79
drank Gyokuro by Harney & Sons
1118 tasting notes

My second Gyokuro, and I’m closing in on the last of the Harney samples from my two Harney orders so far. After this I have 4 greens and 4 oolongs left. Then order time!

Trying this the same way I did the Adagio earlier. 140F for 2 minutes to start, 30 seconds thereafter.

The smell inside the sample packet is incredibly, vividly, of chlorophyll saturated fields. Green teas don’t ordinarily evoke the descriptor “rich” for me, but this fragrance is, in fact, extremely rich.

The leaves are gorgeous. Darker-than-emerald-green, fine, flecked with silver, and shiny.

The liquor. Best described with a bit of dialogue:

Me to BF: What do you think of the color of this tea? [holds up glass cup]

BF: [Sniggery snort.] Terrible. Looks like Gatorade tea.

I must admit it does have that lime green Gatorade look to it. At least it isn’t quite glowing like nuclear waste, like the extra green Genmaicha.

And at least it smells and tastes nothing like Gatorade. The aroma and the taste are both of sweet-butter-mediated-slightly-bitter-vegetables, somewhere on the green continuum between spinach and cabbage. The mouthfeel is heavy, oddly suggestive of gelatin but fortunately not gelatinous. (I’m not a gelatin fan, ever since my friend Karen in the 4th grade told me Jello was made of horse hooves which turned out not to be true, but I can never get that thought out of my mind. I can think of nothing grosser than vegetable Jello. I stay far, far away from aspic.)

I’m liking this a little better than the Adagio and I wonder if it has to do with the freshness? This was in the sealed packet until right before preparation, whereas the Adagio was in the little sample tin that had previously been opened, though carefully resealed and stored in proper tea storage conditions. Is Gyokuro particularly susceptible to the effects of air? To the extent there’s anything negative to say about this tea, I would chalk it up to user error in preparation. I’m sure there are all kinds of ways in which I could be getting the preparation wrong. But I’m still generally liking it, so that must be saying something.

In any case, another fun trip to Gyokuro land. I have some from Den’s to try, too.

Preparation
140 °F / 60 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Ewa

hee hee gatorade tea

Auggy

Is Gyokuro particularly susceptible to the effects of air?
Pretty much any Japanese green is better when it is super-fresh. The older it gets, the less vibrant it seems to be. I think one month after opening is the cut-off for freshness.

Shinobi_cha

Unfortunately, I have read, that gyokuro is supposed to get better with age. Before Japanese tea processing was modernized, all Japanese teas aged well. There is still one kind of gyokuro that ages well, called kuradashi gyokuro. I’ve never had it, but I’ve read about it/seen it on offer at Hibiki-an (google them).

It really is a shame that Japanese teas loose their freshness so quickly, as (based on what I’ve read) that’s not the way it used to be.

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Ewa

hee hee gatorade tea

Auggy

Is Gyokuro particularly susceptible to the effects of air?
Pretty much any Japanese green is better when it is super-fresh. The older it gets, the less vibrant it seems to be. I think one month after opening is the cut-off for freshness.

Shinobi_cha

Unfortunately, I have read, that gyokuro is supposed to get better with age. Before Japanese tea processing was modernized, all Japanese teas aged well. There is still one kind of gyokuro that ages well, called kuradashi gyokuro. I’ve never had it, but I’ve read about it/seen it on offer at Hibiki-an (google them).

It really is a shame that Japanese teas loose their freshness so quickly, as (based on what I’ve read) that’s not the way it used to be.

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Bio

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 tea skills and tastes developed they became far less appealing to me. I do not mix well with tulsi or yerba mate, and savory teas are more often a miss than a hit with me. That said, I’m not entirely a purist, and I enjoy a good flavored tea, particularly flavored blacks.

I like all kinds of tea depending on time of day, mood, and the amount of time I have to pay attention to preparation.

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 First rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Excellent; will likely buy more

70-79 Very good; would enjoy again, might buy again

60-69 Good; 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.

People have sent me tea on occasion, and I was once persuaded to send some Tazo Om to AmazonV. I’ve also done at least one group buy here on Steepster, the famous Doulton-led Dammann Freres experiment years ago. But mostly, 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, though I don’t put samples in my cupboard and not everything I have at any given time is showing in my cupboard. I do try to remember to remove things from my cupboard once I no longer have them.

I was an early internet adopter and have been online in various environments since around 1990. Steepster is one of the nicest online environments I’ve ever been privileged to participate in and that is saying something. :-)

Location

Bay Area, California

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http://www.jjroth.net

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