– Tea: Gyokuro green tea from the Kurihara family tea farm.
– Sample provided by: Yunomi.us.
– Retail price: 5 grams for $3.25 / 100 grams for $55.
– Link to Kurihara Heritage Gyokuro Tea on Yunomi.us website.
When I opened the packet, the fresh smell of this tea made a powerful first impression. I was instantly overtaken by its smell of fresh cut grass. I dumped the packet onto a piece of paper and was in awe of the dark, rich green colour of the dry leaf. The tea leaves are predominantly long and slender – similar to blades of grass. And the freshness of the tea is apparent when you touch it, as the dry leaf is not dry and brittle.
Yunomi.us included a clear set of instructions about how to make the Gyokuro, which I recommend you follow. The instructions say to cool the water to 50C degrees and steep the tea for two minutes for the first infusion. This infusion resulted in an extremely pale liquor. For the second, third and fourth infusions, the instructions say to use water that is between 80 and 95C degrees and to steep the tea for 20 to 30 seconds. The second infusion produced a remarkable pale lime green liquor – a colour that I have never seen from a green tea. And the third and fourth infusions had a similar cup colour to the first, although slightly darker. Throughout the infusions, the tea kept its flavour. This tea is extremely smooth and revitalising, and it does not leave any unpleasant astringency lingering in your mouth. The flavour of this tea is very vegetal, and I would best describe it as having an unmistakable flavour of spinach.
After the final infusion, Yumomi.us suggests eating the tea leaves. I have eaten plenty of things made out of matcha but this was my first experience eating tea leaves. Like the tea liquor, the leaves had a wonder spinach flavour. Adding a bit of soy sauce turns the leaves into a light salad.
This Gyokuro is a very special tea. It is a tea that you should have plenty of time to make and savour. From getting the water temperature right for each infusion, to slowly sipping the liquor, to eating the leaves, it is a special tea experience. I cannot imagine any green tea drinkers not liking this tea, and I would highly recommend trying it today.
My review: 4.75/5