This Gyokuro is hand picked from just outside Uji. This area of central Japan is known to make the best shade-grown Gyokuro. The delicate processing produces a very rare and very rich taste that might be most enjoyed by brewing the tea in cooler water than normal (155 degrees) for three minutes. This method of brewing can be a great way to enhance the tea's inherent sweetness and body.
Click to view Mike's Tea Ratings
Most Gyokuo is grown in Uji, half an hour south the former Imperial capital of Kyoto. To service the demands of the Emperor and other members of the aristocracy, there were large tea fields and many tea factories built around Kyoto. It was in the twilight of the Edo era that shade grown teas were commercialized. Tsuyoshi's family has made and sold tea to the Emperor and his associates since the 1660's, so he knows something about tea. That is why we are pleased to offer this extra special (and expensive) tea.
These leaves are emerald green shiny spindles. This comes from the extra attention taken while making this tea. The dark green comes from the fact that tea grown in increasing shade, so the plant compensates by making extra chlorophyll. The spindles are shiny because they are processed in hot machines that straighten out the leaves, which are then buffed by the heat.
A lovely pale green, caused by the extra chlorophyll.
Very spinachy and seaweedy, dark and decidely vegetal, with none of the lemon sheen of Sencha.
Overall it is medium bodied, however, it is much fuller bodied (coats your mouth) than other green teas. This is because of the final weeks spent in shade, which increases the amino acids that create body.
The lush green flavor of the freshest steamed spinach, the cooked flavor of lightly toasted walnuts and a very slight note of sulfur. Filling and sustaining.