Since I had a not very successful steep of a different gyokuro earlier, I thought I’d give another one a try with, I hope, a more successful steep.

This time I’m steeping at the high end of the range recommended on the tin. 160F, the lowest temperature available on the Breville.

This has both a fresh cut grass smell and an edamame-like undercurrent in the dry leaf. The steeped tea is pale yellow-green with leaf particles floating in it and a fine green residue at the bottom of the cup.

The tea’s aroma does smell like a sea breeze, fresh and a bit salty, with a hint of seaweed. Not heavily marine (no fishiness).

At this temperature, there is no “wateriness” as with the Lupicia I had earlier. I think I might try the Lupicia Pine Breeze at 160F.

This tea, too, is a bit drying to the mouth, but otherwise has a soft mouthfeel. It has a savory aftertaste that hints of saltiness without actually being salty.

I may never be sure I’m making gyokuro correctly, but I think the slightly higher temperature may be the way to go for me, anyway, as it seems to pull a richer flavor from the leaves without bitterness or a scalded aspect.

I have not had that many gyokuros, but this one, for me, seems to stand up to the textbook definition.

Flavors: Cut Grass, Ocean Breeze, Salty, Seaweed, Soybean

160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML

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I got obsessed with tea in 2010 for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it. I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I write fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I drink tea without additives. If a tea needs milk or sugar to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’ll rate it high. The exception is chai, which I drink with milk/sugar or substitute. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs, but as my tastes developed they became less appealing — I still enjoy nicely done blends. I do not mix well with tulsi or yerba mate, and savory teas are more often a miss than a hit with me. I used to hate hibiscus, but I’ve turned that corner. Licorice, not so much.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. But I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas in relation to others of the same type, for example, Earl Greys against other Earl Greys. But if a tea rates very high with me, it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is

90-94 Excellent; first rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Very good; will likely buy more

70-79 Good; would enjoy again, might buy again

60-69 Okay; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but likely won’t buy again

Below 60 Meh, so-so, iffy, or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

I don’t swap. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that I have way more tea than any one person needs and am not lacking for new things to try. Also, I have way too much going on already in daily life and the additional commitment to get packages to people adds to my already high stress level. (Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does.)

That said, I enjoy reading folks’ notes, talking about what I drink, and getting to “know” people virtually here on Steepster so I can get ideas of other things I might want to try if I can ever again justify buying more tea. I also like keeping track of what I drink and what I thought about it.

My current process for tea note generation is described in my note on this tea: https://steepster.com/teas/mariage-freres/6990-the-des-impressionnistes


Bay Area, California



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