Gyokuro Inoka Hill
Origin: Kyoto Prefecture, Kyotonabe near Uji
Varietal: Goko Tea Bush
Batch Size: Approx. 9 kgs
Flavor Profile: Umami deliciousness! Buttery and grassy -so much flavor in just a few drops. This tea is very rich with heavy flavor and mouth-feel. We have never tasted a Gyukoro with such strong umami and sweet flavors. This tea has very substantial notes of sweet Nori seaweed, sticky rice, and evergreen. A truly rare infusion.
Tea Story: Gyukoro Inoka Hill 1st Place Winner.
For the Dew Drop lover, this tea recently ranked #1 in the all-Japan Gyokuro competition. Only 9kg in total were made: 5 stayed at the farm, and we have the entire remaining batch. Ethereal & phenomenal. Truly, the ultimate tea experience.
From the oldest Gyokuro cultivation area in Japan, in the town of Uji in Kyoto Prefecture, comes this very special tea. Known as (Precious) Jade Dew Drop, this tea has a pale green, almost clear infusion color with a very thick flavor and mouth feel.
1st Place Gold Prize Winner of the 29th Uji Cha Finished Tea Competition held by the Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries of Japan. The competition was held on October 5, 2007. There were 15 entries for top quality finished Gyokuro. Our 1st place tea was released for sale in January of 2008 and now is now perfectly matured and ready to drink.
Made from Goko variety Aracha, which took 1st, 3rd, 4th and 5th prizes for Top Quality Gyo Kuro in the 60th Kansai Tea Competition (Aracha Competition for Tea Farmers) held in September 2007 by the Japan Agriculture Association.
This tea is very rich with heavy flavor and mouthfeel. We have never tasted a Gyukoro with such strong umami and sweet flavors. This tea has very substantial notes of sweet Nori seaweed, sticky rice and evergreen. At first sip, its rich nutritious broth-like texture stands out as one-of-a-kind. This Gyukoro has phenomenal chi and is very refreshing and energizing.
The flavor of Gyokuro is developed by artisan farming techniques of shading the sun light and providing specific nutrition geared toward the tea bush variety and the unique growing conditions of a shaded tea garden. Tea bushes thrive on the sun light and shading creates a stressful environment for the tea bush. The proper shading and fertilization of a Gyokuro garden is very important and closely related to the quality and flavor of Gyokuro.
Gyokuro gardens are shaded by frame and straw. The shading duration varies by season and region. In Uji and in neighboring towns, the shading lasts for 30-40 days, whereas in Yame gardens and further north in Shizuoka’s Okabe area, the shading lasts for only 20 days. Uji teas are generally more umami and less brisk than teas from Yame or Okabe for various reasons. Shading, the selected tea bush varietal, and the elevation of the various regions contribute to the differences found in each region’s Gyokuro.
The shading starts at first bud sight in April and is completed sometime in May. During the last 5-8 days of shading, not to exceed 8 days, farmers add a second layer of straw, which acts as a double shade, blocking out about 90% of the sun’s rays. The shading forces the tea bush to search for light, making it work overtime to produce more chlorophyll. Chlorophyll, a pigment that gives green tealeaves their color, acts as a photoreceptor in the leaf, much like a solar panel, to facilitate photosynthesis, whereby the plant converts sunlight and carbon dioxide into its life energy.
For much more information about Gyokuro, please read our Extended Description (click the Tab above).
Food Pairing: The Inoka Hill Gyokuro has such an immense and delicious flavor that you may not want to taint the lingering aftertaste with any other flavor. In Japan, Gyokuro is paired with sweets like Wagashi, traditional confections often made with Mochi, Adzuki Bean paste, or fruit.