How to Make Kaga Boucha at Home

Have you tried kaga boucha before?

It’s basically roasted kukicha and it’s named after Kaga city in Ishikawa prefecture. Other names for it are houjikukicha (焙じ茎茶) and kukihoujicha (茎焙じ茶).

While not a common type of Japanese green tea, it’s definitely worth a try.

However, it’s not easy to find. That’s why I decided to try roasting my own kaga boucha.

kukicha in a panRoasting kukicha in the kitchen

The easiest way to do this is by roasting in a pan. It’s the same method as for roasting your own houjicha.

The idea is to use low or medium heat and watch carefully. It’s easy to burn your tea, and then you’ll have to start over!

Just heat the pan and that’s it! Don’t add oil or anything else. It’ll ruin the taste.

Moving the kukichaI used a small amount of kukicha (since it was my first time) and a little less than medium heat.

The kukicha was moved frequently with a wooden spoon to avoid burning. You can also move the pan itself if you like.

After a few minutes you’ll begin to see a faint smoke. This roasted aroma is quite pleasant.

Roasted kukichaNow you just have to keep roasting until you reach the desired color, which is a reddish brown. Again, be careful as soon as you get here because from there on it’s easy to burn your tea.

If you look close enough you’ll notice that the kukicha I used also had some tea leaves in it, that’s sometimes the case. It’s ok, you’ll roast the leaves too 🙂


Brewing kaga boucha

How to make kaga bouchaThis picture shows the finished product. It really does look like commercial kaga boucha. If you reach this step, congratulations! You should be proud of yourself.

The way to brew it is the same as for houjicha. Use a teaspoon of tea and 120 ml (4 oz) of boiling water. Brew for 30 seconds.

I brewed a cup for myself, it had a nice amber color. The roasted aroma was wonderful.

The taste is close to houjicha, perhaps sweeter?

I really enjoyed it, I guess it must have something to do with finding it different from houjicha (I roast my own houjicha every once in a while).

If you liked this post, share it on social media! I’d like to see more people roasting their own kaga boucha 🙂

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