gyokuro


Made from leaves that have not been oxidized.

Postby Mary R » Feb 23rd, '07, 11:06

I say g (hard g) yo (as in, "yo, home slice") cur (yeh mangy cur!) oh. I sort of slur the g-yo together so it sounds a little like "go" with a little extra vowel tucked in there. I'm also an ignorant cracker from the heartland who probably has dismal Japanese skills--so take my rec with a shaker of salt.

As for brewing, check out http://www.o-cha.com/brewing-gyokuro.htm
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Postby Space Samurai » Feb 23rd, '07, 14:30

ghee-OH-koo-roe
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Postby scruffmcgruff » Feb 23rd, '07, 17:32

I think Mary R is closer to the correct pronunciation. The "gyo" part sort of runs together. Also, the "r" sound in "kuro" isn't like in English, say with "rabbit." It's a sort of hybrid r/d/l sound (I'm not a linguist, but I'm sure there's a better way to describe this phoneme).

This is probably the hardest Japanese tea-related word to pronounce, so if you can get this one down, you're set.
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Postby Cher » Mar 9th, '07, 01:26

As someone who's new to loose tea, I would strongly suggest that anyone just starting out not follow the brewing instructions at the link posted above.

I initially tried my first cup of gyokuro a couple of nights ago with one teaspoon per cup, and while I found it light, it was very enjoyable and complex. I noticed this thread the same night and decided to try two tablespoons per cup at 140 degrees, in a preheated pot and cup, as suggested. I took one swallow and it actually made me feel ill. And please understand, food and drink rarely make me feel that way; I enjoy complex, dry wines and cheese that most people probably wouldn't even go near. :) However, the Adagio gyokuro, prepared in this way, tasted wrong.

I've been happily sampling 7-10 teas per day for the last week, across categories, and every one of them was interesting in some form or another. But this concoction made me actually stop drinking tea for the night. I had a bad taste in my mouth, my stomach was gurgling, and I felt light headed. The most irritating part is that I used up half of my sample and couldn't even enjoy multiple infusions. I threw it all out.

Anyway, try two teaspoons per cup and decide if you like it before you move on to tablespoons. Other than this particular cup of tea, I've had a blast with my tasting experiences thus far, and expect to have many more.
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Postby scruffmcgruff » Mar 9th, '07, 03:21

Gyokuro is an extraordinarily difficult tea to brew correctly-- I would say that I have yet to get it perfectly right even once. I made the mistake of trying gyokuro as my first loose leaf green tea, and it almost turned me off to green tea permanently because my first experience was so bad.

Even if one is used to extreme flavors such as dry wines and cheese, little can prepare one for their first full-strength cup of gyokuro. The spinachy and marine flavors can be overwhelming at first, and that's the best case scenario where one actually manages to brew it correctly and doesn't get the awful overbrewed gyokuro taste.

I have also experienced the light-headedness and sick feeling after messing up gyokuro (though I can't explain why it happened). Gyokuro can be extremely fussy and I really suggest waiting until one has some experience with Japanese brewing techniques before trying this tea.
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