Oliver from Nio Teas sent me some samples a while ago and I finally found the time to taste another Japanese green tea. I was amazed by the Yakushima Sencha and rated this tea 10/10. Gyokuro is supposed to be even better so I was really excited to try the Gyokuro Cha Musume.
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Gyokuro Cha Musume
Gyokuro is traditionally seen as one of the highest grades of Japanese green tea. Usually, the producer makes sure he drastically reduces the amount of sunlight the plants get several weeks before harvesting. This process makes it so the tea has more umami notes than non-shaded green tea. Gyokuro is also known as the emperor’s tea and is why farmers hold a competition to become the emperor’s choice. This implies that this is the best Gyokuro from that year. This one comes from Mr Sakamoto’s farm that has been organic since 1985. Mr Sakamoto’s farm is in Kagoshima, which is in the Southern part of the main island of Japan.
The dry leaves have a dark and uniform green colour. There is a variety of sizes: very long leaves and short ones as well. The needle shape of the leaves is typical of a Japanese green tea. The aroma is a light sweetness with some subtle hazelnut.
Once the leaves are wet, the colour changes into a lighter and fresher green. The leaves have unfurled and you can clearly see a variety of different sizes. The aroma is mainly hazelnut now.
- Water 70°C
- 2.3g for a 100ml Tokoname Kyusu
- No rinse
- 3 infusions (60-30-45)
1st infusion (60 sec): this infusion has a very light colour. The colour is almost beige. Umami is definitely the most dominant flavour. The umami goes on into the aftertaste but I’m also getting a light sweetness in the finish. It’s just about right!
2nd infusion (30 sec): the colour is a tiny bit green now and it has a yellow hue. It’s still mainly umami but less prominent. I’m also getting subtle hazelnut somewhere in the middle. The aftertaste is light umami.
3rd infusion (45 sec): this infusion has the clearest liquor; it’s a kind of yellow. Still umami but even less prominent than the second infusion. There is a subtle sweetness as well. It’s very enjoyable!
This is an enjoyable green tea. It certainly has umami flavours but nothing too intense. It feels almost right, in my opinion. The flavours are truly delicious, but it’s a bit too subtle for me. If you’re looking for a subtle Japanese green tea, this might be the one for you. The umami, hazelnut and sweetness were enjoyable but not 100% perfect for my taste. I did, however, really enjoy the session. There are some Gyokuros that are way too intense, but that is not the case with this one.
Interested in buying this tea? Visit Nio Teas’ store here.