Summer Vacation! So, this is a gyokuro that was left in the Here’s Hoping Teabox (thank you kindly to tea-sipper for organizing, and all who contributed to that box!). I had never tried a gyokuro, so I decided to keep a sample. Though, knowing nothing about gyokuro, I kept the same sampler size I always keep — about a teaspoon. Researching more into them now, they require a much higher leaf-to-water ratio than most teas, so to prepare this with the amount of leaf I kept for myself, I was basically left with about half a shot glass worth of tea. Err… bottoms up?
The aroma is very salty, and reminds me a lot of apple cider vinegar? Strange, I know. The taste had some faint seaweed vegetal notes, and a little of that warm fermented pickle juice flavor that I get from the Awa Bancha tea. The aftertaste is quite salty. Overall, the flavor felt quite weak, but that could be a result of the age of the tea plus having so little leaf to work with. I basically had a thimble worth of water and had to flash-steep as a result in order to avoid getting ZOMG-DEATH-BY-GREEN-TEA-ASTRINGENCY! (it did work, though…)
It certainly makes me think more of my Awa Bancha (aka my “try it if you dare” pickle juice tea) than my mind’s own vision of gyokuro, which has always been something deeply vegetal/umami; my Kabusecha certainly had a flavor profile that struck me as being what I imagine to be quite “gyokuro-like” when I tried that in the past (that tea was so umami rich I actually preferred drinking it in a shot glass amount at a time, much like one drinks wheatgrass juice…). I do have another gyokuro sampler in my collection with a fair bit of leaf to play with, so I’ll definitely have to try that this week and see how it compares, and if my own mental perceptions have any credence here…
Bottom line, though… I didn’t really like this particular tea.
Flavors: Dill, Salty, Seaweed, Vegetal, Vinegar