Senbird Tea is a new Japanese tea company that imports tea and then ships it from New York.
I’m excited about this tea because it’s been a while since I reviewed a gyokuro.
Kotobuki gyokuro comes from Asahina, Shizuoka prefecture. It’s made by tea farmer Yamamoto.
Gyokuro tea tasting
The leaf aroma is sweet, but what stands out is its freshness.
While the tea leaves have a good appearance, I noticed small white dots in them.
I had no idea what it could be, so I asked my friend Ikeya Kayoko. In turn, she asked the master tea blender Maeda Fumio.
His response was that it must be due to caffeine. He has seen such white powder in the drying process, but it should not affect the taste.
There’s always something new to learn about tea. Very well, on with the tasting.
I prepared it in a standard way: a teaspoon of tea for 20 ml (0.6 oz) of water at 60 ºC (140 ºF), with an infusion time of two minutes.
Let’s see what the wet leaves smell like.
Slightly marine, with vegetal notes. It feels sweet too.
The liquor is yellow green.
I used a shiboridashi teapot, which doesn’t filter out small bits of leaves. That’s why you can see some of them inside the cup.
Its flavor does not disappoint. An intense umami taste, with good sweetness and lingering freshness in the mouth.
Just what I hoped it would be like.
The second infusion with the same parameters turned out very good.
A green liquor with plenty of umami taste, although not as much as the first infusion.
I did the same for the third infusion. This time it tasted like a good quality sencha.
How about a fourth infusion? It has a lighter flavor, with some astringency but it’s okay.
For the final infusion I just used boiling water for five seconds to see if it still has some flavor left.
It did. I think that it tasted like a bancha.
In conclusion, it’s a high quality gyokuro.
I’ll be drinking its this month before it loses its freshness.