Two Gyokuros from Uji


Made from leaves that have not been oxidized.

Two Gyokuros from Uji

Postby javi_sanchez » Nov 12th, '12, 01:26

I spent a couple weeks in Japan and visited Uji. I'm excited to share my experience! If it matters I posted this on reddit's tea subreddit a couple days ago. I bought two teas:

  1. http://imgur.com/a/Yku8a#3
  2. http://imgur.com/a/Yku8a#5

Does anyone know anything about the second one?

The first tea was labelled "gyokuro with stems" from Itohkyuemon. I paid 1575 JPY for 100g. I chose this tea because there was a guy preparing samples for people. Even though he knew very little English he did his hardest to answer my questions and did not hesitate to prepare a separate sample of the more expensive stuff for me. Some shops were not serving samples at all.

This tea is amazing. Hands down the best gyokuro I've had. Although I have had more "green" gyokuro, there is an extra tinge of flavor I have not tasted in other gyokuros. It is not as creamy as other gyokuros. I am guessing it is the stems that are adding this extra flavor and cutting the cream a bit. I have no idea if the stems are a sign of higher or lower quality but I definitely like them. They had a similar tea without stems and it was significantly cheaper. The tea's flavor does not change significantly with subsequent steeps. It just keeps slowly dying out. A few previous gyokuros I've had have a very sharp decline in "green-ness" after the first infusion. Perhaps this is a non traditional gyokuro but it is definitely my favorite to date.

The second tea is from a shop I have no idea what it is called since everything was Japanese and the lady spoke very little English. However after she saw me looking and smelling the various teas she immediately prepared a few cups of different teas and kept saying "Try! Try!". I found this pic of the place through Google maps:
https://ssl.panoramio.com/photo/65052292

I am a sucker for anything that looks old and traditional and this shop has that in spades. They had a HUGE variety of all kinds of teas. The gyokuro I bought from them was probably the "tourist" one and I paid around 4000 JPY for 100grams.

This gyokuro is much more "green" than the previous one. Although creamy it is not quite as much as I'd like. However the green-ness lives on through multiple steeps. I found this one to be a bit more finicky than the previous one. A had to be more careful with temperature to avoid bitterness. However even when it got a little bitter, the overall taste was still very green. I've had a few gyokuros that taste very "brown" or burnt if you don't make them just right. I regret not studying Japanese to see what else this shop had in it. Also I cold brewed a batch of this one and it was awesome. I think it's too pricy considering other options available in the vicinity.

I did a tea tasting at the Obubu tea cafe in Kyoto and it was fantastic. Note that it is not a "traditional" ceremony at all given that the cafe in a huge department store food court. However huge Japanese department store food courts are something to be experienced in an of themselves. It is a modern cafe where someone makes various teas for you. The two people working were awesome and sat and chatted for close to two hours about tea and other things all while going through different teas. I also had tea in Ginza at the Ippodo store and that is a much more upscale tea cafe. The tea was very good but very expensive.

For reference here are some other similar teas I have tried:

  1. http://www.adagio.com/green/gyokuro.html Adagio's Gyokuro
  2. http://www.teavana.com/the-teas/green-teas/p/gyokuro-imperial-green-tea Teavana's Gyokuro
  3. http://www.mellowmonk.com/buyGreenTea.htm#shaded_leaf Mellow Monk's Kabusecha
  4. http://www.o-cha.com/green-tea/uji-gyokuro-yume.html Uji Gyokuro Yume no Ukihashi
  5. http://www.obubutea.com/ Obubu's Kabusecha
  6. http://shop.ippodo-tea.co.jp/kyoto/shopf/goods/index.html?ggcd=403011 Ippodo's Kanro Gyokuro
User avatar
javi_sanchez
 
Posts: 68
Joined: Mar 29th, '
Location: NYC

Re: Two Gyokuros from Uji

Postby Chip » Nov 12th, '12, 01:49

Thank you for sharing your experience with us. Although I am having trouble opening your image links. You can also post images on TeaChat which would save everyone from having to open your links.

I am guessing the first tea is a Karigane which has many formulations including gyokuro stems and leaves which is likely what you had. The stems are byproduct tea which is a step down from pure gyokuro leaves. But they can certainly still be very enjoyable.
User avatar
Chip
Mod/Admin
 
Posts: 21937
Joined: Apr 22nd, '
Location: Back in the TeaCave atop Mt. Fuji

Re: Two Gyokuros from Uji

Postby JRS22 » Nov 12th, '12, 07:50

O-Cha carries a Gyokuro Karigane from Uji which unfortunately is out-of-stock just now. They also carry a selection of teas from Tsuen, a teashop in Uji. My favorite is their Sencha Otsuusan.

http://www.o-cha.com/green-tea/karigane-gyokuro.html
User avatar
JRS22
 
Posts: 1031
Joined: Nov 7th, '0

Re: Two Gyokuros from Uji

Postby Chip » Nov 12th, '12, 09:03

Kevangogh wrote:FYI, we'll have that in stock in a day or two. We buy them in small lots and one guy came in and bought up all we had....
User avatar
Chip
Mod/Admin
 
Posts: 21937
Joined: Apr 22nd, '
Location: Back in the TeaCave atop Mt. Fuji

Re: Two Gyokuros from Uji

Postby javi_sanchez » Nov 13th, '12, 00:45

Hey Chip,

Posting BBCode urls are disabled for me. The images are large(>1000 pixels) that's why I didn't do inline images. My next post will be better... honest!

Hey Kevin,

I have a bout a half of kilo of gyokuro to get through. Perhaps by the time I am done your site will have more of the gyokuro with stems.
User avatar
javi_sanchez
 
Posts: 68
Joined: Mar 29th, '
Location: NYC

Re: Two Gyokuros from Uji

Postby Kevangogh » Nov 13th, '12, 01:23

We should have it tomorrow, I hope you don't go through that much gyokuro so soon...
User avatar
Kevangogh
Vendor Member
 
Posts: 236
Joined: Jul 13th, '
Location: Japan


Instant Messenger

Permissions
You cannot post new topics
You cannot reply to topics
You cannot edit your posts
You cannot delete your posts
You cannot post attachments
Navigation