Country of Origin: Japan
Leaf Appearance: very dark green, needle-like shape
Water Temperature: 105 degrees
Steep Time: 1 minute
Preparation Method: houhin
Liquor: bright greenish-gold
Mizuba Tea Co. has been one of my favorite matcha sources for years. That is why I was incredibly excited when Lauren announced that she would be releasing a line of heritage Japanese loose leaf teas. Of course, I had to start with gyokuro but there will be several more reviews to come. This tea was made in Kagoshima using the Saemidori cultivar. It is certified organic and the leaves were shaded for 3 weeks before harvest.
The dry leaves of Mizuba Tea Co. Organic Gyokuro were small in size and incredibly dark green. They had a needle-like shape with a nice sheen. I noticed a clean and fresh aroma when I opened my sample packet. I prepared this tea using Mizuba Tea Co.’s recommendations in a glazed Hagi-yaki houhin. I like using this vessel because it holds exactly 50ml. The water temperature was 105℉ and a 1-minute long first infusion. Both the water quantity and temperature were increased by 10 for subsequent steeps.
Mizuba Tea Co. Organic Gyokuro brewed up a bright greenish-gold liquor. The taste started incredibly aromatic with subtle hints of fresh baby spinach and prominent umami. Notes of pear and baked peach in the mid-palate surprised me. I have never experienced such a fruity gyokuro before. The mouthfeel was thick, almost making it feel like syrup. My 2nd infusion was more on the savory side but just as enjoyable.
This will seem a bit odd but gyokuro leaves are quite tasty after they have been infused. I don’t always eat my tea but I was struck by how sweet this one tasted. The leaves were delicious! It was so nice to be able to keep the experience going even after the tea had been steeped out.
I would definitely recommend this tea, especially if you’re new to gyokuro. It wasn’t fussy but still offers lots of complexity even when brewed at a low temperature. This is a type of tea that can get very expensive but this one is very fairly priced, especially for the quality.
Have you ever tried Mizuba Tea Co. Organic Gyokuro? Let me know your thoughts in the comment below!