Incoming first-time Japanese-tea review!
So after my super-fail attempt at sencha, I figured, hey, let’s try something a LOT harder. Gyokuro. The parameter beast! Brew at your own risk!
Auggy sent me some super-premium stuff, so I figured, let’s start with the Harney and expand from there. I opened the little sample packet, and I was… surprised! Way to go, Harney! The leaves here are long and gorgeous, with a deep green-blue character. I was really surprised how much of it was unbroken and lovely.
It… it smells like grass. Yep. Fresh mowed lawn. So I carefully measured out a tablespoon of the stuff, and waited for the water to cool.
Okay, it takes a LONG time for water to go from boiling to 140, lemme tell you. But I didn’t want to mess this one up. Nope! Not after the sencha debacle! Then I made sure to pour at 55 seconds… just because I needed to make sure I didn’t mess this one up. Aaannnnd, I brewed with the lid uncovered. Yep! Gyokuro is too expensive to mess up! What a finicky little tea!
The infusion… it’s so pale! Paler than white tea! And instead of tinted yellow, like a white tea, it’s tinted lime. The cup smells like sweet grass. And… I’m not really picking up much other than that. So let’s move on to the fun part: the taste!
Wow. Um, hrm. Wow. Weird. Um. Yeah. Wow.
For as light as it looks, there really is a flavor punch is here. Not watered down, nope, not at all! There’s a lot of grassiness. A lot. Which I’m assuming is an acquired taste. I kind of like it, but then I sort of don’t, and then I’m confused. But it tasted like buttered, sweet grass! Which is kind of odd. It tastes fresh-cut. And there’s a wonderful sweetness that lingers totally along the palate, enveloping my mouth. No astringency at all! Nothing! Seriously, this one goes down smooth. There’s some very verdant green sediment at the bottom of my cup.
It’s the texture that’s really throwing me for a loop. It’s almost… heavy and creamy. Thick in my mouth. Now this is beginning to sound wrong, and I’m starting to giggle, but… yeah.
It tastes like a summer day spent running through sprinklers, the wet grass clinging to your feet, the water cooling on your skin, the smells and tastes of the air mingling together… it’s highly evocative, but I’m not quite sure I’m wrapping my head around the flavors yet. I don’t know how much of this I could drink at a time. It’s just odd! Lots of umami, but odd!
Also, this has lots of caffeine, right? Hrm… hehehe, I guess I’ll be up till all hours of the morning, then!