Gyokuro intimidates me.
Like anything higher-end and expensive, I worry about doing it wrong and wasting something lovely. I’ve brewed a gyokuro only once before, and I was too stressed out to even really enjoy it.
But… I’m too tired to fuss over the details. This is the second to last tea in this sampler and I have more tea coming Friday from Den’s (sigh, I wanted so badly to reorder of my favorites from this sampler but I just can’t swallow $30 in international shipping costs right now), and it’s been such a week, I need to stop putting off the nice things.
This is definitely different from the other sencha. The dry leaves smell….deeper, certainly a darker green, and …..something else. Something I haven’t sensed before. I really can’t believe how deeply emerald these leaves are.
135F for two minutes and… the cup is …. strangely both very pale and very cloudy.
It’s certainly quite unlike any of the sencha. Astringency— is it really astringency? There a lot of it, but it’s also very mild, somehow, It make my mouth water but it doesn’t dry me out nearly as much. It’s full and rich and brothy, savory, something in the aftertaste is almost meaty. Not grassy at all. Fascinating.
The second steeping is brighter, a little thinner, a little grassier, but every bit as savory. The damp leaves smell like dried dates and maybe nuts?
There’s a nuttiness to the third steeping too, I feel like, the richness is starting to fade, but that alkaline-noodle-soup flavor lingers on and on.
The leaves are just so pretty, floating there under the water, almost blue-green, watching them is so relaxing, like an underground jungle. It makes me sort of miss when I kept heavily planted aquariums.
I don’t think I quite love gyokuro enough to justify the price, but it is always a unique and wonderful thing to try every now and then when I get samples.