Tea: Heavenly Gyokuro

A Gyokuro from Harney and Sons

Picture of Heavenly Gyokuro
Brand:Harney and Sons
Region:Kyoto, Japan
# Ratings:1 View All
Product page:Heavenly Gyokuro

Review of Heavenly Gyokuro

8 of 105 of 52 of 580 of 100

I'm no expert on Gyokuro, but I will say that, at least to my tastes, this was a top-notch example of one.

I sampled this at World Tea East, but I found I liked it better when I brewed it myself. Harney recommends 155F and 3 minutes. For one teaspoon, I found I liked the results better with a little hotter water (160-165F) and a 5 minute steeping.

Either way produced a mostly clear, pale yellow infusion with a greenish tint, ever-so-slightly cloudy.

Less vegetal in aroma than any other Gyokuro that I've tried, but still somewhat suggesting spinach or other cooked greens, especially in the finish. A rich, brothy umami (savory) flavor, with considerable sweetness. I like longer steepings because more of the brothy flavor comes out, but if you brew it as recommended you can get 3 or so flavorful steepings. This is easily among the sweetest of Japanese green teas that I've ever sampled. Finish leaves a grassy quality. There's almost a hint of mint, like spearmint, in the aroma as well. Like spearmint, I found this tea to have a cooling quality. If you up the water temperature as I did, I find a toasty quality comes out, and the aroma tends ever-so-slightly more in the direction of Chinese pan-fired teas.

Gyokuro is not my favorite type of tea, as I tend to like the brisker, more bitter green teas, but I think this was an exceptionally smooth example of its style. I would recommend this tea to anyone who likes teas that are both sweeter and vegetal.

It's hard for me to rate the value of this tea, because I'm just not a big fan of Gyokuro. I marked it as overpriced both because Harney and Sons sells so many other teas I would rather buy more of for a lower price, and because among green teas, it's not something I would choose to drink every day unless it were priced at a much lower price point.

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