Gyokuro Standard

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Green Tea
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160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 45 sec

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From Yunomius

Kurihara Tea

Gyokuro tea is grown beneath shading, cutting out some 85% of the sunlight. This allows the leaves to mature without obtaining bitterness. The results is an ultra delicate green tea with an extremely sweet taste profile.

The Standard Gyokuro Tea can also be called Kabusecha (かぶせ茶) or Netsuyu Gyokuro (熱湯玉露 = hot water gyokuro). Shaded for a shorter amount of time (about two weeks) than the more premium gyokuro teas, it has a much more balanced taste due to the higher levels of astringent tasting antioxidants (catechins).

100% Yamecha green tea leaves from Fukuoka Prefecture in Southern Japan
Machine harvested, shaded for 2 weeks

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4 Tasting Notes

366 tasting notes

Guys, I think I have to replace my favorite teacup. Yes, the adorable small, clear glass one that I use all the time, because it has developed a white film around the rim and NOTHING I do will get rid of it. It is a mystery since none of the other glassware I use has this problem, I assume it was the dishwasher’s fault. Maybe sticking my 50 cent possibly from the 70s teacup in the dishwasher was not a good idea. Live and learn and off to the thrift store for a new one!

Today’s tea is Standard Gyokuro Tea from and the Kurihara family, it is grown in the Fukuoko Prefecture in Southern Japan. Gyokuro (Jade Dew) is considered to be the finest of the Japanese Green teas and is grown in the shade, giving it a more delicate, balanced, and sweeter taste than teas like Sencha. This specific Gyokuro, also called Netsuyu Gyokuro, is shaded for a shorter period of time and so is not a premium Gyokuro. I figure this is a perfect place to start since this will be my first ever Gyokuro. The aroma is very green, like fresh grass and moisture, an odd description, but it reminded me of the way cut grass smells after a brief rain storm. There is also a touch of nuttiness and sweetness with an end note of sweet peas.

Once the leaves are steeped the aroma is still very green and sweet, but now there is a very faint kelp and sea air aroma as a delicate undertone. I can also detect delicate chestnut and fruity notes. Everything about the steeped leaves’s aroma is delicate and refreshing. The liquid a paradox, it is both delicate and rich mixing grass, kelp, and chestnuts while also being heady. I have never described a tea that was not floral as heady, but the way it knocked me off my figurative feet was certainly a heady response.

Even though the tasting notes from this tea are quite old (poor neglected notebook) I can still recall the bouncing around I did as I was waiting to taste this tea. Fun fact, Gyokuro has been on my ‘must try’ list since I was in high school (a decade ago, it doesn’t seem that long ago) and I could barely contain my excitement. The taste is a bit grassy and sweet like stone fruit, there is a touch of fresh kelp and a touch of spring dew. The mouthfeel is incredibly smooth and as it cools it becomes honey sweet. The flavors are incredibly subtle while being distinct.

Steeping a second time brings out more of the kelpy and grassy aroma and is not as sweet. The taste is milder, with notes of sweetness and a touch of kelp with a finish of fruit. The fruit taste reminds me a bit of Asian pear (my personal favorite pear) and has the same juicy mouthfeel.

Traditionally you can eat the steeped leaves with a bit of soy sauce like a tasty salad. Before I doused the leaves with sauce I nibbled them and the taste is quite good! Like a mix of seaweed and lettuce with a hint of kale bitterness. Adding soy sauce makes it even more like seaweed salad and leaves me craving sushi.

For blog and photos:


Sorry about the cup. The house we rented outside of Dublin had very hard water as well and all of the glasswarevwas etched like that as well.

Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

That sucks! I am glad it didn’t happen to my other glass stuff, ugh bad minerals in water making my poor teacup all white and ghosty.


Luckily for us it wasn’t ours. Our landlord left them in the house for us when they moved out (they were already etched). On the other hand we were just happy to have a place that wasn’t going to take all our earnings ( We were there at the tale end of the Celtic Tiger and people were paying in some cases up to 600€ to share a room, short term accommodation was kind of ridiculous. We lucked out and our landlord was wonderful.

Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

Oh wow, that is lucky!


Try the soak from Mandala. It worked wonders for all of my stuff.

Amanda 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

Good to know! I will see if I can get my hands on it :)

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1048 tasting notes

Mmmm, my second gyokuro! This one was even better! My first gykuro was from Den’s Tea, but this one from / Kurihara Tea was more balanced and buttery.

I followed these steeping instructions which was kind of annoying getting my water to 120F / 50C as my kettle only goes as low at 160F. However, the result was really good! My gyokuro was syrupy, buttery, creamy and spinachy! I got a handful of resteepings out of my tea too! The astringency was actually good too!

Uggg, I think I need to acquire more gyokuro (maybe one of the higher quality ones off Yunomi) but I know my cash flow will be pissed off!

Full Review on my blog, The Oolong Owl

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8 tasting notes

I was actually given some of this tea by a Japanese woman who works at a cafe I frequent on the way to class. She helps me with my Japanese and I help her with English (not that she needs it). She told me that the tea was produced by some of her family members who work on a tea farm in a place called Yame (八女) which literally translates to 8 women. I was given the impression that it was 8 of her sisters, cousins and aunties producing delicious tea on the island of Kyushu. This is apparently not the case.

Now I’m not actually sure as to what kind of tea it is, as all she had told me was that it was ‘YAMECHA’. After a few cups and a whiff of a Gyokuro at a nearby tea supplier, I surmised that it was in fact a Yame Gyokuro (similar leaf colour and aroma, and apparently about 50% of Gyokuro produced in Japan is from Yame, so the odds are in this assumption’s favour!)

I was very grateful for the tea (she had given me a lot of it), and was eager to figure out how to brew the stuff.
One of my Chinese acquaintances, while we were having a tea session, exclaimed that he knew exactly how to brew it: he took a huge scoop of the tea, ground it down to a powder in a pestle and mortar, and then poured the powder into a tall glass and proceeded to pour boiling hot water over it.
The product was an extremely bitter brew that nobody could finish.

So that’s not how you do it.

I was still curious as to how to brew it, so once I got home from the taste testing I gave it another go, using only my instincts.

I brewed it as you would brew a regular green tea (about 80C for about 1.5 minutes), and it produced a very murky cup of tea. It appeared that due to the varying sizes of tea leaf particles, a good portion of the tea had passed through the strainer and into the cup. In addition, there was a mysterious white foam collecting around the rim of the cup. I thought to myself, “protein?”. Not entirely sure what was going on there. It was a pleasant cup of tea none-the-less.

I decided today to give it a traditional brewing: sitting down with all the bits-and-pieces, my tiny tea gong and my laptop at hand to record the fleeting sensations and the pass through my sensory faculties.

Brewed at 70C for 1.5/2 minutes

This tea has a very warming sweetness, delicate grassiness and faintly nutty flavour. It has a satisfyingly full mouth-feel, and lingers long enough for you to be able to fully appreciate it, as well as time to bid it farewell. The flavour is deeply rich, much like the ‘Pakistan green’ of the leaves (I had to look that colour up; it seems like a slightly awkward descriptor though).

Aroma: Again very warming, deep and rich.

The colour of the liquid is a nice bright green, however I notice that there are particles of varying sizes swirling in my cup, giving it an almost murky appearance. Once they settle it is almost a ‘Paris green’ (again, had to look it up – so many types of green!).

I’m not entire sure what is meant to be done about the particles. Are they an intended feature of the cup? Or perhaps a fine strainer is necessary? I’m not entirely bothered by them, simply curious as to their intentions. Perhaps they add to the mouth-feel that was so satisfyingly bold.

Either way, this is one of my favourite green teas to date, and I intend on making each cup as special as the last.

160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 45 sec

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915 tasting notes

Oh gyokuro how I miss you when you are away, hehe. I got my package from yesterday! 4 gyokuros for sampling and some salted Sakura blossoms. Can’t wait to try them all!

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