93
drank Gyokuro Green Tea Uji by Teance
186 tasting notes

Let’s just get this out of the way: Auggy is a goddess.

No, seriously. Because I think I’ve finally gotten what all the hullabaloo has been about Japanese greens.

I’m perpetually amazed at how different various permutations of tea can be. Not only through the white – black scale, but from different companies and different preparations. It’s almost frightening. I thought I pretty much knew what gyokuro was about from the Harney & Sons version I had a few weeks ago.

I thought wrong. Completely wrong.

Gyokuro is one of those teas that’s beautiful to look at. I don’t think that photos do it justice. The leaves are silky and a deep blue-green, most thinner than a toothpick. Really gorgeous stuff. The smell coming off them is a sweet, very grassy note, with just a hint of butter.

So I waited… and waited… and waited for the damned water to cool down enough to begin steeping this one. I believe I started the pour at 50 secs, just because I really wanted to make sure that this one didn’t oversteep. It’s that delicate. I also steeped with the lid off, to give the gyokuro some room to breathe. I don’t want to scorch the leaves in ANY way.

I knew immediately while the tea was pouring that this was going to be something special. The smell… oh my gahd. Very grass, but also very, very buttery. Mmmmm. The wet leaves smelled much the same. It’s like a freshly cut grass smell, mixed with melted butter. It smells delicious.

And the taste? Joygasm. Seriously.

I’ve been having a lot of trouble with greens, I think mainly because in general, I tend to dislike green things. I really don’t like vegetables. I hate salads. Beyond artichokes and asparagus, and maybe the occasional piece of broccoli… yeah, they’re not my thing. But this tea… it’s lighter than Harney’s gyokuro, but just as intense and interesting. It’s pretty grassy, but that grassiness is tempered by butter. Rich butter. It’s silky-smooth and delicious and satisfying and REFRESHING. You can taste the award-winningness of this one.

There’s just this general sweetness to the entire cup as well. There’s really no astringency. Towards the end of some sips I sometimes get this almost tart feeling that develops just into a green sweetness. It’s almost similar to the sweetness you find in sugar snap peas (another green thing that I love).

I think Auggy just converted me with one cup of tea. I can’t wait to see what the second steep tastes like, although I probably won’t drink the entire thing, since gyokuro’s caffeine levels are off the charts. But DELICIOUS and NOM. Wow. Taste the quality!

The Second Steep (5 secs, 140 degrees) was pretty tasty, but a bit thinner than the first. The taste was a bit more grassy and a bit less buttery. Hrm. I’ll try to get a third steep out of this, but I doubt I’m going to finish the cup at all. It’ll be just for tasting purposes! NOM, though!

So Steep Three (1:10, 140 degrees) just sort of tasted like grassy umami water. Not that it was bad, but there’s no tea-ness to it. So I dumped the leaves out. I also played around with the wet leaves a bit, and they’re as soft as silk.

Preparation
140 °F / 60 °C 1 min, 0 sec
Auggy

YAY! Yeah, this is one seriously yummy cup. Mmm, I might need to have some tonight…

teaplz

Whee, you are seriously awesome in multiple ways for sending this to me. Deliciousness! Also, reading about the tea creator and all the awards and such was a real treat on the Teance website! There’s a lot of care that went into this, and you can definitely taste it.

Auggy

I’m seriously so pleased I can get this at my grocery store. Because I will totally be getting more of this. Even though it’s pretty freakin expensive. Totally worth it.

teaplz

Is it just a run-of-the-mill local grocery store? I wish my grocery store had tea like this!

Auggy

It’s sort of a foodie/specialty store really. Mostly organic/natural foods along with random, hard to find culinary weirdness (like black garlic, dragonfruit and yuzu!). It’s sort of like my candy store. I luf it.

S

This sounds awesome…adding it to my shopping list.

takgoti

HEE. ♥.

Christeana

I really like your descriptions. I have enjoyed the flavor of Gyokuro brewed with ice cubes. Take a little more than you would use hot, in a cup and as the ice melts, the delicate flavors are immediately available. I could hardly wait, and kept adding ice to the cup over, and over. It definitley leaves room for trials, but not much error. Enjoy.

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Comments

Auggy

YAY! Yeah, this is one seriously yummy cup. Mmm, I might need to have some tonight…

teaplz

Whee, you are seriously awesome in multiple ways for sending this to me. Deliciousness! Also, reading about the tea creator and all the awards and such was a real treat on the Teance website! There’s a lot of care that went into this, and you can definitely taste it.

Auggy

I’m seriously so pleased I can get this at my grocery store. Because I will totally be getting more of this. Even though it’s pretty freakin expensive. Totally worth it.

teaplz

Is it just a run-of-the-mill local grocery store? I wish my grocery store had tea like this!

Auggy

It’s sort of a foodie/specialty store really. Mostly organic/natural foods along with random, hard to find culinary weirdness (like black garlic, dragonfruit and yuzu!). It’s sort of like my candy store. I luf it.

S

This sounds awesome…adding it to my shopping list.

takgoti

HEE. ♥.

Christeana

I really like your descriptions. I have enjoyed the flavor of Gyokuro brewed with ice cubes. Take a little more than you would use hot, in a cup and as the ice melts, the delicate flavors are immediately available. I could hardly wait, and kept adding ice to the cup over, and over. It definitley leaves room for trials, but not much error. Enjoy.

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22-year-old NYC girl just starting out on her tea adventures! I used to hate tea. If you asked me a few years ago what I thought of tea, I’d tell you it tasted like hot, dirty dishwater. Not anymore! I acquired a taste for tea when I started drinking peppermint tea for my upset stomach problems. From there I graduated to teas like chamomile and Lipton. But Lipton wasn’t strong enough!

I’m getting the hang of this loose leaf thing. Black’s my default, but I’ve found that I really love teas that fall into every category. I’m a purist – I always drink my tea neat. I prefer unflavored tea over flavored tea, and really dislike anything flavored with artificial-tasting substances. I’ve grown up a bit in my tea drinking, and I find that novelty appeals to me less and less.

I also am the happy girlfriend of the boy that created the tea randomizer, which can be found here: http://www.jaydeee.net/pickatea.php

Location

New York City

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