Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Gyokuro from Adagio

Scent in tin: Sweet and grassy.
Brewed in: Tokoname style teapot w/metal infuser basket
Steeped: 3 min. @ 180 degrees w/tap water
Cup: matching cup to the pot

After experimenting with Matcha, I decided to try some other green teas from Japan. Chinese greens are often not really “my thing” unless scented (though as I learn to brew them better, they taste better – imagine that). But for some reason, the Japanese greens seem more to my taste. So I ordered several sample tins of Japanese green teas from Adagio to try them out.

According to the In Pursuit of Tea site, Gyokuro is the type of tea Matcha is made from. It smells grassy and vegetal, and I used a Tokoname style pot to brew a cup before bed last night. It brews up rather bright green in the cup (though my cups are green, so probably enhanced the color, as you can see). The scent in the cup is also grassy and vegetal, but the taste is light and sweet. It’s an interesting tea, as it is rich at the same time, and tastes like crisp, fresh vegetables that are perfectly cooked (no mush here!). You can almost imagine the texture of bright, sweet asparagus crunching in your teeth…as unappetizing as that may sound when we’re talking about tea, it’s the sensation that came to mind as I was sipping. The tea does seem to get more astringent as it cools, but not in a bad way.

Ironically enough, though the tea itself is bright, fresh and “crisp”, the brewed leaves are mushy and unappetizing.

It is an expensive tea – my little sample tin from Adagio was $6, but worth it, I think. It’s not really something I’d drink everyday, but it was a very pleasant cup, especially late at night while winding down to sleep. I certainly enjoyed it more than many Chinese greens, and I’d recommend tasting it at least once just for the experience.

1 comment:

  1. Oooh, very cool. I love gyokuro and I love Adagio's business practices, but I've always been a little hesitant to try their variety. But it looks good! Much better than I would have thought, at least. :)

    Great review, as always.


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