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Gyokuro -TEA Tasting Tuesday

Gyokuro is a special green tea produced in Japan. Like matcha--which you may have tried in American coffee shops (often used for green tea lattes and frappuccinos)--Gyokuro is shaded for 20 days after the plants sprout. If you are familiar with tea production, these Japanese green teas are picked, steamed, dried, and sorted. Matcha becomes a powder. Gyokuro, on the other hand, is rolled into twists.

This tea's taste is wildly interesting and unlike anything else I've tasted in tea. I usually drink it hot and prepare it as I would any other green tea... heat water to just before boiling, steep for 30 sec. to 1 min., remove leaves, and enjoy. But this time I tasted it that way and then followed the recommendation of Samovar Tea to try a cold steep for the initial steep. They recommend covering the leaves barely and steeping for a whopping 7 MINUTES!

It was truly amazing that tea could taste so different from anything I have expected a tea to taste like. Umami is definitely the most notable flavor. Hot steeping this tea yeilds a grassy, earthy, bright flavor, but this cold steep was savory and soup like. In following steeps using warm water, I could not escape the umami reference and flavor from the initial steep.

I love tea tasting in my Sandy Simon tea cup. I'ts covered and came with this delightful leaf that is attached to a tea bag sticking out a whole in the lid. It's white inside which allows me to fully appreciate the color of the tea.

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