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88
drank Gyokuro Kin by Den's Tea
40 tasting notes

Den’s Gyokuro Kin was my eye-opening introduction to what “real” green tea could be. After I finished my first 50g a couple months back, I waited for my houhin to arrive before I broke into my new packages. I’m still working on getting my timing and leaf ratio correct, but it’s a great choice for anyone looking for an affordable “daily gyokuro.”

First steep (145*; 90secs): Delightful! Even though it soaked for a good minute and a half, the tea has a light, grassy emerald color and a lot of sweetness. Love the umami, the taste of freshly steamed vegetables, and the smooth mouthfeel afterwards. The flavor lingers slightly, but is usually gone by the time I finish brewing up the next cup.

Second (165*; 60 secs): A gorgeous color that’s closer to the jade you might find in a fukamushi sencha, but with a lot more umami and very little astringency. This is my favorite cup — slightly buttery, wholly vegetal, and a joy to sip and “take in.” There wasn’t as much of that smooth mouthfeel I get from the first one, but I love the flavor of this cup!

Third (175/ 2+ mins): A little longer than I usually steep it for, but it still turned out OK. By now, the bright umami flavor is starting to get a bit diluted, but I can still taste what I liked about the last two cups with a burst of astringency.

Fourth (Boiling; 5+ mins): Final steep this time. Still green, but more bitter up front/astringent in its finish. Very little of that vegetal umami taste remains, but it has more of that “bitter freshness” I enjoy in sencha. I could never get four cups out of my kyusu, but the smaller size of the houhin seems to “stretch it out” a lot.

In summation: not as varied and nuanced as higher-end gyokuro, but a tasty alternative to Karigane blends for the price.

Preparation
145 °F / 62 °C 1 min, 30 sec
Shinobi_cha

Try brewing a cup of this (or any good gyokuro or sencha) like so:
4g leaf, 2-3 TBS water (really, very little water… it shouldn’t completely cover the leaves the first steep), the water should be nearly freezing (32-36 degrees), pour that small amount over the leaves in the pot and wait, maybe 15-20 minutes. The result is amazing! Smell the wet leaves in the pot, and then take the tiniest sips, which should fill your mouth with flavor.

The rest of the steeps you can use 2-4oz water; 2) 120F 2 minutes, 3)140F 1 minutes, 4)160F 30 seconds, etc.

Shinobi_cha

Oh, and for the 1st one, I usually just put the desired amount of water in the teacup and stick it in the freezer for 25-30 or so minutes and check the temp to see that it’s gotten low enough (but hopefully not completely frozen!).

Cole

I’ve heard that you can cold brew “top tier” senchas and gyokuros, but I’ve never read such detailed parameters. I have to try this! Sounds extremely rich and delicious.

Shinobi_cha

Sure thing, let me know what you think! It obviously works best with higher quality tea, but I’ve steeped a lot of grades of tea like this, and even the cheaper stuff is pretty good. The ‘cost’, for me at least, is that I do miss the warmth of tea, so it’s seems to be a better summer thing.

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Shinobi_cha

Try brewing a cup of this (or any good gyokuro or sencha) like so:
4g leaf, 2-3 TBS water (really, very little water… it shouldn’t completely cover the leaves the first steep), the water should be nearly freezing (32-36 degrees), pour that small amount over the leaves in the pot and wait, maybe 15-20 minutes. The result is amazing! Smell the wet leaves in the pot, and then take the tiniest sips, which should fill your mouth with flavor.

The rest of the steeps you can use 2-4oz water; 2) 120F 2 minutes, 3)140F 1 minutes, 4)160F 30 seconds, etc.

Shinobi_cha

Oh, and for the 1st one, I usually just put the desired amount of water in the teacup and stick it in the freezer for 25-30 or so minutes and check the temp to see that it’s gotten low enough (but hopefully not completely frozen!).

Cole

I’ve heard that you can cold brew “top tier” senchas and gyokuros, but I’ve never read such detailed parameters. I have to try this! Sounds extremely rich and delicious.

Shinobi_cha

Sure thing, let me know what you think! It obviously works best with higher quality tea, but I’ve steeped a lot of grades of tea like this, and even the cheaper stuff is pretty good. The ‘cost’, for me at least, is that I do miss the warmth of tea, so it’s seems to be a better summer thing.

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Tea lover since birth; recent convert to Japanese greens, Taiwanese Oolongs, and Chinese Puerh (and everything in-between).

Loves obscure vinyl, dark humor, technology, and most nerdy things. If you have similar tastes or enjoy a post, feel free to comment/message. Open to trades; particularly puerh!

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CA

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