REVIEW: Kurihara Heritage Gyokuro Tea

Kurihara 2 use

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.

My comments:
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.

IMG_5475
Second steeping

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Third steeping

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Leaves after fourth steeping

My review: 4.75/5

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About teaxplorer

I grew up in the Midwest of the US and was introduced to tea at a very young age - unsweetened iced tea, that is! It was not until my early 20s, when I was seeking a lighter alternative to coffee, that I took tea drinking to a new level. I still remember my mother suggesting that I try putting milk in a cup of black tea (something that actually sounded a bit repulsive at the time, but I gave it a go). I quickly became tired of supermarket tea and started ordering teas from shops and companies all over the US. Throughout my 20s and now into my early 30s, pursuits in higher education studies, work opportunities and marriage have given me opportunities to live in the UK, Canada and Germany and travel around the world, which has sparked an even greater interest in tea and the culture of tea. This blog is my outlet to discuss my love of tea and show off some of my photos. All images and opinions on this blog are my own, unless stated otherwise. I retain copyright on all photographs, but please do not hesitate to contact me at teaxplorer@gmail.com if you wish to reproduce any of my images. Likewise, if you would like me to review and photograph any teas for you, please get in touch. I would be happy to hear from you. Thank you for stopping by my blog, and I hope you return many times! Happy drinking! Drew B (@teaxplorer)
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