The Green Teahouse
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Recent Tasting Notes
Just picked this up from the package center. I really wanted to try the Watermelon Xylophone from Butiki, but paypal was down, and a Gen Y satisficer on a college budget, I turned to Amazon and found this from The Green Teahouse instead. It was eligible for a Prime add-on, and since I had already intended to purchase some Typhoo, I figured that this 1 oz pack would be perfect to try.
This tea is certainly better once it cools down, as you get a much better representation of the flavor notes. It is pleasantly sweet, and a lovely pink color. It is a bit too floral for me, and I think that is partially due to the beet root (I actually tasted a piece of the beet root to test this theory…), which contributes to the flavor. I may end up picking them out the next time I steep to see what happens. I ended up adding honey to the first and second steep, which made it just a bit more enjoyable.
The second steep was lighter, and I enjoyed it a bit more. I definitely want to try this one as an iced tea. I’ll update when I do!
Temperature Note: Brewed with my roommate’s Keurig K45 Elite, typical temp of 180 degrees.
Originally published at The Nice Drinks In Life: http://thenicedrinksinlife.blogspot.com/2012/10/gyokuro.html
Type: Green Tea
Purveyor: The Green Teahouse
Preparation: One teaspoon steeped in about eight ounces of boiling water for 2:30, sipped plain
China is generally held to be the world’s main producer of green tea (and of tea in general), and accurate or not, the conception is understandable given the scope and history of Chinese tea production. But when it comes to green tea, Japan takes a back seat to absolutely nobody. The Japanese have their own tea-producing traditions spanning centuries, and in fact boast the most refined approach to serving and enjoying.
Japan is home to an impressive catalogue of tea grades and varieties. Among the highest regarded of these is gyokuro, which translates alternately as “jade-dew” or “jewel-dew.” With a history dating back to prior to the Meiji Restoration, gyokuro continues to stand out among green teas from all over the world to this day. A key part of what makes it different is that it is grown in the shade for two to three weeks prior to harvesting. Certain compounds, including caffeine, amino acids, and various others, increase as a result, and a delectable sweetness is created.
The dry leaves that I got from The Green Teahouse are a deep, luscious forest green. They are flat and straight, not unlike small blades of grass. Actually, at first glance, one gets a real visual impression of evergreen leaves. And they smell exactly like green tea ice cream.
When brewed, these gyokuro leaves produce a light green liquid that is frankly more akin to yellow. It is limpid, simple – it offers the same sensation as a lake or bay that is so entirely transparent that it appears shallow even when deep. The brew’s aroma evokes a childhood trot through a wooded area fresh after a rain. The palate is sweet, with tannins and slight maltiness. It is savory, smooth, and full-bodied.
This gyokuro is delicate, delightful, and thoroughly thoughtful. To sip it is inspiring in the same way that being near an old, wise man is: one is moved to calmly let the world outside, and thoughts inside, pass by in a moment of removed, relaxed reflection.
Those who drink green tea can hardly do better.
I love when a pu’erh is clearly a pu’erh and yet still flavoured. This one is a great example of that. The peach is very much an undertone, so much so that if the tea cools it fades almost entirely, but it works beautifully with the pu’erh’s richness. There’s no fishiness here, just a beautifully flavoured cup of tea that any pu’erh lover would cherish.
Another tea from the Green Teahouse that calls itself a black but is almost entirely rooibos. The caramel here is strong, and strangely not fake tasting. It was lovely to be able to get two steeps out of a rooibos as well, so that the second cup got the full effect of the black pearls. The first cup was almost too caramel, but the second was much more balanced and actually had hints of tea to it. I won’t be refilling on this one, but I could see myself enjoying it in a latte.