Saturday, September 19, 2009

Spiced Kukicha Iced Tea--A Healthy "Simple Saturday Sipper" for Fall

This week's "Simple Saturday Sipper" a Spiced Kukicha Tea, comes from Clean Food by Terry Walter, a cookbook I recently purchased, (you can read more about the book here). It is made from kukicha or "twig" tree, a Japanese tea blend made of the twigs, stalks and stems of green tea and slow-roasted repeatedly, giving it a nutty, slightly "roasty" flavor. It is considered to have a lot of antioxidants and be a very healthy, balancing tea. In this recipe it is brewed, mixed with cinnamon and fruit juices and chilled. Since the weather has been a bit warm and humid the last few days, it is a nice way to have the flavors of fall in a cool iced tea.

Walters says, "Kukicha tea is highly regarded for its medicinal properties. It is alkalinizing and strengthening to the body and be consumed daily. It also has almost no caffeine, supports healthy digestion and can be helpful in treating heart disease and fatigue. Kukicha is even safe for children. You can drink it straight or with a dash of lemon juice and agave nectar, but this recipe gives you a way to create a medicine you'll love to take. Choose any combination of fruit juices to make it your own." 

Spiced Kukicha Iced Tea
Clean Food, Terry Walters
(Makes 7 cups)

4 cups water
4 1-ounce kukicha tea bags
1 cinnamon stick
3/4 cup orange juice (preferably freshly squeezed)
2 cups apple cider
1 cup pomegranate juice
fresh sprigs of mint or lemon balm for garnish

Bring water to a boil and remove from heat. Add tea bags and cinnamon stick and steep 10 minutes. With slotted spoon, remove and discard cinnamon stick and tea bags. Stir in remaining juices and refrigerate to chill. Serve with sprigs of fresh mint or lemon balm. 

Note: Boxes of kukicha tea bags can be found at many natural foods stores. 

Notes/Results: Cold and refreshing, not too sweet and nicely fruity. With similar flavor to a mulled cider, this tea blend is the perfect drink to welcome the autumn season and is a great healthy beverage alternative to sugary drinks (provided you are using natural fruit juices of course). I will make this again, maybe switching around some of the juices--I think pineapple juice would be a nice addition. 

Hope you are enjoying your weekend!


  1. This is definitely a beautiful sipper to welcome Autumn! Sounds wonderful :)

  2. A cider-y drink is perfect now that we are safely into September. I second the pineapple juice. So good!

  3. I love how this drink uses natural fruit juices, it sounds delicious!

    I haven't heard of this tea, where would you find it to purchase?

  4. So pretty! I love the pomegranate juice in there too.
    I woke up to frost this morning, but the afternoon wasn't too bad. The writing is on the wall though, winter is coming.
    I had better have as many of these drinks before the snow flies!

  5. absolutely beautiful and refreshing looking. Would be great out by the pool these last few days before the heat is gone.

  6. This looks delicious with the juices in it! So refreshing and healthy.

  7. Your tea has beautiful color. I'd like a cup right now. It looks so refreshing.

  8. This looks great, and i serve a lot of the health food store I go...Thanks, great site

  9. the weather is so warm here, I think I could use a cup or two of this!


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