First: I have not tried hundreds of Gyokuros, but from a general perspective on tea, this is an excellent one. The flavor is sweet, vegetal, like fresh cut alfalfa, but also unexpectedly with strong notes of hazelnut, and a soothing creaminess that balances out the edge that some Japanese green teas have.
Yet the most interesting part of this tea was in the mouthfeel and the aftertaste. There is an interesting numbing sensation to drinking this tea slowly. As you keep drinking, the sensation builds, and the result is the perception of a more honey-like sweetness. The aftertaste moves towards roasted hazelnut.
About brewing. I tried brewing exactly as directed, and like other people say, it makes a really strong tea. I like the experience, but I would not drink this more than once every few weeks at that intensity. I tried brewing it up like they do in Northern China, where green tea is poured back and forth between two glass pitchers for no more than 10 seconds, but with hotter water, and I got good results. It also steeps up perfectly nicely in a large pot for 1-2 minutes with 160 degree water.
Thank you Den’s for showing me what Japanese tea has to offer.