What is Gyokuro green tea?
Gyokuro is a very special (and pricey) Japanese green tea. Gyokuro is also poetically called Jade Dew, which is a literal translation from Japanese. It accounts for less than a half percent of all Japanese teas produced. This treasured tea is grown under the shade of straw covers for about 3 weeks prior harvesting. That allows to slow down the leaf’s growth. As a result, the tea leaves grow thinner and tender, accumulating more amino acids and flavor.
Goyokuro tea’s health benefits are well known in alternative and traditional medicine.
Gyokuro produces pale green (hence the name) infusion, balanced and delicate, with a very little astringency. This type of tea is praised for its complex flavor with sweet grassy notes and mellow “steamed” taste characteristic to the finest of Japanese teas.
How do you drink Gyokuro tea?
It’s only natural that a tea as special as gyokuro would have its unique brewing requirements. To get the most out of this exquisite Japanese green tea, make the first infusion in room temperature water. Use just enough water to cover the tea leaves, and let them steep for 5-7 minutes*. After 5 minutes, the leaves will have absorbed most of the water, leaving only a spoonful of intense, aromatic brew with a pure umami flavor. Other infusions can be made the usual way, in hot (but not boiling) water. Allow 15 seconds for the second infusion, gradually increasing the duration for the third, fourth and fifth. You’ll get grassier flavors with every successive infusion. After the fifth infusion, you can continue to use the tea leaves in traditional Japanese rice recipes, or perhaps even a green tea soup!
*It is acceptable to use hot, but not boiling, water for the first infusion. In this case, don’t steep it for more than 30 seconds, or you’ll end up with a bitter tea.