So couple days ago, I was inspired by Takgoti’s notes on Samovar’s Gyokuro Inoka Hill. I didn’t sit down and make myself some Gyokuro right then and there, and it has haunted me since!
This morning I just had to infuse this sweet ambrosia… Mmm. And I decided to try out the “cold infusion” method Takgoti talked about in her post for the first steeping.
I was impressed at how my little leaves responded! I think others have mentioned that it produces a very singular note, emphasizing the umami aspect of the tea, rather than a balance of sweet/bitter that usually comes from a good Gyo. This was also my experience.
In the past, I would just use water in the 160 degree range and steep for about 15 seconds for the first infusion, but I liked this method too. Am I the only one who loves playing mad scienT(ea)st?
When I drank this tea at TeaSmith, John (the owner) said
“After you are done infusing those leaves, we can make a little salad for you. Get a little soy sauce, it tastes great.” …and I thought he was exaggerating.
Sure enough, 20 minutes later, I was eating a tiny little dish of Gyokuro leaves with a few drops of soy sauce. I can’t say it was the most normal thing I have ever done, but it wasn’t as weird tasting as I imagined.
Closing comment: When people find out that I am “into tea in a big way”, they often ask what my favorite kind is. This, of course, is an impossible question to answer; but sometimes after drinking a good Gyokuro, I think to myself that this might be as close to a favorite that there is for me.