Country of Origin: Japan
Leaf Appearance: small, dark
Steep time: 2 minutes
Water Temperature: 120 degrees
Preparation Method: Tokoname kyusu
Liquor: bright green
Gyokuro is one of my favorite Japanese green teas so I was really happy to see a generously sized sample of this tea in my mailbox. Some of you might remember that I reviewed the matcha from this company last month. All of their teas are sourced from Uji, a place considered by many to be the birthplace of tea in Japan. The tea came packed in a foil bag inside of a cardboard tube style container. I prefer resealable packaging in order to keep the tea fresh but thankfully I had a bag sealer stick ready to use.
The dry leaves of Sencha.App Gyokuro were dark green with the characteristic needle shape of gyokuro. This tea is shade-grown for 2-3 weeks before harvest. That process causes the tea plants to naturally increase the amount of chlorophyll. I opted to brew this tea in my Tokoname kyusu for this review. The inside is glazed so that it doesn’t affect the flavor. I also like the convenience of the built-in mesh strainer since Japanese tea leaves tend to be small and delicate. I also gave ice brewing this tea a try in my Hagi houhin afterward. That is definitely the way to go if you enjoy umami, especially on a hot day.
Sencha.App Gyokuro brewed up a vibrant shade of green with nice clarity. The taste was mild and sweet, particularly when using a lower water temperature. If you use hotter water, be sure to shorten your infusion time accordingly. There was plenty of umami with surprising notes of citrus that lent a clean crispness to the finish. I was reminded of the delicious yuzu sauce that my favorite sushi place puts on their salmon appetizer. The second infusion was more vegetal with hints of mint. Overall it was a very smooth tea with hardly any astringency.
Have you tried Sencha.App Gyokuro? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!