About the Nakamura Tea Brand

Gyokuro

What Is Gyokuro?

Like tencha, gyokuro is produced by covering the tea plants in shades and blocking out the sunlight while the sprouts are growing. Blocking out sunlight prevents the sweet and delicious (umami) tastes from turning into bitterness and astringency. As a result, gyokuro takes on deep and mellow character, with sufficient sweetness and deliciousness (umami), resulting in a rich and profound flavour. High quality gyokuro has a unique “oika (aroma from covering)” similar to the aroma of dried laver attributable to its powerful sweetness and deliciousness (umami).

Gyokuro

Quality Differences

The higher the quality, the stronger the sweetness and deliciousness of the tea, with less bitterness and astringency, a better aroma and deeper colours of the tea leaves. The transparency of the liquor (= suishoku [water colour]) is also enhanced.

Sweetness
Sweetness

[High]Deep, strong and profound. Mellowness spreads throughout the mouth. Exquisite and elegant.

[Low]Weak. Bitterness and astringency overpower the sweetness. Lacks in deepness and profoundness and does not spread in the mouth.

Deliciousness (umami)
Deliciousness

[High]Very strong. The tea is mellow and entangles itself around the tongue with a rich thickness. A deep aftertaste lingers.

[Low]Thin. The deliciousness (umami) is overpowered by bitterness and astringency when the tea is brewed at a higher temperature.

Bitterness and Astringency
Bitterness and Astringency

[High]A very subtle bitterness and astringency concealed in sweetness and deliciousness can be distinguished. Free from any disturbing aromas. Elegant.

[Low]Bitterness and astringency stand out when the tea is brewed at higher temperatures. The bitterness entails a slight sharpness and leaves an even sharper impression when accompanied by astringency.

Aroma
Aroma

[High]High quality gyokuro has a unique “oika (aroma from covering)” similar to dried laver. While exhibiting a heavy outlook, it feels soft and gorgeous. Maturation also adds to it's fragrance.

[Low]Simple and rough. Lacks in deepness and complexity and does not spread throughout the mouth. Superficial.

Liquor Colour
Colour of Water

[High]Clear pale green with very little redness and yellowness. High transparency.

[Low]Pale green with redness and yellowness. Turbid, dull and cloudy.

Leaf Colour
Colour

[High]Glossy on the surface. Dark green without somberness. Thick in the centre but gradually gets thinner towards both ends.

[Low]Dry and lacks in gloss. Most leaves are flat and soft rather than round and hard. Used tea leaves are reddish and yellowish with conspicuous leaf veins.

How to Make Good Cups of Tea (for two)

When brewing green tea, it's sweetness is more easily extracted with water at lower temperatures; the higher the temperature of hot water, the more bitterness and astringency will be released. The charms of gyokuro lie in it's deep sweetness and deliciousnes (umami) above all. By slowly brewing at a lower temperature, you can bring out these features better. We recommend using a small tea pot and cups. Gyokuro can be compared to an espresso in the sense that it's richness and flavour is enjoyed in concentrated small amounts.

  • Tea Leaves
    8-10g
  • Water Temperature
    60℃
  • Water Amount
    80-100ml
  • Waiting Time
    120-150 seconds

(1) Pour boiling water in a tea pot and cups to warm them up and lower water temperature. Water temperature goes down by slightly less than 10 degrees every time you pour water into another container.
(2) Put 8 g (approx. 2 teaspoons) of tea leaves in the pot. Slowly pour 80 ml of hot water at 60 ℃.
(3) Wait for about 120 seconds without shaking the pot. Pour the tea little by little into several cups alternately (to distribute the tea evenly). Pour until the last drop and leave the lid of the pot open.
(4) For the second round and on, serve without waiting after pouring hot water in the pot.

Another Way to Enjoy: Cold Brew Gyokuro

Although gyokuro has strong sweetness originally, you can enjoy even better smoothness and sweetness by brewing with cold water.

  • Tea Leaves
    10g
  • Water Temperature
    Cold
  • Water Amount
    80ml
  • Waiting Time
    More than 30 minutes

(1) Insert 10 g (slightly more than 2 teaspoons) of tea leaves in the tea pot. Slowly pour 80 ml of cold water on the leaves.
(2) Put the lid on the pot and wait for 30 minutes without shaking the pot. Pour the tea into glasses. You can add small ice cubes.
After the second round, you can use either cold or hot water.We can also recommend brewing with ice by putting only tea leaves and ice in the tea pot although this method takes longer.

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