A few weeks ago, my sister Alex and I had lunch at Essencha. Essencha is a wonderful tea house where one can have lunch, on Sunday’s breakfast, tea and an overall good time. Alex was in town for an extended weekend – I had been looking forward to taking her to lunch for the last few months, since I discovered she was planning to come home. Initially, I could not decide where we should go for lunch. But then it hit me, why not share with her a place that encapsulates one of my passions? Of course, I could not leave without expanding the selection of teas found in my pantry. Thus I purchased and have been drinking a great deal of lately, Gyokuro Kin.
Composition: Japanese green tea produced in the Asahina area of the Shizuoka prefecture.
Dry Visual: Lush, vibrant green, choppy leaves with light green stems. Resembles freshly cut blades of grass.
Dry Aroma: The outdoorsy smell of grass after a spring rain.
Flavor: This was my first experience tasting Gyokuro Kin. Not knowing what to expect I decided not to have any expectations at all and was pleasantly surprised by the mild nature of this tea. While green tea is not my favorite category, I really love Gyokuro Kin. It has subtle grassy notes and is consistent from start to finish. I found Gyokuro Kin to be both sweet and clean tasting. One interesting note, as the cup began to cool, Gyokuro Kin reminded me somewhat of a green oolong – others might disagree.
There is no need for the addition of a sweetener and thus none was added. Gyokuro Kin has no astringency; however, adding honey and drinking as an iced tea is a definite option. I found that I was able to get two very delicious infusions out of the same tea leaves – I’ve yet to try for a third.
Liquor: A light green almost yellow hue.
Brewing Time: The recommended steeping time for Gyokuro Kin is 2 minutes in 160 degree water. This is one tea that is not very forgiving, I accidentally steeped using preboiling water and let’s just say, I did not have a tasty cup of tea. Therefore, I steeped for 2 minutes as recommended for the first infusion and 3 to 4 minutes for the second infusion.
Gyokuro means “Jewel dew” and is processed like Sencha, another awesome Japanese green tea. If you have had an opportunity to try Gyokuro Kin, please stop by and share your experience. Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!