Kukicha means "stem tea" in Japanese (茎茶) and is made from the young stems and stalks of the tea plant. Once the harvested leaves are steamed and processed, the stems are separated and dried. This tea embodies the idea of no waste in Japanese Zen Buddhism, using the whole tea leaf with nothing thrown away. Leaving the stems in provides Kukicha with a lot of nutrition, along with a refreshing, grassy flavor without a lot of bitterness. It's also naturally low in caffeine, which is found mostly in the actual leaves and buds, making it another excellent choice tea for any time of day.