Winter Favourite: Kuzuyu

February 12th, 2013By Category: Food & Dining

I recently was acquainted with a sweet (both literally and figuratively) Japanese beverage called kuzuyu. The first thing I exclaimed after a few sips was, “how did I not know about this for the whole time I’ve been in Japan?!”

Guess I’ve been living under a rock, as maybe other people are familiar with kuzuyu, but I wasn’t- and if you aren’t either, please try! It looks like a thick, stick green tea, but it’s not actually green tea despite the shade (and the one I tasted was green tea flavoured).

Kuzu is arrowroot (a starch), and yu is hot water. Thanks to the starch, the consistency is very thick and honey-like, and viscous. The taste is rather sweet, a bit like honey. To be fair, it doesn’t look all that great, but it tastes heavenly. There are other flavours available, such as ginger, which is a bit spicier.

Kuzuyu is traditionally served as a hot drink or dessert in the winter, and consumed when people have colds and such. I’m always cold in the winter (and most other months except August!), so sipping on hot beverages keeps me toasty during those times. I love kuzuyu!

Here’s the kanji if you want to find it at the supermarket: 葛湯


Don’t be fooled by the looks…

Author of this article

Vivian Morelli

Vivian Morelli hails from Canada and is a journalist based in Tokyo, where she writes about culture, fashion, food and music. You can read her Japan musings at

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