Kurihara Tea #02: Heritage Gyokuro Tea

Tea type
Green Tea
Ingredients
Green Tea
Flavors
Grass, Umami, Vegetal, Seaweed, Sweet
Sold in
Loose Leaf
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Lion
Average preparation
Iced 2 min, 0 sec 10 g 3 oz / 90 ml

Currently unavailable

We don't know when or if this item will be available.

From Our Community

1 Image

0 Want it Want it

1 Own it Own it

3 Tasting Notes View all

  • “*Sipdown* I could have sworn that I've posted about this tea previously. Nevertheless, I finished of my sample from Yunomi this morning. I'll have to say it - I am not a gyokuro person. Steeping...” Read full tasting note
    cvasilevski 569 tasting notes
  • “This review is mostly a clone of the last one, because the differences were minute in my experience. Before you read my review, just know that I am brewing this the traditional Japanese way,...” Read full tasting note
    ShiningLion 151 tasting notes
  • “Having this one this morning. Brewed accorking to Yunomi. First brewing : 1 tsp, , 1/3 cup water at 110F, 2 minutes. It was rich and sweet like heavy seaweed. No astringency at all. ...” Read full tasting note
    95
    Ubacat 266 tasting notes

From Yunomius

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.

Our Heritage Gyokuro is grown beneath traditional, handmade bamboo and/or straw shading. The moisture that drips from this natural shading flavors the tea — a return to the past with this gourmet tea.

About Yunomius View company

Company description not available.

3 Tasting Notes

569 tasting notes

Sipdown

I could have sworn that I’ve posted about this tea previously. Nevertheless, I finished of my sample from Yunomi this morning.

I’ll have to say it – I am not a gyokuro person. Steeping is too fussy, and it’s generally meant for smaller portions whereas I like to make whole teapots of tea. I’m sipping this and just finding myself unable to finish off a single cup of this, never mind the rest of the teapot I’ve brewed.

I think I might pour the rest of this down the sink or into a plant…which makes me sad.

Ah well.

Cameron B.

To each her own. :)

Cheri

If it’s not for you, it’s not for you, and life is too short to drink tea one doesn’t like.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

151 tasting notes

This review is mostly a clone of the last one, because the differences were minute in my experience.

Before you read my review, just know that I am brewing this the traditional Japanese way, which is very flavor-intense and different than the way most Westerners brew Gyokuro.

Here’s a very short article about what the difference is:
http://everyonestea.blogspot.com/2014/02/gyokuro-is-not-something-to-drink.html

And the brewing method is here: http://everyonestea.blogspot.com/2010/10/how-to-brew-gyokuro.html

It is also the same leaf to water ratio that was recommended in the gyokuro tip sheet Yunomi sent me with the teas… so I guess this is at least a somewhat common method in Japan.

I mention this because my first gyokuro review had a lot of people wondering why my experience with the tea was so much different than theirs. This is primarily why.

Of the Kurihara Tea Farm gyokuro sampler, so far this one had the least bitterness and some lingering sweetness with the incredibly intense umami that accompanies it. The flavor is intense, fills your mouth very quickly, and it takes a long time just to sip a tiny 20-30ml cup of it. It’s a really interesting experience. It resteeps okay once, but after that you’re digging into the bitter flavors in the leaf quite a bit so I really only drank two infusions of it.

It made a delicious green tea salad afterward.

I’ve decided not to rate Gyokuro teas unless I find myself really loving one. I believe in trying to appreciate them with the traditional method of brewing instead of diluting it to suit my tastes because I’d like to learn how and why this tea is usually appreciated in Japan, and so far the traditional method is just so new and abstract to me that it is very difficult for me to tell if I enjoy it or not. I think the quality of these teas is good, but I cannot particularly evaluate them because the flavor and feeling of this tea is just so unlike anything else I’ve ever had. It can be a little overwhelming, but it is also very savory and enjoyable in some aspects.

If you’ve never used the traditional method to prepare gyokuro, I recommend doing it at least once. It’s a trip. It produces a very thick and syrupy broth that you can sip on very slowly and the flavor will remain in your mouth for literally hours after drinking it.

Flavors: Grass, Umami, Vegetal

Preparation
2 min, 0 sec 10 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Anlina

Oh wow, those are some intense brewing instructions. I can see why you’ve found the flavours a bit overwhelming. I generally use these guidelines for gyokuro and it still makes a very intense cup, with much less leaf to water: http://www.o-cha.com/brewing-gyokuro.htm

I really wanted to try the leaf salad after my last gyokuro session, but I was feeling so intensely caffeinated from just sipping the tea, I was a bit afraid to eat more than a tiny bite of the leaves.

Lion

Anlina, I wish I had realized sooner how leaf-heavy the suggestions I used were. The ones Yunomi sent me on a print out were identical to this too. They suggested 8g/80ml. Then when I finally got to the final sample of the set I noticed the print on the packaging recommends 5g/80ml (1/3 cup), which is almost a 40% reduction in the amount of leaf… I tried that on the final one and the flavor was much more reasonable. It wasn’t so intense. I definitely liked it more when it wasn’t so incredibly strong.

Lion

Also, the leaf salad is delicious, and it releases its caffeine in a pretty slow and steady manner instead of all at once like the liquids do, but it is quite a caffeine boost and I don’t recommend eating it if you are really sensitive to caffeine. I am and I had to be careful to make sure I ate plenty of other food with it so I didn’t get too intensely caffeinated.

Anlina

:nods: I’m glad you got to try at least one of the samples with a better leaf to water ratio. I hope this isn’t the end of your gyokuro adventures – I’ve been enjoying your tasting notes.

I was really impressed by how pleasant and not bitter the leaves themselves tasted. I am pretty sensitive to caffeine unfortunately. The last batch of leaves I had probably would have been okay – after I steeped them hot a bunch of times, I cold steeped them over night, which yielded an incredibly caffeinated cold brew (I made nearly 2L, and I still haven’t finished it, because even one cup makes me feel jittery.) So there probably wasn’t much caffeine left in those leaves. But I just didn’t feel like I could chance it. It’s good to know that the caffeine release of the salad is a bit slower – I may give it a try next time.

Lion

I recommend not eating all of the gyokuro salad at once. Maybe eat just a bit of it and see how you feel. You can always refrigerate the rest for later. Another thing I realized is that it will have better flavor if you pull the leaves directly out of whatever vessel they are in and put them into a bowl. The first couple times I tried it I rinsed out my kyusu so the leaves wouldn’t stick and poured all the leaves/water onto a strainer and then pressed them a bit to get the excess water out. All that extra rinsing to get them out of the pot really took out the flavor, so it is better to just pull them out with your hands I guess, even if it is tricky to get the leaves out of the little nooks and crannies of a teapot.

Kittenna

Holy crap. So much leaf for so little water. I probably don’t even have enough gyokuro in my stash to try something like this (or if I do, it’s probably on the old side). Tea leaf salad sounds intriguing though…

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

95
266 tasting notes

Having this one this morning. Brewed accorking to Yunomi. First brewing : 1 tsp, , 1/3 cup water at 110F, 2 minutes. It was rich and sweet like heavy seaweed. No astringency at all. Second brewing: 1/3 cup , 185F, 20sec. This one had a stronger astringency due to the higher temperature but the sweetness was still coming through. Good but very different than the first brewing. My little teapot was not filtering out all the tiny leaves so with both the first and second brewing, I was getting those tiny leaves at the bottom of my cup. That’s what was giving it a strong strong seaweed taste at the bottom of the cup. So far, very delicious and very different. Will update further with more steepings! I would classify this tea as a very special occasion tea or special treat. The special steepings are a little tricky to follow and the tea is amazing. Definitely worth keeping in small quantities for that special treat.

Flavors: Seaweed, Sweet

Preparation
Iced 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 3 OZ / 79 ML

Login or sign up to leave a comment.