Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Nina's Teas USA, Gyokuro
(From Uji tea gardens, near Kyoto, Japan)
Gyokuro is the most prestigious of the Japanese teas, its name literally meaning “pearls of dew.” The tea leaves, coming from the first harvest, are shaded for a few days before being hand picked. They are steamed, dried and rolled length-wise. This tea, shiny and clear green in colour, will surprise you with its smooth and silky texture. The jade green infusion is mellow and fresh with slight accents of the sea.
Sample provided by Nina's Teas USA
That last couple weeks have not been very conducive to tea drinking or review writing. The spring weather changes and high pollen count have definitely taken a toll on my head. Today I am feeling up to tasting this tea from Nina's. This is my first Gyokuro.
The leaf scent is very fresh and grass-like. I poured the entire sample into my press and added water heated to a temperature similar to what I use for white tea. That means cooler than for a normal green tea. The brew is jade in color and the nose is vegetal, yet reminds me of what I can only imagine is the scent of the ocean as I have never been to the coast.
I have had Sencha on several occasions. This is not Sencha. I think grassy tasting when I picture sencha. This does not taste overly grassy to me. It is more vegetal with light grassy notes, and a light mineral touch. By using the lower brewing temperature there is no bitterness. Nina's description is spot on. This is smooth and silky. Oh, and look, Nina's mentions slight accents of the sea! I didn't just imagine it (I start my notes and while adding them to the blog I grab the company description).
As I mentioned, this is my first Gyokuro. I don't know by comparison if this is a good representation of the type. Given my previous experience with Nina's teas, I suspect it is of high quality. I can say with confidence that I very much enjoyed this cup.
Nina's Paris has been blending masterful fragrances for 300 years. They have brought this mastery to their USA tea line. You can currently find their offerings on Amazon. They plan to open an ecommerce webstore at ninasteastore.