What are your favourite gyokuros?

Made from leaves that have not been oxidized.

User avatar
Jul 16th 15 3:35 pm
Posts: 31
Joined: Mar 27th 15 12:43 pm
Location: new york

What are your favourite gyokuros?

by purringtons » Jul 16th 15 3:35 pm

so i finally got around to buying a shiboridashi and used it for the yame gyokuro from o-cha :D so far i've made it about 5 times with minor variations in time and temperature and they all turned out great tbh. still i wonder if anyone else has tried the yame gyokuro and if so what brewing parameters are used?

also, i'm looking to try out more gyokuro so hit me up with your favs! :~)
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
Jul 16th 15 5:52 pm
Posts: 4583
Joined: Apr 1st 09 4:48 am
Location: Bangkok

Re: what are your favourite gyokuros?

by Tead Off » Jul 16th 15 5:52 pm

IMO, fine gyokuro should be drunk in small quantities like a good port or eau de vie. I've found that 5g in a 70ml shiboridashi, 60c, 90sec., usually gives me what I want from a higher end gyokuro. Water is very important to bring out the softness, the smoothness, that extra special umami of a top notch gyokuro. It's like a broth and unlike any tea that I know.

The best ones I've tried last year were from Maiko, Uji based, and Zenhodo's Yame #1. Maiko is costly.

Perhaps someone else can compare Zenhodo's Yame and O-cha's Yame. I'd be interested to hear other's opinions.

User avatar
Jul 16th 15 7:55 pm
Posts: 764
Joined: May 2nd 10 6:03 am
Location: Shaker Heights, Ohio USA

Re: what are your favourite gyokuros?

by BioHorn » Jul 16th 15 7:55 pm

I have enjoyed the O-cha gyo as well as Xell's. The Ippodo Gykuro Karigane (stem tea) and Karigane in general can be great value.
I tend to use more leaf. Maybe 10g and 70-100 ml water at very low temperatures around 125-130 and a longish first brew (1.5 minutes). Granted all this is just general.

Slow brewed Gyo can be exquisite. I know a number of TC'ers ice brew gyo.

Let us know your findings.

User avatar
Jul 17th 15 12:31 pm
Posts: 31
Joined: Mar 27th 15 12:43 pm
Location: new york

Re: what are your favourite gyokuros?

by purringtons » Jul 17th 15 12:31 pm

Tead Off wrote:IMO, fine gyokuro should be drunk in small quantities like a good port or eau de vie. I've found that 5g in a 70ml shiboridashi, 60c, 90sec., usually gives me what I want from a higher end gyokuro. Water is very important to bring out the softness, the smoothness, that extra special umami of a top notch gyokuro. It's like a broth and unlike any tea that I know.

The best ones I've tried last year were from Maiko, Uji based, and Zenhodo's Yame #1. Maiko is costly.

Perhaps someone else can compare Zenhodo's Yame and O-cha's Yame. I'd be interested to hear other's opinions.
ah thank you.. i got the best results using 4g in 70ml and 3 min for the first brew but i'll try 5g next! what temperature do u use?

User avatar
Jul 17th 15 12:33 pm
Posts: 31
Joined: Mar 27th 15 12:43 pm
Location: new york

Re: what are your favourite gyokuros?

by purringtons » Jul 17th 15 12:33 pm

BioHorn wrote:I have enjoyed the O-cha gyo as well as Xell's. The Ippodo Gykuro Karigane (stem tea) and Karigane in general can be great value.
I tend to use more leaf. Maybe 10g and 70-100 ml water at very low temperatures around 125-130 and a longish first brew (1.5 minutes). Granted all this is just general.

Slow brewed Gyo can be exquisite. I know a number of TC'ers ice brew gyo.

Let us know your findings.
wow 10g is almost double what i usually use but i'll get it a go! thank u!!

User avatar
Jul 17th 15 12:43 pm
Posts: 1255
Joined: Nov 7th 07 5:23 pm

Re: what are your favourite gyokuros?

by JRS22 » Jul 17th 15 12:43 pm

O-Cha also has an excellent karigane gyo - Asa-Giri. I use 4 grams in a 100 ml shib and brew just it like regular Gyo with low temp and pre-heating tea ware. It's my 'everyday gyokuro.'

User avatar
Jul 17th 15 3:20 pm
Posts: 21658
Joined: Apr 23rd 06 12:52 am
Scrolling: scrolling
Location: Back in the TeaCave atop Mt. Fuji

Re: what are your favourite gyokuros?

by Chip » Jul 17th 15 3:20 pm

In my experience ...

I like going up the ladder of particular vendor's gyokuro selections so i can experience the improved quality. O-Cha and Maiko (their special line, forget the name right now) have very good selections at various price points. You usually get what you pay for.

Zenhodo has a couple nice gyokuro too.

Or, if you just want to get a good one, my go to gyokuro is Kame from O-Cha which hits a good balace of quality and value.

My brewing parameters to follow ...

User avatar
Jul 17th 15 9:50 pm
Posts: 129
Joined: Jan 5th 11 11:14 pm

Re: what are your favourite gyokuros?

by shinobicha » Jul 17th 15 9:50 pm

Maiko's "Yamashita" gyokuros are pretty good. You can get the entry level one, Jirushi, for 30% off right now ($28)... Or you can get 8g of all 5 Yamashita gyos for maybe $40?
They are pretty good.

Not exactly gyokuro, but can be brewed similarly - Thes du Japon Kabusecha Goko - is pretty amazing, good value.

User avatar
Jul 18th 15 12:48 am
Posts: 93
Joined: Mar 4th 15 3:21 am
Location: Dix Hills, long Island, New York

Re: what are your favourite gyokuros?

by NateHevens » Jul 18th 15 12:48 am

I look forward to your brewing parameters, Chip. I have the Shiboridashi from O-Cha that they use in their directions for brewing gyokuro, and while the gyokuros I have from them are wonderful following those parameters, there's a mild bitterness underneath everything that, while not terrible, I'd rather not be there...

User avatar
Jul 18th 15 1:37 am
Posts: 21658
Joined: Apr 23rd 06 12:52 am
Scrolling: scrolling
Location: Back in the TeaCave atop Mt. Fuji

Re: what are your favourite gyokuros?

by Chip » Jul 18th 15 1:37 am

Nate, I am guessing, try cooler.

Anyway ... my Gyokuro brewing parameters.

If it is a Yame origin, I usually go cooler than Uji origin. I have not really found a Shizuoka version to my liking.

As I climb the ladder to better and better Gyokuro, I UP UP UP the ratio. I look for the, "oh my gosh, I must sit down" moment with the first steeping.

I start at 2 grams per ounce water (30 ml). I have gone as high as 5 grams per ounce.

First Steep:

Temp, I preheat everything, starting with near boiling water. I pour into the yuzamashi, then the pot, then the cups. The cups will ultimately determine how much water I actually use. My goal is to get the temp to around 60* C or lower (140* F). Yame I want to get down to the 125* range. I usually have an additional pitcher for cooling as well.
I pour the leaves into the brew vessel, wait several seconds, and then smell the incredible (hopefully) warming leaves!
Usually 90 seconds, sometimes longer.

Successive steeps.
2nd, same temp, 15 seconds more or less
3rd, warmer, 60 seconds
4th and beyond, I contimue to increase temp and brew for around 1-2 minutes.
I usually endeavor to get 6 or more steeps.

I really enjoy Gyokuro and go Gyokuro crazy at least once a year. It usually holds up well if well stored.

User avatar
Jul 18th 15 2:17 am
Posts: 700
Joined: Apr 27th 09 6:20 am
Scrolling: scrolling

Re: what are your favourite gyokuros?

by Mrs. Chip » Jul 18th 15 2:17 am

Nate, I suggest you try once Chip's parameters, yep... they give you that OMG sit down moment. :P :shock:

User avatar
Jul 18th 15 5:00 am
Posts: 4583
Joined: Apr 1st 09 4:48 am
Location: Bangkok

Re: what are your favourite gyokuros?

by Tead Off » Jul 18th 15 5:00 am

Water choice is extremely important with gyokuro and all Japanese green teas. The right water is the secret key to unlocking gyokuro's hidden treasures. I have 2 mineral waters that I use for all green teas, but only one of them works with gyokuro. Experiment!

User avatar
Jul 18th 15 5:11 am
Posts: 93
Joined: Mar 4th 15 3:21 am
Location: Dix Hills, long Island, New York

Re: what are your favourite gyokuros?

by NateHevens » Jul 18th 15 5:11 am

Interesting, Chip.

So I have this gyokuro and this shiboridashi.

I've been using 140*F water, and 1.2g of leaf per 1 fl oz of water. You probably already know O-Cha's brewing parameters, which are what I've been using.

Should I go for a lower temperature? Less leaf? More?

As for water... I think I might start a new topic on that, because I have a... thing... about bottled watered... I'm not a fan, because, to me, the whole idea of bottling water is patently absurd (it's on par with the bottling of air to me... that level of absurdity). I won't get into why because it's a whole political rant that isn't really on-topic for the forum... :D 8)

I live in New York, but not the city; I live on Long Island, in Huntington Station. But we do have filtered water via our fridge which has a really good filtration system (supposedly). So I guess what I'm saying is that my ethical/political ideology prevents me from spending my money on bottled water. Which, of course, limits the water I have access to...

So...

Um...

Yeah...

User avatar
Jul 18th 15 5:58 am
Posts: 2004
Joined: Mar 3rd 09 10:18 pm

Re: what are your favourite gyokuros?

by entropyembrace » Jul 18th 15 5:58 am

You can setup filter units to customize your water for whatever purpose you have in mind if you don't mind getting into some chemistry and spending some $ :lol:

this is for espresso machine water sources so the requirements for gyokuro would not be the same but you can get an idea of the level of customization possible with filtration units: http://web.archive.org/web/200805260723 ... erfaq.html

My favourite gyokuro that's available is the yamashita jurishi from Maiko. They had a special gyokuro in October that I liked even more, but that was only available for a month :shock:

I'm sure if you spend more there are even better ones out there, including higher up the yamashita line at maiko tea but I haven't had the budget for that.

I also have a packet of Kamejirushi from O-cha as yet unopened which I'm anticipating will be amazing...will be fun to see how it compares to Maiko's gyos :mrgreen:

User avatar
Jul 18th 15 7:41 am
Posts: 4583
Joined: Apr 1st 09 4:48 am
Location: Bangkok

Re: what are your favourite gyokuros?

by Tead Off » Jul 18th 15 7:41 am

NateHevens wrote: As for water... I think I might start a new topic on that, because I have a... thing... about bottled watered... I'm not a fan, because, to me, the whole idea of bottling water is patently absurd (it's on par with the bottling of air to me... that level of absurdity).

I think you have the wrong idea about bottled water. Sure, there is a lot of hype and questionable claims concerning 'health' issues. But, when it comes to tea, it is the minerals that are contained in the water that make the difference. Each source has a different content. No two waters are the same anywhere. The best way to understand this is to experiment with the same tea using different waters. Try using Volvic and see if it is the same taste as your filtered tap. There are many others mineral waters from all over the world that can be tried. Without doing the work yourself, all your questions and opinions will not amount to much. Take it from those who have some experience with this. It's a good place to start from.