The finest Japanese tea variety is called gyokuro (roughly meaning jade dew!). In the final weeks before harvest, the bushes are shaded, either with a cloth, or a simple roof put up. To compensate for the lack of sunlight, the leaves turn dark green. The taste is richly green, with a hint of the sea.
We buy our Gyokuro Superior directly from a tea plantation in Uji, outside Kyoto, the cradle of Japanese tea culture. It is still said that gyokuro from Uji is considered the best. Your tea comes in a tightly sealed 100 gram bag. We store it in the fridge for maximum flavor. If you continue to store it in the fridge, make sure there is no condensation in the bag when you open it.
The taste is fresh, rich and sweet. Do not use water that is too hot, otherwise it can become bitter. However, we find that it can be a little warmer in winter, perhaps 80 degrees, and cooler in summer, around 60 degrees.
For an elegant pre-drink or New Year's drink, make a second brew in cold, carbonated water. The first brew with hot water is needed to draw out the flavor reasonably quickly. It won't be quite as bright green as in the photo - it's an effect of backlighting during photography.
From the 2023 harvest.
|Green tea from Japan
|4 grams(1½-2 tsp) / 2 dl
|1 minute the first time, slightly shorter the second time, then longer