As I stated, the SPECIFIC brewing guidelines further down the page disclose names, etc. If doing a completely blind tasting, you may be on your own.
Some general guidelines
which will be followed by much more specific suggestions
to help you get the best results from your Gyokuro samples. First, try and relax!
Brewing Gyokuro can be a bit challenging, but if you go in prepared and relaxed, your results will be much better and you will enjoy the entire experience so much more!
Try and find a quiet time and place
! Distractions will ruin the natural beauty of Gyokuro if you allow it! Quiet will calm your mind and allow your senses to ... focus!
Choose a small brew vessel
suited for brewing Gyokuro. Your steeps will be generally quite small, 2ish ounces (60 ml). PREHEAT all teaware used
, but do this in a manner that will also cool your water. Pouring boiling water into your brewing vessel, then to a cooling vessel, and then to your cup(s) will really bring your water temp down and preheat all your wares at the same time, minimizing waste of time and heated water. This may feel a bit awkward at first, but with practice, this process will be very ... fluid, natural. During this process, you are also handling your teaware which helps bring all aspects of your Gyokuro experience into focus.
Much more so than just about every tea, parameters are uber critical
in brewing Gyokuro, especially when brewing more concentrated steeps which will truly bring out the fullness of the Gyokuro, maximizing the experience (or exagerate mistakes). When done right, Gyokuro will "force" you to slow down, focus, and pay full attention to your "precious dew." Temperature
... this can make or break a Gyokuro session! Gyokuro requires rather cool water temps, 105-140* depending on the selection and other details. Do not be ashamed to use a thermometer, especially when learning! Ratio of leaf to water.
Too little leaf will leave you wondering what is so special about Gyokuro. Too much will leave you wondering what you did wrong. Just right amount will make you sit down and focus and smile. It can be happiness in a cup!Time, time, time ... keep it on your side!
Different Gyokuro require different times, but also changing parameters such as how much leaf or temp can also effect how long you should brew. For successive steeps
, I typically recommend increasing temp by around 10* F for each successive steep, bu=y the end boiling water is even fine!. 2nd steep is SHORT, 15-30 seconds. 3rd, 60 ... etc. . 2nd steep is SHORT, 15-30 seconds. 3rd, 60 ... etc.
Depending on how well I feel the tea is doing (and smelling in the Kyusu ... this tell me if it still has life worth redeeming), I will go 5 or more steeps. Albeit, by the end it is basically sweet tea water, but I enjoy it. AND now some specifics.
I will first share the vendors' recommendations ... and then mine (which are always right
). You will see that mine do not always agree with the vendors'. Keep this in mind, sometimes the vendors are sharing recommendations with novices in mind. Some may be sharing according to Japanese intense tastes. It is a mad mad world when trying to decipher what to do ... My recommendations
are based upon many members' inputs over the years as well as my personal experience with Gyokuro and these specific selections! My recommendations are usually somewhere in the middle of road. Definitely not novice and not quite up to the Japanese tastes. "Western" with a capital "W" for hopefully utterances such as WOW and WHOA!
1. Zencha's recommendations for Zencha Gyokuro the Ultimate
Brewing tips (for one person)
Amount of Tealeaves: 5g.
Amount of Water: 30cc / 1oz
Water Temperature: 40-50C / 104-122F
Steep: 2 minutesMy recommendations.
I find this one is particular about temp!!! So, 105-110* (a little over 50* C) worked best for me. 2.5 grams per ounce water (30 ml). So, if brewing two ounces, you would use exactly half of your sample. Brew for 60 seconds or so. This one is a mid steamed selection and I liked it with slightly shorter steeps.
2. Maiko's long recommendations for Yamashita Jirushihttp://www.maiko.ne.jp/english/gyokuro.htmMy recommendations.
I liked this one with 2.5 grams per ounce brewed at 130-140* for 90 seconds.
3. O-Cha's recommedations for Gyoku-Hou
Recommended Brew Temp 140F / 60C
Recommended Brew Time 2.0 minutes
Recommended Leaf to Water Ratio 1.0g per 1oz (30ml) water
Notes Pre-heat all vessels, brew with care! My recommedations.
2.5 grams per 1 ounce. 130* for 90 seconds.
4. Den's recommendations for Suimei
Water: 2oz @ 140F
Leaves: 2 grams or 1 rounded teaspoon
Steep: 150 sec
2nd Cup: Water @ 160F; Steep 60 secMy recommendations.
2:1, so 4 grams per 2 ounces, though if trying to use up the 10 gram sample, one could brew 2.5 ounces and 5 grams. I am cooler than Den's recommendation, though I am still playing around with the temps. Den's says 140*, I am saying 120*, maybe even cooler.