Cultivar: Yabukita and Okumidori
Gyokuro, meaning "Jade Dew" in Japanese, is the rarest and most prized green tea of Japan. Gyokuro
is produced using select tea bush cultivars that are grown with a special shading technique that is applied for about one month prior to harvest. Traditionally, shading was conducted using bamboo frame and reed thatch. Today, it is often performed using black mesh screens that are elevated using tent pole hoops. Shading reduces the sunlight that reaches the tea leaves making them adapt as they struggle to photosynthesize, producing thinner and deeper green leaves to try to capture as much light as possible. The plant also undergoes phytochemical transformation in its nutrients, with elevated amino acid development and reduced catechin (tea tannin). The result is an unbelievably smooth, oceanic cup with abundant umami flavor (from the aminos) and reduced astringency (from lower catechins).
This tea takes the sophisticated taste of Gyokuro one step further. The Gyokuro leaves are scented with Sakura cherry blossom leaves, which are placed underneath the Gyokuro and then gently smoked to perfume the tea with a sweet, flowery and elegant smoke aroma. Sakura is one of the national flowers of Japan, and exudes its wondrously sweet fragrance for only a brief window of blooming in early spring. This period is widely celebrated across Japan during the Hanami season, when many traditional foods featuring Sakura are enjoyed, and when people enjoy nature walks to view the beautiful trees in bloom and contemplate the ephemeral nature of life.
Kyusu Brewing from Rishi Tea on YouTube.
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