Monday, February 4, 2008

Gyokuro Asahina

Tea: Gyokuro Asahina
Vendor: Dragonwater Tea Company
Price: $38.50 / 4 oz.
Source: Uji, Japan
Vendor Description: Gyokuro, "Jewel Dew", is one of the most sought after green teas in Japan. Produced at the historic Uji tea gardens near Kyoto, the bushes for this tea are shaded by straw mats before harvesting to slow their growth and enhance the tea.

At the price of almost 40.00/ quarter pound I was expecting quite a bit from this gyokuro. I found the price right similar to the Yame Gyokuro from Lupicia. Considering how much I enjoy that tea, I had high hopes for this one. This was also the first tea that I tried from Dragonwater, so a lot was riding on this one.

The first thing that I noticed while preparing this tea was the rather large needles the tea consisted of. I was rather surprised to see this in a gyokuro. Most gyokuros that I see have smaller needles, where large needles are most common with high end senchas from my experience. While brewing this tea had a very delicate, yet sweet aroma to it. It is an aroma worth sitting there and pondering.

The actual flavor was very distinct. It had a sensation which I want to describe as bitterness, but unlike most sencha bitterness it wasn't sharp uplifting bitterness, but felt like a deep downward bitterness. In general the flavor was flat and not particularly sweet.

Rating: 6/10

Conclusion: The taste of this gyokuro was very unusual and unique, but not what i'm normally looking for in a gyokuro. There was no grassiness to it, and at the price I expected a more by the book flavor of gyokuro.


Steven said...

Fantastic blog you have going on here, Eric! I'm a budding tea drinker with a lot to learn myself, so finding your site is an absolute pleasure. keep up the good work!

Eric said...

Thanks! I'm glad to hear that you're enjoying it! Spread the word!