Monday, August 25, 2008

Precious Dew Pearl

Tea: Precious Dew Pearl
Vendor: Tao of Tea
Price: $4.25 / oz
Source: Japan
Vendor Description: Gyokuro, also known as "Precious Dew Pearl", is a highly famous tea from Japan. It requires more skill and careful selection of leaves than other green teas. At the end of the growing season the tea plants are covered by tarps and bamboo mats for three weeks before plucking. This shade grown process enhances the deep green color, flavor and anti-oxidant properties of the tea. After the leaves are plucked, they are steamed, giving a very sweet, creamy, oceanic taste.

Leaf: The leaf for this tea is a very dark matte green color. It has a very grassy aroma which is very characteristic for a gyokuro and the leaf size is surprisingly uniform.

1st Infusion: As expected there was a very sweet gyokuro aroma, but mixed in felt like there were hints of a sencha flavor. The tea is very smooth, but only medium bodied. It has the ideal gyokuro flavor, but it is not very prominent, and it almost feels like this is a blend between a sencha and a gyokuro where the flavors are being shared between one another. The flavor is thick, but not as thick as other gyokuros. The infusion is surprisingly yellow in color, which for gyokuro is fairly rare. There is no bitterness and no astringency as expected.

2nd Infusion: The second infusion had a murkier color, this one with a yellow-brown hue to it. There was a slight sense of bitterness to it, but the flavor was more prominent. There was a hint of a light asparagus flavor, and a light sense of astringency to finish it off.

Rating: 5/10

Conclusion: While this isn't a spectacular gyokuro, for it's price it performs well. It is quite apparent that this isn't a top rate gyokuro, but is one of the cheaper gyokuros that I have tried. The flavors of solid gyokuros are present, but they are hidden or shared with other flavors. If you are looking for a gyokuro to drink on a regular basis then this may be good for you. If you're looking for something special, look elsewhere. This tea really felt like it barely held up for two infusions where a more solid gyokuro should hold up for 5 or more.

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