Tea: Organic Gyokuro Yamashiro

A Gyokuro from DAVIDsTEA - O Organic

Picture of Organic Gyokuro Yamashiro
Region:Kagoshima, Japan
# Ratings:2 View All
Product page:Organic Gyokuro Yamashiro

Review of Organic Gyokuro Yamashiro

7 of 103 of 51 of 530 of 100
Very GoodFairNot Worth Paying For

I'd really like to say something positive about this tea, but it's really just not good. I gave it several chances. I brewed it first using the method that worked reliably with the Maeda-en gyokuro, but it was bitter and made me extremely jittery. I tried converting the annoying, proprietary "perfect spoonful" measurements into teaspoons (from what I found, 1 "perfect spoonful" = 2.5 tsp) and brewed it according to the DAVID's TEA directions, but it turned out even worse — horribly bitter and it made me so jittery that I couldn't even finish half a cup. I then compared brewing methods for gyokuro online and picked the safest one I could — 60ºC for two minutes until the leaves unfurled, with a heaping tablespoon (6g) of tea leaves. There was an interesting, fresh green note to the taste, but it made me so jittery after several sips that I couldn't touch it after that.

I really didn't like that it was finicky, but some teas are just like that. What really made me suspicious was how jittery it made me. No gyokuro I've ever had has made me jittery like that. The shading process that's innate to the production of gyokuro results in the production of amino acids that end up having a sedating effect, if anything. So, this went in the exact opposite direction. I went so far as to e-mail the company and ask them if it was really gyokuro or just sencha that they'd just decided to call "gyokuro." They insisted that it was gyokuro. But, I'd disagree. Even if you could slap the label of "gyokuro" on this, it has none of the qualities that gyokuro is known for. The color is off — it's more yellow than green, and that's something I've seen from sencha and other more common varieties of green tea, not something I've seen from gyokuro or fukamushi, which have a more comparable taste and are both greener in color. There was a lack of dusting in the tea, which again, is counter to what I'd expect given my experience. This gave it the appearance more of sencha than of gyokuro. The flavor profile reminds me of the sencha ashikubo that I got from DAVID's TEA — buttery, green. There was a fresh, green note that came out when I brewed it at that low 60ºC temperature. But, the effect the tea had on me was so horrible I could barely have three sips. I got a headache and was jittery beyond belief.

I cannot recommend this at all. The scent of the dry leaves is good, a note or two of the tea is pretty good, but the overall taste is lacking in richness, the color is off, the effect is horrible...if this really is gyokuro tea, it's terrible gyokuro tea which doesn't deserve the label. If that weren't bad enough, it's extremely expensive (that's probably the only thing about it that seems even remotely like gyokuro is the price tag). Do not waste your money on this. I'd recommend either of the gyokuro teas that Maeda-en sells instead. They're much more delicious, have a nice relaxing effect, and brew reliably well. They're around ten cents more expensive per gram, but trust me, it's worth it. This gyokuro, by comparison, is undrinkable. It's better to pay ten cents more than feel like all the money you did spend is lost.

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