Country of Origin: Japan
Leaf Appearance: small, dark green
Steep time: 2 minutes
Water Temperature: 104 degrees
Preparation Method: Tokoname kyusu
Liquor: pale green
Ikkyu specializes in teas from Kyushu Island in Japan. They work very closely with partner producers to share their teas with tea lovers outside of Japan. I have enjoyed several of their teas previously, so I was excited to try this one. This gyokuro was natural rice straw and made with the Yabukita, Yamakai, Gokou cultivars.
Check out this fantastic interview with Kiya Yasuhiko, the producer of this tea.
The dry leaves were incredibly teeny tiny and a vibrant dark green color. They a fresh, grassy aroma that was apparent the moment I opened the packet. I had to giggle when I saw that the brewing directions on the product sheet reassured the reader that the extremely low water temperature of 104 degrees was correct. I brewed this tea in a small Tokoname kyusu following their instructions. The first infusion was for 2 minutes with subsequent rounds being brewed for only a few seconds.
Satori Gyokuro brewed up a pale green liquor. Since the water temperature was so low, the tea was barely hot at all. I found the effect incredibly refreshing. I was able to get 5 very consistent infusions following Ikkyu’s brewing recommendations. Taste-wise, this tea was a real umami bomb. It was grassy but in a really fresh way along with notes of citrus and the faintest hint of florals. The deep sweetness and thick, syrupy mouthfeel lingered after each sip.
I would absolutely recommend this tea but with the caution that it may not be the best choice for beginners. My Fellow Corvo EKG was able to heat the water to exactly 104 degrees but I know that many models don’t. You’ll need to be able to carefully measure the temperature of your water in order to brew it properly.
I’ve said it before (many times), but I’ll repeat it. Japanese teas always have the best packaging! Ikkyu, in particular, is a brand whose packaging is always incredibly well done. The packet of tea is always wrapped in beautiful gold foil paper and a full info sheet on the tea and its producer.
Have you ever tried Satori Gyokuro? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!