Tea Reviews

Creating Space with Tea: Our Gyokuro Suimei

Our second highest grade of Gyokuro. Coming from Shizuoka, this tea might have a bit of a different profile when compared to other gyokuro you may have tried. Let’s dive a little deeper and learn more about this tea.

To start, this Gyokuro is from Asahina, Shizuoka. While it is not typically known for it, Shizuoka does produce gyokuro. 45% of Japan’s gyokuro production comes from Yame, which is in Fukuoka Prefecture. Gyokuro from Shizuoka is known to taste a little different than gyokuro from other parts of Japan, though this can be said about tea. While Shizuoka gyokuro will still have that distinctive seaside air profile and umami mouth feel, there might be a little bitterness and dryness toward the end of the sip. Most gyokuro drinkers might expect a soft sweetness and this is there in this gyokuro. That being said, their can be a touch of bitterness if brewed too hard. If you are mindful with your brewing and brew at a low enough water temperature, you can brew some really nice gyokuro.

The dry leaves have this beautiful, almost oily, sheen. The leaves are a dark, deep green color that is indicative of much shading. Despite their delicate nature, the leaves still retain their needle shape while. The leaves are not as easy to break as the fragile leaves of fukamushi-sencha (“deeply steamed” sencha), for example, which is produced in such a way that the leaves are coarser. The smell of the dry leaf is some combination of freshly squeezed sugar cane juice with a hint of seaweed or sea air.

Taste

When brewing gyokuro, generally, one is recommended to use lower temperature water, around 130F to 160F. This is not tea to brew with scalding hot water, unless you fancy an extremely bitter and astringent cup. The brew itself smelled of distant sea water. The cup is easy to hold in the hand yet is still pleasantly warm. With the shading that gyokuro goes through L-Theanine is increased in the leaf, giving it a strong umami texture. This umami is followed by a gentle astringency.

Body Feel

After a cup or two of this tea one most likely will feel more relaxed and gently elevated in mood. It’s a great tea for contemplation as the caffeine is a bit stimulating but that stimulation is modulated by the quiet power of the L-theanine. You get the sense that everything is going to be okay and it might inspire you to not be so distracted and instead appreciate the tea.

We hope that you will check out our Gyokuro Suimei. Follow our instagram and tiktok for more tea-related content. You are also welcome to subscribe to our newsletter by heading to our website and scrolling to the bottom of the page.