Today I am writing about my adventures with a Gyokuro named 本玉露 by Yunomi.US. To begin with, I really wanted to get into the spirit of drinking JapaneseGreen tea so I used a Japanese porcelain teapot that is about 250ml in water capacity and a Hagi Style teacup that is about 50ml in water capacity.
The reason that I used the porcelain teapot was due to the fact that porcelain does not influence the flavor of the tea, hence allowing the tea drinker the privilege of only tasting the tea. I heated the water to about 185 Degrees Fahrenheit in a steel kettle by Breville. Using this device makes it easier to control the temperature so that I do not burn the leaves, which would destroy the flavor of the tea. The leaves of this tea resembled that of a traditional Gyokuro. It consisted of short needles varying in shades of green from light to dark.
Below I will list my experiences with each steep.
I steeped the tea for about 15 seconds. The first steep was a little sweet with a lingering yet pleasant after-taste that I could feel slowly trickle down the entire length of my throat ending in my stomach. The color of the tea was a mixture of light gold and green. The cup that I used has a beautiful white glaze that really brought out the vibrant soothing color of the tea broth. With each sip of this I can feel my stomach getting warmer and warmer causing the rest of my body and mind to relax. After the 1st steep was through I smelled the inside contents of the teapot. The smell of the wet tea reminded me of Nori and Matcha, both having amazing flavors.
Even though I am on the 2nd steep, the aftertaste from the 1st steep is still lingering in my mouth creating a burning desire within me to try the 2nd round. I steeped the 2nd round at for about 20 seconds.The color is a little lighter but not much. It is still the golden green as described earlier. The smell of this broth is heavenly! As I breathe it in through my nose, I can feel the tea fumes filling my mind with a thick aroma that encourages my mind to just let go and relax. The broth is not quite as thick in texture but the aftertaste is still wonderful. By this point, my mouth has started to produce a lot of saliva! I love the way the broth feels as it gently moves its way down my throat eventually coming to a rest in my stomach causing my body and mind to both take part in the effects of this tea. I know that I wrote about this in the 1st steep but so far that has been the most outstanding quality of this tea. I am starting to feel my body totally give in to the relaxing effects of this. I feel tranquil and peaceful. 禅
The smell of the wet leaves in the teapot has lost some of its Match/Nori smell. It is not as vibrant as the 2nd steep. I hope that the taste is better. This time I steeped the Gyokuro for about 25 seconds.The broth has significantly faded in color and aftertaste. The texture is a lot thinner and does not flow down my throat as delicately as the other two steeps. I think that this might be the last steep. I can feel the warm sensation of the tea in my stomach but not quite as soothing as it was earlier. But, on a positive note I can feel the most familiar feeling that most teas bring and that is energy. I feel both relaxed and uplifted at the same time! I decided to let my wife try it and she said the following: