The Japanese word gyokuro (玉露) means “jade dew”, alluring to the almost velvet-like quality of the liquid after the first steeping. Gyokuro is one of the highest grades of green tea in Japan. The manual process of shading (covering the plantation with rice straw mats) results in a higher level of L-Theanine, which is responsible for the intense and slightly sweet flavour.
Gyokuro teas are a luxury even in Japan. They require a considerable lower water temperature (usually around 50-60ºC and a short steeping time and allow for up to 4 consecutive infusions of the same tea leaves.
This specific tea has been cultivated on Kyushu island, close to where the first monastery gardens were created. Buddhist monks traditionally use shaded teas to maintain alertness during long hours of meditation.
This Shincha is surprisingly versatile. Enjoy it like a classic Sencha, or indulge in its richness following the Gyokuro ritual.
Traditional Gyokuro experience:
- First infusion: cover 3g of tea leaves with 100 ml of water at 50ºC, 2 min
- Second infusion: add 100 ml of water at 60ºC, 10 seconds
- Repeat at your convenience.
Sencha-style for a European experience:
- First infusion: cover 12g of tea leaves with 1 l of water at 50ºC, 2 min
- Second infusion: add 1 l of water at 70-80ºC, 3 min.
- 3 weeks of pre-harvest covering
- Short steaming (Asamushi style)