Gyokuro is one of the most sophisticated tea types in the world. Its name translates from Japanese as “jade dew”, and is one of the most celebrated tea types in Japan! Let us learn more about this extraodinary tea!
History and production
Gyokuro tea was first discovered by the owner of Yamatoyama tea company in 1835. This tea type is a superior variation of Sencha Green Tea. However, Gyokuro did not become very popular in Japan before the Meiji period (between 1868 and 1912). Since then, gyokuro became one of the best known and most expensive tea types in Japan.
Gyokuro has the same production technique as Sencha Tea, with the exception that its leaves are shaded from the sun about 3 weeks prior to harvesting. That is why this tea type has its beautiful liquor and extraordinary taste.
The leaves of Gyokuro tea are of a brighter green colour than those of Sencha, because they have not been sunburnt. What is more, given that Gyokuro tea trees are shaded from the sun before harvesting, it composes most of its natural qualities, such as the colour of its liquor, as well as its taste.
That is why the colour of Gyokuro tea liquor is usually bright green. In addition, despite being a green tea, this tea type is quite strong, which means that you would need very little of it to make your tea.
How to brew Gyokuro tea?
This is an interesting question, because one of the “special features” of this very sophisticated tea type is its brewing temperature.
Just to remind you: the average brewing temperature for Loose Leaf Black tea is about 100 °C. As for most green tea types, it is usually brewed at about 80 °C. However, Gyokuro brewing temperature is about 60 °C! What is more, the more sophisticated your Gyokuro tea is, the lower the brewing temperature. This is very useful to know.
Another interesting point to make about brewing Gyokuro tea is the fact that you will need a very small amount of tea for a 1 litre kettle (it would usually be about 2 grams), because given its unusual production technique, this tea type has conserved most of its nutritional qualities.
Gyokuro tea tasting
Given that Gyokuro is a very elegant tea type, its tasting traditions are very sophisticated too. There are special tea ceremonies in Japan, usually home-based, where this tea type is being tasted. Despite being home-based, these ceremonies are considered as rituals, and you might wish to learn more about those in our article entitled “Tea ceremonies in Japan”.
Gyokuro Green Tea Health Benefits
Not only does Gyokuro tea have a sophisticated taste, but it is also famously healthy. Given that this tea is from the Sencha Tea family, it has mainly the same health benefits as Sencha Tea.
To learn more about Sencha tea benefits, please refer to our article entitled “10 Main Sencha Tea Benefits”.