I had a rough time with this tea. For starters, it was very finicky. Brewed as sencha, it’s bitter with an unpleasant vegetal aftertaste. The flavor improved slightly when I doubled the leaf quantity and steeped in the manner of gyokuro (i.e., lower temperature, slightly longer steep). About 140F/90s worked for me.
The first steep is umami rich and has an assertive vegetal character. There’ some astringency at the end which is pleasant enough. The second steep I brewed like sencha for 1m at 160F and got a more sencha like flavor, grassy and less umami. However, there was a sulfur like bitterness as it went down. Not very enjoyable The third steep was flat and bitter.
Overall, this gyokuro is decidedly less sweet and more umami focused, which is fine but the harsh, persistent bitterness just doesn’t do it for me.
Flavors: Bitter, Broccoli, Grass, Umami