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After being disappointed with some recent organic Japanese green tea purchases, I’m really enjoying this organic gyokuro.

From the moment I opened the pouch, I knew this tea was going to be good. The tea leaves had a exquisite aroma that was fresh, grassy, and mildly earthy all at the same time. Not surprising considering the production date was late May 2013 and I received the tea just a few months later.

However I was disappointed the first few times I brewed this tea. I followed the enclosed instructions and steeped for 60 to 75 seconds at 140 F. This resulted in a very weak brew that basically tasted like hot water. So I reverted back to my standard method for gyokuro: 1 heaping teaspoon per 6 oz of water @ 160 F. The result was a pleasantly grassy brew with notes of seaweed and spinach balanced with a light sweetness. First infusion yielded a pale yellowish green liquor. Second infusion was a stunning almost neon green and the color of the third was similar to the first. The flavor of the second infusion is similar to the first, distinctly vegetal but without the thick mouthfeel. Third infusion is similar to sencha. My temperature/times for each infusion:

1st: 160 F for about 65 seconds
2nd: 160 F for 35-40 seconds
3rd: 170 F for 90 seconds

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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My Rating Criteria:

95 to 100: Top shelf stuff. Loved this tea and highly recommend it

90 to 94: Excellent. Enjoyed this tea and would likely repurchase

80 to 89: Good but not great. I liked it though it may be lacking in some aspects. I’ll finish it but probably won’t buy again

70 to 79: Average at best. Not terrible but wouldn’t willingly drink again

60 to 69: Sub-par. Low quality tea, barely palatable

59 and below: Bleh

Fell into tea many years ago and for a long time my experience was limited to Japanese greens and flavored Teavana teas. My tea epiphany happened when I discovered jade oolongs. That was my gateway drug to the world of high quality tea and teaware.

For the most part, I drink straight tea but do appreciate a good flavored tea on occasion. I love fresh green and floral flavors and as such, green tea and Taiwanese oolongs will always have a place in my cupboard. After avoiding black tea forever, Chinese blacks have started to grow on me. I’m less enthusiastic about puerh though. I also enjoy white tea and tisanes but reach for them less frequently.

Other non-tea interests include: cooking, reading, nature, philosophy, MMA, traveling when I can, and of course putzing around on the interwebs.

IG: https://www.instagram.com/melucky

Location

Chicago

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