Hanna Wood from Inori contacted me some time ago, her store has gyokuro and kabusecha from Uji.
She and her husband Michael source the teas from Mr. Hattori, a fifth generation tea farmer that makes top quality tea in limited quantities.
Tasting a small-batch gyokuro
One of the things that I like about Japanese tea is its umami flavor.
Gyokuro is especially high in such flavor. It’s quite easy to notice.
I inspected the appearance of the tea leaves first. They definitely looked good.
They were small, tightly rolled, had a dark tone and some luster. I didn’t see much broken bits of tea leaves.
I took a deep smell at the packet and felt a fresh and sweet aroma.
Inori recommends using 5 grams of gyokuro, one cup of water at 150 °F (65 °C), and a brewing time of 3 minutes.
I prefer gyokuro in a more concentrated manner, plus I must use a standard in order to make fair reviews.
Hence, I used 4 grams of leaves, about 20 ml (0.6 oz) of water at 60 °C (140 °F) and an infusion of 2 minutes.
The wet leaf aroma consisted mainly of seaweed with some sweetness.
Once brewed I obtained a yellow-green clear liquor.
Taste-wise, I found a strong umami flavor, no bitterness nor astringency, and a long aftertaste.
In conclusion, it’s a very good gyokuro.
I made some more infusions and enjoyed each one of them.
Inori is located in the US, and they take international orders as well.