It’s not everyday that I get to drink gyokuro, so I was very excited about this review!
I used my houhin (a Japanese teapot often used for gyokuro), yuzamashi (cooling vessel) and matching cup (guinomi). Gyokuro is brewed with very little water, so it’s best if you use a small cup.
The leaves have an intense green color, and are all nicely rolled into fine, shiny needles. It’s a feast to the eyes.
You should try comparing it yourself if you get the chance.
Let’s brew it
I used 4 grams of tea, 20 ml of water at 50 °C (122 °F) and brewed for 2 minutes. It’s pretty much the standard way to brew this type of Japanese green tea.
Smelling the cup I notice notes of baby spinach, seaweed and sweetness. Definitely a gyokuro.
Now for the tasting, I have to concentrate. It’s such a small amount in the tiny cup, that I can only try it a few times 🙂
The baby spinach is there, along with a buttery flavor. It has good body, you can feel a “thickness” and there’s very little astringency. I couldn’t detect any bitterness.
To sum it up, it was excellent.
Can’t stop here with gyokuro
For a delicacy such as gyokuro, re-steeping is a must.
I did four infusions, each using the same temperature and increasing the steeping time a bit (no more than 30 extra seconds). The results are as follows:
- 2nd infusion: Very similar to the first. Intensity of flavor didn’t really drop. Great cup of tea.
- 3rd infusion: There’s still a good color of the liquid. However, the characteristic gyokuro taste is absent. A slight bitterness also appearead, but still a good cup of tea.
- 4rth infusion: Lighter flavor than the 3rd and a bit more bitter, but still enjoyable. I’d say that it’s like a good cup of sencha.
It was fun to make all the infusions, and I give this gyokuro a high rating.