Gyokuro Green Tea

Tea type
Green Tea
Ingredients
Green Tea
Flavors
Dill, Salty, Seaweed, Vegetal, Vinegar
Sold in
Loose Leaf
Caffeine
Medium
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Mastress Alita
Average preparation
140 °F / 60 °C 0 min, 30 sec 2 g 1 oz / 30 ml

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5 Tasting Notes View all

  • “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,...” Read full tasting note
    32
  • “My very first ever gyokuro. Know what I love about the reviews for this one? Every one has a very different take on it. Here’s mine – One of the reviews said the leaf looked like confetti. Yeah,...” Read full tasting note
  • “Last one from the Simple Loose Leaf box. The leaves are dark green, with a sweet, intensely green, slightly seaweed-like aroma. It reminds me a bit of the matcha I had the other day. Brewed at...” Read full tasting note
    82
  • “Imagine my surprise at seeing Gyokuro as one of the teas for this month, then imagine my surprise when I actually looked at the leaves, it looks nothing like the needly Gyokuro leaves I am familiar...” Read full tasting note
    83

From Simple Loose Leaf

Gyokuro is matured under full shade for 3 weeks and has an aroma of orange blossoms. Savory and earthly this tea has memories of nori and whispers of french beans and cucumbers. Gyokuro is an exceptional tea that demands a unique brewing method to reach its full potential. Using a lower water temperature is key, use between 120F and 140F water when brewing. Use 1 to 2 grams of tea per ounce of water and let the tea steep for 5 minutes for the first steeping. Subsequent steepings require only a minute or two.

About Simple Loose Leaf View company

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5 Tasting Notes

32
536 tasting notes

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

Preparation
140 °F / 60 °C 0 min, 30 sec 2 g 1 OZ / 30 ML
meowster

Not sure about the temperature of water you used, but it should be 165F ish.

Regardless, gyokuro is definitely umami tasting. Not for everyone!

Mastress Alita

I use really low temp water for gyokuro, as everything I read says it should be 120-140F. I had it around 140ish. Lowest setting on my kettle was 160, then I “water transfer” several times between several vessels to lower the temp further.

I have tried a kabusecha that was extremely umami; this was nothing like that. This tasted more like drinking hot salty vinegar. Honestly, I just don’t think I saved enough leaf from the box to even have had a proper chance to have done anything with it.

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1719 tasting notes

My very first ever gyokuro. Know what I love about the reviews for this one? Every one has a very different take on it. Here’s mine – One of the reviews said the leaf looked like confetti. Yeah, that’s it. To me it has a grassy aroma with some citrus notes. When I read the instructions for this tea I thought, man that’s fussy. It requires more leaf and waaaaay cooler temperatures than anything else I recall brewing. As fast as a kettle heats, it is hard to get it right. Then 5 minutes for the first steep? Crazy.

Turns out this is worth the fuss. This is probably too cool for most people’s taste. It is perfect to me. I taste of grass at first. My brain adjusts and then I pick up on citrus. Then cucumber. I love that flavor in a tea so it jumps out at me. Others mentioned this being sweet. I don’t really get that. To me it is savory. Not salty but that sensation. And there is a note that reminds me of dill. There is no bitterness. It is kind of drying. It’s OK because the cucumber and dill linger in the aftertaste. With the next cup it added a touch of earthiness.

Sil

haha glad you had a great experience with it!

Mikumofu

A great review, glad you enjoyed it too! I always wish tea could cool faster so this is just right :)

Hillel

“To me it is savory. Not salty but that sensation.” I’m pretty sure that the word you’re looking for is “umami.” We don’t have a word for that in English, but you’ve described it perfectly.

K S

After some thought I do believe it expresses my take on this tea better. Thanks.

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82
334 tasting notes

Last one from the Simple Loose Leaf box. The leaves are dark green, with a sweet, intensely green, slightly seaweed-like aroma. It reminds me a bit of the matcha I had the other day. Brewed at under 140F as recommended. The taste is crisply sweet in a fresh-vegetation way. I see cucumber in the description, and that seems about right! The nori seaweed undertone is savory and subtle at first, emerging more on second steeping. It’s a light-bodied tea, especially with the low brewing temperature, and something that needs to be appreciated slowly. I am happy to have tried it!

Mike

I loved the Teavana gyokuro! I’ll have to try this one…nice sweetness with just a little grassiness. :)

Mikumofu

I’m fairly new to gyokuro and it’s definitely a type of tea I will enjoy exploring more!

Mike

I’m new to it as well! The Teavana one was my first one…I finished the first 2 oz way too quickly! :P

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83
921 tasting notes

Imagine my surprise at seeing Gyokuro as one of the teas for this month, then imagine my surprise when I actually looked at the leaves, it looks nothing like the needly Gyokuro leaves I am familiar with! It kinda looks a lot like Tencha, the leaves that are ground into making Matcha, but that is crazy rare, since it is wanted to make said powdery goodness. The aroma of the leaves is a blend of green notes and a tiny bit of toasted rice crackers. You know, those delicious Japanese crackers that have bits of seaweed and such? I used to be addicted to those once upon a time. The green notes are a mix of fresh hay, sweetgrass, actual grass, and a tiny bit of seaweed.

I brewed this in the standard Gyokuro way, lots of leaf and cool temperatures, it is always fun brewing gyokuro, though I do wish I had a shiboridashi! The aroma is a mix of green growing hay, freshly cut grass, a bit of Nori, and a little like rice. As expected the mouthfeel is thick and syrupy, the taste is so sweet it is almost syrupy as well, that is a potent sweetness! Like honey and sweet hay, this transitions to a more umami seaweed and lastly a bit of bok choy. A few minutes after the sipping and there is a sweetness in my mouth from it. Hilariously I did another steep but got distracted…came back about 20 minutes later, I drank it because YOLO and it was actually pretty tasty. Super green and umami, but tasty!

For blog and photos: http://ramblingbutterflythoughts.blogspot.com/2015/02/simple-loose-leaf-co-op-box-day-1.html

Mike

Nice, it’s gyokuro day! :P I just finished my Teavana gyokuro…I’ll have to try this one next! Great review!

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818 tasting notes

Thanks for the sample, SLL! I’ve never tried a gyokuro before and I’m not a big green tea drinker, but hey, I’ll try anything once! I feel like maybe I’ve heard that gyokuro is kind of a fancy, high society tea. The description says it is exceptional, so I might be right!

The dry leaf is a very vibrant green color and chopped up like confetti. It smells nutty and buttery, like a pastry! Actually, it smells just like shortbread cookies! Yum!

The recommended steeping parameters call for a water temperature between 120 and 140 degrees F, but it turns out my kettle won’t set below 140F. Fortunately, it will display the temperature as it gradually heats up, so I unplugged it when it said 130F! SSL also recommends a 5-minute steeping time for the first infusion. 5 minutes for a green tea? That’s long!

The wet leaf smells vegetal. The liquor is a light yellow-green color. It tastes like something out of the ocean, minus the salt, like seaweed, and it’s also nutty, creamy, and buttery. It has a lightweight mouthfeel. The only weird thing for me was the water temperature is a little low for my taste…I like my tea a little hotter. Overall, it’s very different than other green teas I’ve had and I quite like it!

Pic of the leaf:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/16505835235/

Mike

Gyokuro is my favorite green tea! Glad you liked it! The Teavana one only calls for a 45 second to 1 minute steep, I’m surprised they called for 4-5 minutes. I steep it a little warmer as well…140F is too low for my taste also!

Tealizzy

It didn’t get dark or bitter at 5 minutes, so I think it was right for this one at least. I’ll have to try it at a little higher temp next time!

Mikumofu

Sounds great! I’m still waiting to try this one…just sounds like such an afternoon tea for me, and I’ve been spending all my afternoons away from home (and any hope of water temperature control!) lately.

Mike

Nice! I did do some longer steeps, and it was still nice and sweet. I’ll have to try this gyokuro!

Anlina

I love gyokuro. I usually go with a bit warmer water and very short steeps. I wish I could drink it more often, but I find with the gyokuro I have, the caffeine hits me like a freight train.

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