Tea: Gyokuro Grower's Select Green Tea

A Gyokuro from Maeda-en

This tea has been retired/discontinued.

Picture of Gyokuro Grower's Select Green Tea
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Review of Gyokuro Grower's Select Green Tea

9 of 104 of 53 of 590 of 100

This and the Maeda-en Gyokuro Grower's Reserve go hand-in-hand, because one is more savory and the other is more sweet. One of my favorite things about both of these is that they brew well very consistently (which is great, considering that gyokuro is an expensive tea and not something you'd want to waste).

I had good results with the following brewing method:

Water: 300ml (I use a Hario teapot for this, which I had great results with as it allows a lot of room for the leaves to flow)
Temperature: 75ºC
Tea: 2 tsp to 1 Tbsp (depending upon how strong you want it — I use 1 Tbsp when I'm planning on brewing the same leaves two or more times)
Time: ~2 minutes, ~3 minutes, etc.

Out of both teas, this one is more umami. It has a much more green flavor than sencha and lacks that classic, almost lightly roasted note that many senchas have. There's a mineral quality to it, but it's not very extreme. The effect that it has is relaxing and fortifying. I drink this tea when I want to relax, when I need nourishment and am not feeling well (in which case, I think of it a lot like a soup because of its heartiness and richness). While I have had this on a regular day (brewing it a few times and putting it in a thermos), it's really better-suited for when you can take the time to really enjoy it. The temperature is low and it cools quickly, so it's probably better for the warmer months (i.e. it won't help to warm you up in wintertime). Just like fukamushi, there is a dust that makes it through the fine strainer when brewing it and it adds to the richness and depth of the tea. This is one I consistently return to. To me, it's worth the cost.

I found it for sale at Mitsuwa, the Japanese supermarket, and it's also available online directly from Maeda-en (you can get free shipping if you order a certain amount). There are no samples that I've seen available, but from my experience, this really is worth the risk if you enjoy rich teas with a green, slightly umami/salty flavor.

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