My tasting notes: Gyokuro
"There is a subtle charm in the taste of tea which makes it irresistible."
Okakura Kakuzō, The Book of Tea
Whenever I enjoy tea, I need beautiful things around me. Flowers, for example. I've recently gathered my tasting notes for Gyokuro, also known as "jade dew" from Japan. When I think of Japanese art, the first thing that comes to mind are irises painted on a golden screen. Irises convey elegance and serenity. Now that we've set the mood, let's taste some tea!
Yame Gyokuro, O5 Rare Tea Bar, Vancouver BC, Canada
Tea Name: Yame Gyokuro
Grower: Yamaguchi Family
Origin: Hoshino, Yame, Japan
Ingredients: green tea
Preparation Method: porcelain gaiwan
Leaves/Water ratio: 4 grams tea leaves to 5 oz / 150 ml filtered water (Brita)
Water Temperature: 140-150 F / 60-65 C
Steep time: 1-2 minutes
dry leaves: forest green with light green hues, thin, short and medium length needles
wet leaves: bright forest green, they open up in small square shapes
liquor: pale bright green, jade
dry leaves: light and aromatic, white chocolate, cocoa butter, cucumber
wet leaves: cooked spinach, grassy, umami
liquor: fresh, savory, cooked spinach, grassy
liquor: umami with a mineral aftertaste, seaweed, miso
MOUTHFEEL: long mineral finish lingers in your mouth
FOOD PAIRING: after steeping, you can use the tea leaves in a salad or as a topping for a bowl of rice. I have not tried it yet but I find the idea very intriguing, especially because throwing away such good quality delicious tea leaves breaks my heart. I think Gyokuro would pair really well with light savory dishes like fresh fava beans and pecorino cheese drizzled with light extra virgin olive oil.
OVERALL IMPRESSION: I discovered this tea while in Vancouver, BC and I can truly say this was love at first sip! We had been warned that the first steep was going to be intense in flavor and very seaweed-y. I found it simply delicious. If there is such a thing as savory tea, this would be it. Have you tried it? How do you like to drink it?
Disclaimer: I purchased this product with my own money and I was not asked to review it. This is my honest opinion. I am not affiliated with O5 Tea nor with the manufacturer of this product.