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Kuradashi Gyokuro Uji Tea Tasting (The Japanese Tea Hub)

Kuradashi Gyokuru Uji The japanese tea hub Tea Adventures

The weather is slowly changing and Spring is almost here. Without even thinking about it, I’m craving more green tea again. I received several samples from The Japanese Tea Hub a while ago so I knew what to do. I have already tasted the teas that Xenia is currently selling, but she also gave me a couple of samples that she isn’t selling right now. One of those teas is the Kuradashi Gyokuro Uji.

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Kuradashi Gyokuro Uji

The Kuradashi Gyokuro Uji is a Japanese green tea from the Uji region. Several weeks before harvest, Gyokuro is shaded to increase its umami flavour. And yes, this is a Gyokuro tea from Uji. What about ‘kuradashi’?  I didn’t know what this was so I googled it and contacted Xenia to make sure I had the right information. Usually, green tea is drunk fresh; so not long after harvest. This is where kuradashi green tea differs from regular green tea: it’s stored/aged for a while after harvest. In the case of this Gyokuro from Uji, it has been stored for around 1 year.

The dry leaves have a very dark green colour. It looks so yummy! Medium-sized leaves, but also a lot of smaller pieces. The aroma is grassy and a tiny bit nutty. 

The aroma of the wet leaves has grassy notes to it in combination with a nuttiness. The colour is also green and once the leaves have opened, I see that the size of them is rather small. A lot of smaller pieces. 

Tea Tasting

  • Water 70°C
  • 2.5g for 120ml Tokoname Kyusu
  • 3 infusions

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Infusion 1 (45 sec): the colour is fairly light, but the flavours are good. This one is full-on umami. It’s giving me a greasy feeling on my tongue. The finish has some grassy notes to it and the aftertaste is umami again. It’s almost like drinking an Espresso shot of umami!

Infusion 2 (30 sec): this one starts out with an umami punch and that quickly changes into a grassiness. The aftertaste is fresh with an umami twist.

Infusion 3 (45 sec): it’s lightly grassy and I’m getting very subtle notes of umami. There is also a flavour that I can’t really pin down. It’s a bit sweet, but it also has a sharp edge to it. The aftertaste is sweet with a sharp twist.

Conclusion

The umami in this tea was insane! The first infusion was almost like an Espresso shot of umami. During the second one, it changed a bit and shifted towards grassy flavours. Umami was still present, but definitely not as prominent. The final infusion was grassy with a fresh sweetness in the aftertaste. Overall, this tea was good, but not my favourite. The sencha teas I’ve had from The Japanese Tea Hub were more to my liking because those had more varied flavours. This one was umami and grassy, while the others were more of a journey through different flavours. It was good, but nothing extraordinary. If you like umami, this tea will give you what you want, but not much more. This is exactly why Xenia is not selling this tea; it did not fully meet her standards

Normally, I give a link where you can buy the tea, but this is not possible for this one. It did not meet Xenia’s standards so she doesn’t sell it. This means that the other teas she is selling are a higher grade than this one. Please go to this page to see what teas she has on offer. 

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