Harvest Date: May 2019
This year we selected gyokuro from three producers in the Okabe region: Endo-san, Tohei-san and Omura-san. Each teamaker offers an expression of the classic Okabe style, which emphasizes a unique mountain freshness balanced with umami depth. Mr. Tohei-san is cosidered one of the top level Gyokuro producers in all of Japan. He cultivates Gyokuro according to the classic method of shading Tohei-san cultivates gyokuro according to the traditional tana method of shading tea bushes with woven straw-thatch mats, which he weaves himself. They are layered atop a frame so the mats do not directly touch the bushes. This technique is falling out of favor, often being replaced by black plastic mats. Tohei san shades his tea bushes for approximately 20 days prior to harvest. It is more time-consuming than modern methods, but worth the extra effort. This year, Tohei-san's Gyokuro has an elegant bittersweetness, with rich umami flavors of wakame seaweed and lion's mane mushroom.
Okabe, Fujieda, Shizuoka prefecture, Japan
wakame, seaweed, fresh cut hay, lion's mane mushroom, elegant bittersweetness, umami
7 grams | 1 tbsp
Add 1 tbsp (7g) tea to a small (150ml/5oz) Kyusu teapot
Use water cooled to 165°F.
Add water to just cover the tea leaves.
Infuse for 20 seconds and decant.
Repeat for another 4+ infusions, adding 5 seconds to each subsequent infusion.