I’m looking back on what I wrote about this the first time I tasted it, and honestly, my impression hasn’t changed in the slightest from the original tasting on a second try.
This time I used even more tea, following instructions I found somewhere on the net. There is a lot of conflicting information about Gyokuro steeping out there. Some sites say you should brew this at temps as low as 100-120F, some say no lower than around 155F. It’s really confusing. In any case, I read something that made sense to me, which was that you should use more leaf (about 10g for 500ml), steep at a lower temperature (140F) and steep longer on the first infusion (2:00) and shorter on subsequent infusions (:30) to coax out the flavor.
So that’s what I did, and I got a taste very similar to my description from the first mode of preparation. Now that I’ve had matcha, I can say that the slight bitterness of this reminds me of that of matcha.
I didn’t feel prepared to rate this the first time I tasted it and I’m hesitant even now, but the fact I have unrated notes is sort of bugging me for some unfathomable reason. So I’m giving this a provisional very good rating, to be adjusted as subsequent Gyokuro encounters may require.