It’s hard to say what the world’s best green tea is. In fact, I’ll go one step further and say that it’s probably impossible to say what the world’s best green tea is. After all, it is a matter of opinion and tastes differ and we all like what we like and so on. But it’s probably safe to say that Gyokuro would rank highly on any list of the world’s best green teas. Japan is primarily known for its green teas and they run the gamut from so-so to stellar. But of the several Japanese teas that fit into the latter category, Gyokuro is one of the most notable. For a brief overview of this tea, see my article from a few years ago.
The conventional wisdom when it comes to green tea is that is more delicate than most other types. Many cups of green tea could have been saved from a dire fate by simply adjusting the water temperature and steeping times downward. Gyokuro is even more delicate than many green teas and should be treated with even more care in both areas.
I have to admit that I don’t have a wide experience with Gyokuro, but I’ve tasted enough that when a new sample comes my way I sit up and take notice. The first thing I noticed about this one was that many of the leaves seemed smaller than I recalled. Then I looked back at this review by my Esteemed Editor and found that she’d made the same observation.
However, the smell of these slightly smaller leaves was quite strong (in a good way) and promised a good experience. I’m not sure of the exact water temps I used but it was quite cooler than my standard temps for green tea and I steeped it for no more than a minute.
The end result measured up to what I was expecting, based on that aroma. If you’ve never tasted Gyokuro you might be surprised at the smooth texture and the subtly rich and faintly sweet taste. This one had just a hint of grassiness that I tend to associate more with Sencha, another popular Japanese green tea, but it didn’t do anything to detract from the experience.
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