I am a Japanese green tea lover on a mission to sample every gyokuro I can get my hands on. This one, from American Tea Room, is amazing.
I could tell this was going to be a special tea from the moment I opened the packet. The fragrance nearly knocked me over — to say the scent (and for that matter, the flavor) is vegetal is like saying Shakespeare is a competent writer. This is some serious stuff. I brewed it for the suggested 2 minutes, but at a slightly lower temp than suggested, because I am always paranoid when it comes to gyokuros. The liquor is pale green. The flavor? Sublime.
You want to talk umami? This is “swimming in a salty sea of seaweed” umami. I have never tasted anything like it. Other gyokuros I’ve tried pale in comparison. I am getting notes of seaweed, spinach, and very strong vegetal notes. I know some people hesitate when they hear the term “vegetal,” but there is nothing off-putting, bitter or unpleasant. This tea is delicious, strong and flavorful, with a lingering sweet finish. I did not add one grain or drop of sweetener, and that’s rare for me — I tend to sweeten almost every tea I drink, if only a little. But to corrupt this incredible flavor with sweetener would be very wrong.
As far as caffeine goes, this tea has it. I’m suddenly feeling very alert, and maybe I’ll even be productive with my work today instead of slacking off in my typical lazy fashion.
I would drink this every day if I could. Highly recommended!