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Today we are experiencing something beautiful, a blend of emerald and jade colored leaves, Karigane (Gyokuro Kukicha). This very pretty tea is made from the stems and stalks of Gyokuro, the famed Jade Dew Japanese Green tea. For those who do not know, Kukicha is usually made from the stalks and stems of Sencha, and Gyokuro is thought of as one of the finest Japanese teas and it is certainly one of the priciest. I have never tried Gyokuro (I do have some on the way from Japan, exciting!) so I was excited to dip my…you know, foot doesn’t really work in this analogy, so tongue into this pool of tea. The aroma of this exceptionally visually pleasing tea is very sweet for a green tea and delightfully vegetal. The vegetal notes are that of artichoke, a touch of chestnut, and a mild underlying hint of kelp. I really love how mild the aroma of this tea is.

Time to officially break in the new pot! The leaves take on a hint of lime that mixes with notes of woodsy and herbaceous. It smells like stems! Picking up the aroma of stems and knowing, I am smelling stems, really put a smile on my face. I also detects notes of the beloved umami, which is exciting. The liquid once the leaves have been removed (or, once I have poured it out of my Kyusu) has a mixture of sweet vegetal and umami. I am not going to lie, the aroma of the infused leaves is making me salivate.

The first thing I notice is umami goodness, I love that aspect of certain green teas, the savory umami taste is delicious and reminds me of eating certain seaweeds. There are also notes of chestnut that give the tea a bit of sweetness. As the tea cools the gentle sweetness becomes significantly sweeter and it masks the umami. The texture becomes almost creamy and it makes my mouth feel alive (juices like wine, I’m on the hunt I’m after you…sorry, 80s moment) I am amazed at how complex the flavor is for a tea that is so pale, more proof that looks can be deceiving when it comes to teas. I certainly cannot wait to try Gyokuro now.

For blog post and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2013/10/dens-tea-karigane-gyokuro-kukicha-tea.html

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My Rating Guide, This is a personal rating and not necessarily a reflection of the tea’s quality
100-Must have on hand, it is one of my favorite teas
85-99-Really good teas, like exquisitely good
65-84-Not bad, they can be good but generic, or just teas that I found enjoyably ok.
40-64-Not a favorite, but not terrible. I would drink it if it was in front of me but I doubt I would seek it out on my own.
20-40-Not the best tea ever, either it was not to my liking or it was really bland. Chances are I would turn this one down unless I was really thirsty.
0-19-No, just no. Either there was something wrong with this tea or it was utterly undrinkable by me.

I am a nerdy, obsessive, crafty, tea blogging, gaming nut. Yeah, that about sums me up! Ok, you want something more informative….

I am a Geek, hardcore fan-girl Geek. It shapes my life. I spend a lot of time making things out of perler beads and I bet you can guess what inspires them. Other than the obsessive pixelizing of things I spend a large portion of my time doing origami (especially Lucky Stars and modular geometric designs) it is an equal obsession. I hoard dice, get obsessed with games, and will talk about whatever fandom, game, etc that I am obsessed over until I am blue in the face. I am not just a gamer girl type Geek, I also fit in the collecting knowledge and spending way too much time reading, category of Geek.

But there is more to me than just being a giant nerd. I love tea, always have and have just gotten more and more obsessed as I get older. I love trying new teas and then writing lengthy descriptions about them on my blog, I love reading and researching the history and culture of tea, I love collecting tea pots and fancy tea tools.

When the weather allows it, I love to go mushroom hunting. I don’t eat them, instead I use them for photography and spore prints. It is my dream to one day become a Mycologist studying slime molds.

I have Fibromyalgia, it sucks, but I feel people who are going to interact with me should know since I tend to vanish because of it. So fair warning!!

I also have cats, love the ocean and all aquatic life, love cheese, and collect hats.

My favorite tea is definitely Oolong, but I also love Japanese greens and…ok I just love tea actually :P I am not a huge fan of lemony teas or tart fruit teas. I also loathe hibiscus (usually)

This is my actual tea wishlist, you know that I actually update and keep track of…I tend to forget Steepster’s https://www.facebook.com/notes/amanda-wilson/tea-wishlishtshopping-list-perpetually-in-progress/10152336515414411 I use my steepster WL to keep track of teas I have had and really want more of :P

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Kansas City, MO

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