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77
drank Gyokuro Imperial by Teavana
64 tasting notes

This tea has a really great taste to it, full of thick, vegetal, kelpy goodness. The first steep is always exploding with robust green flavors and smooth, sweet aromas whether it’s steeped Western or gong fu style. However, if you’re looking for a tea with resonance, and great flavor throughout steeps, it’s certainly not this one. With four grams of leaf in a small gaiwan, and the first two steeps 3 seconds and 6 seconds respectively, the next steeps always seem to be uncannily weak, even when the time is increased significantly. A great deal of the interesting flavors and aromas giving this tea such a great profile at first simply disappear and leave you wondering whether you imagined the flavors previously, leaving the taste simple, watery, and boring. However, if you brew this gyokuro Western style with a shorter first steep, you can get a respectable and tasty second infusion.

The liquor’s flavor is sweet, very kelpy, buttery, and quite vegetal, giving off aromas of steamed veggies and freshly mowed grass. The mouthfeel of this tea is extremely smooth, and oh so thick—almost milk-like. It somewhat reminds me of a Jin Xuan oolong, only with a much deeper “green” flavor and far more astringency. I sometimes catch a subtle whisp of smoky flavors that seem to drift in during the second steep that adds character and further complexity. Yet, while full and rich, the flavor is fleeting. It only lasts for the remainder of the sip before fading quickly and leaving barely a hint of an aftertaste. While incredibly subtle, the aftertaste is almost exactly like the aroma of the dry leaf, which is awesome and intoxicating: herbaceous, very sweet, kelpy, and powerfully “green.”

Finally, I absolutely love the leaves of this tea. They truly are a beautiful shade of deep, vibrant green.

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 1 min, 15 sec

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Bio

I’m fanatic about all things tea-related. Lately, I’ve been fascinated with Wuyi yancha, aged Taiwanese oolongs, and sheng pu’ercha. Nearly all of my sessions as of late are performed gong fu, with pu’er tastings comprising probably eighty percent of them. My collection of pu’ercha is small, but growing steadily. Much of the specimens I drink daily are various samples, although I dig into a cake every so often.

I love trying new teas and I am always learning all I can about the world of tea. Hence, I spend a majority of the time I devote to tea either drinking, writing notes in my journal, or reading. But mostly drinking, as I think it should be. Since I have handwritten logs of everything I drink, I cannot usually find the extra time to log my notes here, and unfortunately my online log is underrepresented.

When drinking, I look for a tea that presents a unique experience, something that involves every sense and provides intrigue in every aspect throughout steeps. I search for teas with balanced complexity and something that makes me keep reaching for my cup. I yearn to find all the positives a tea possesses and every subtle nuance hiding among the leaves. I try to be detailed in my notes and deliver a more comprehensive view of the tea, paying attention to things other than simply flavors and qualitative aspects of aroma, such as the form of the liquor and its development in the mouth. Things like this are much easier to compare between teas, as I find them to be more consistent between sessions, and also make distinctions between a good and mediocre tea easier to make.

Teaware
Adagio UtiliTEA electric kettle.
For gong fu, a 100 mL porcelain gaiwan and a 100mL Yixing di cao qing xi shi pot dedicated to mostly young sheng pu’er.
I drink all green teas in small (maybe 450mL) glass tumblers in the traditional style, with off-boiling water.

Location

Fort Myers, Florida

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