Translation: Pearl of dew and prestigious
Production area: Uji, Kyoto Prefecture
Harvest season: Once a year, in May
Although some sources claim that shaded growing was practiced as early as the beginning of the 17th century, the first Gyokuro tea was officially produced in 1835, in Uji, by Kahei Yamamoto. Gyokuro is the most precious tea produced in Japan, It is processed entirely by hand, and meticulous care is taken at every stage of its production.The distinctive characteristic of its production is that the fields in which it is grown are shaded for three weeks before harvesting, so 80 percent to 95 percent of the suns rays are blocked. Most growers now use an open mesh to create the shade, however some prefer to use the traditional straw shading for their most prestigious teas. The purpose of shading is to filter the light so that the tea tree, unable to fully carry out photosynthesis, releases more chlorophyll and amino acids (particularly theanine), and fewer tannins, into the leaves.
Tasting notes: The beautiful dried leaves are dark green and glisten in the light Extremely fine and supple, they vary in size and give off delicate scents of butter; chlorophyll and green vegetables. Infusion releases appetizing aromas of vegetable broth. The same rich bouquet emanates from the thick emerald-green liquid. The smooth, velvety texture of the rounded mouth feel is surprisingly dense. The generous, heady aromas of chlorophyll, corn salad, broth and oily nuts are quite intense. The fresh, sweet finish, reminiscent of snow peas, is very persistent. It is a remarkably complex tea, with absolutely no bitterness or astringency.
Recommended infusion accessory: A Japanese style teapot.