Can This Gyokuro Be Saved?


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Can This Gyokuro Be Saved?

Postby beforewisdom » Apr 3rd, '13, 10:49

I know I should not have done it at my level of experience with green tea, but while I was in the city I bought 2 ounces of gyokuro for $24 on impulse from a local tea shop.

The only directions on the tin stated
1-3 minutes/175F


That sounded like way too high of a temperature to me and it mentioned nothing about the tea/water ratio.

I went to o-cha.com and used their directions as best I could with the equipment I had. I used 8 grams of gyokuro for 8 fluid ounces ( 1 cup ) of water. I brewed at 140F for 1 minute. The results were awful. Bitter, like I boiled lawn clippings. I went down to 120F using the same leaves on subsequent re-brews. The results were a yellow instead of a green tea, that was mostly tasteless. I would have been better off with a green tea bag from a restaurant.

Today, I started over again, this time using only 4 grams of gyokuro for 8 ounces of water and I brewed at 140F. I still got a bitter yellow tea without much hint of green.

Can this gyokuro be saved or did I just make a bad purchase?
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Re: Can This Gyokuro Be Saved?

Postby edkrueger » Apr 3rd, '13, 14:54

No comment in general, but having a green color when brewed is not necessarily a sign of good tea.

Edit: necessarily
Last edited by edkrueger on Apr 3rd, '13, 15:27, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Can This Gyokuro Be Saved?

Postby chingwa » Apr 3rd, '13, 15:05

I'd say, especially for gyokuro, the quality of the tea is an overriding factor in the preparation. While good quality gyokuro can either be good, or REALLY GOOD, depending on the preparation technique... with lower quality gyokuro (in a tin...???) it almost doesn't matter what the preparation is.

I would also say that I would only used large tea/water ratio with really ood gyokuro... :)

In my experience tea shops do not carry good green tea in general, and especially not good gyokuro, regardless of what they price it out. But take it with a grain of salt... I can only speak for tea shops I've been to personally :) And yeah, like edkreuger said... good green tea isn't always actually green. :)
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Re: Can This Gyokuro Be Saved?

Postby teaisme » Apr 3rd, '13, 15:25

beforewisdom wrote:I bought..from a local tea shop.


When I hear this phrase in the US usually the tea turns out stale or so so. Good local teashops are a rarity. Probably only a couple handfuls that I would buy tea from. Most vendors jump into the game way too early and get stuck selling very similar, wholesale, uninspiring teas, never knowing there is so much better out there. The idea of constantly refining and learning seems lost to most.

You have the internet. You have teachat. I would break from buying from local shops until you can tell what is what. And then even then, likely won't find something you can't get for cheaper and better online.
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Re: Can This Gyokuro Be Saved?

Postby beforewisdom » Apr 3rd, '13, 15:48

chingwa wrote: lower quality gyokuro (in a tin...???) it almost doesn't matter what the preparation is.


Bulk loose gyokuro, the store gives you a generic tin if you buy 2 ounces or more.
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Re: Can This Gyokuro Be Saved?

Postby chingwa » Apr 3rd, '13, 17:08

I see. :) If the store has loose tea sitting around that they can sell out by weight... this actually might not be a good sign unfortunately (which is too bad because I love the aesthetics of a "dry-goods" type of environment). Just taking into consideration the time that tea may have been getting damaged by air/light. green tea is especially sensitive to degradation from air... and most shops don't go to enough lengths to protect their product.

I don't actually buy any tea from stores any more (except for Ippodo :D ), I've just had so many dissapointing experiences over the years and wasted money. I'd stick to online shops if I could recommend so.
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Re: Can This Gyokuro Be Saved?

Postby 5am » Apr 4th, '13, 17:23

I went to a very fancy tea shop on vacation once and bought some gyokuro, it was splendid. There aren't local tea shops near me. (teavana doesn't count because after the first couple times I won't shop there anymore)

I would like to open a local teashop but suppliers aren't very easy to communicate with and getting good deals is next to impossible. I sympathize with the local corner tea shops everywhere.
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