of it. Compared to kukicha tea, it does have a more fruity, floral and sweet flavor profile, which many prefer.
History of Karigane
The name Karigane means “wild goose” in Japanese. The reason for this is that when the wild geese are migrating over the ocean, they can sometimes stop for a rest on driftwood. When you brew karigane green tea in warm water, the stems of the tea rise to the surface, which could accommodate any wild geese that may want to stop for a rest!
Karigane brewing instruction
to brew karigane tea, you can follow a few short stems. We prefer to prepare this tea in a similar way to gyokuro, but with a shorter brewing time. The reason for this is that some gyokuro leaves are included in the karigane, and it is important to brew those at a lower temperature to extract the sweetness.
Add 5 grams of karigane green tea to your kyusu teapot
Pour in 150ml of water at a temperature of around 140 degrees fahrenheit
Let the karigane sit undisturbed for 1 minute and watch the stems float to the surface
Pour out your karigane green tea and allow the built in sifter to filter out the leaves
Karigane is made from the leaves and stems of shaded tea plants, like those used to make gyokuro, matcha and kabusecha. This particular karigane was made from gyokuro tea plants. Mr. Sakamoto normally focuses his production on the leaves of the tea plants to make his famous gyokuro tea, but he has also noticed in recent years that the stems of the tea plant also produce a great tasting tea. He has meticulously crafted and blended different ratios of stems and leaves from different tea plants to creat the Gyokuro Karigane, a well balanced tea with a fruity sweetness and a light floral or straw note.
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Teas and Teaware
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While returns are very rare at Nio, they occasionally do occur. We want everyone to be satisfied with the tea they get, so we would prefer to offer a replacement tea rather than leave someone with a tea they don’t like. Please be sure to reach out to us and we can solve whatever issues you might have with the tea you ordered.