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Lovely!

I brewed this up in my brand-spanking-new little houhin that I acquired through Yuuki-cha. I was SO EXCITED to brew this up! My first gyokuro!

I’ll admit that 000 is correct in the assertion that the leaves are a total mess. They look like they’ve been through a wood-chipper. Even so, the dry leaf smells gorgeously kelpy. Seaweed in a way I like. I have trouble articulating where the line between “good” and “bad” seaweed goes – the best I can do is say that “bad” seaweed is the taste/smell you get in cheaper sushis, kinda overpowering and kinda fishy too. (Different than the fish “fishy”, if you know what I mean.) Anyway. None of that here. It’s GOOD seaweed.

I’ll admit I didn’t brew this in the ideal conditions. The result was a slightly more astringent tea than should have been, though I can still see beautiful potential. I used two teaspoons for my houhin – which holds about 5.5 oz to a reasonable water level. (7oz to the rim, but then it would be one hot mess.) The instructions enclosed with the shipment said to brew a strong gyokuro at 105F for 3 minutes. I couldn’t wait for the water to cool any longer and ended up doing it at 130~F.

The liquor turned out a BEAUTIFUL light jade green. It should have been clear, but there was a lot of leaf debris getting through the houhin’s ceramic filter. Unless I get a pitcher or serve it in a mug, not sure I can use my trusty extra-fine strainer with my tiny little teacups. Even so, I’m sure tea dust would still get through.

The smell of the brewed tea is gorgeous. A vegetal ocean breeze, and just as soothing. It tasted like it smelled – savoury goodness melting into a vivid vegetal sweetness. Beautifully thick flavours, super satisfying! I got 4 good steeps out of it, each one grassier than the last. Unfortunately, the delicious umami note didn’t really carry over to the other steeps, though it’s possible that it’s because I used hotter water than I should have the first time. Definitely a bit too astringent if your water is too hot, treat this tea with care!

Right now I’m having the fifth and last steep, which I cold-brewed over night just to see what I’d get. Grassy water with a hint of kelpy sweetness. One too far!

Can’t wait to try this again, and get it right.

Preparation
140 °F / 60 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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Bio

Bibliophile and language junkie. Now decidedly tea-crazed. Trying to convince The Boy that tea tastes like more than just hot water. Cat-lady and rat-lady in the making.

From San Juan, Puerto Rico. Adopted Bostonian. Current long-time Chicagoan. Up, up, up the ziggurat. Lickety-split!

I like an interesting tea, so I’m expanding my tea stash daily. As well as my teaware collection.

Location

Chicago

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