The Best Green Tea
It is probably hard to say what the world’s best tea is. After all, it is a matter of opinion and tastes. Everyone has their own preferences, and there are countless varieties so it is almost impossible to argue which is the best tea. However, critics agree gyokuro (玉露) is a top drop worthy of its premium price tag.
Gyokuro is a Japanese green tea, and the highest ranked in the green tea world. Japan is largely known for its quality green tea found in numerous varieties, and so gyokuro, as the most notable of tea types, must be considered a luxury. With a sweet taste and aroma it is considered Japan’s finest green tea and comes at a fair cost. It is a sumptuous beverage for special occasions. The leaves are small and dark green in color, and when brewed it is faintly sweet with a refreshing aroma. Gyokuro is considered an indulgence to savour in small amounts.
Gyokuro comes in a number of sub-varieties, at different prices set according to the tea farm it has come from. Although many tons of green tea are produced, predominantly sencha, which make up around 80% of all tea in Japan, the less commonly produced and highly priced teas, gyokuro, as well as the powdered green tea matcha, are grown under different conditions. From conventional wisdom, green tea is considered more delicate than most other types. And gyokuro, grown in the shade and carefully processed, is even more delicate than other green tea and should be treated with care. It requires careful preparation as it is more sensitive to boiling water and can become bitter. Be sure to check the brewing instructions for your particular tea. There are a variety of standard guidelines for green tea and gyokuro. Read on!
How to Brew Gyokuro
Do not forget that gyokuro is considered a treat globally. You need proper care to brew it correctly so as to enjoy its full flavor and aroma.
Let’s have a look at the steps:
- Use a small teapot and tea cups (first to pour water into to cool, then for serving the tea).
- When brewing set the temperature lower and steep time longer compared to other green tea. The ideal temperature is 50°C (122°F) and the brewing time from 90 seconds to 2 to 3 minutes. If you use a higher temperature than mentioned above, the tea will acquire a bitter taste.
- As with all green tea, pour evenly between the teacups to the final drop. For 35ml of tea, you need 5g of gyokuro. Aim for 20-30cc of tea per person.
What you might not realise is that you can use the same leaves for a second brew. To get the most of your fine leaves, steep a second time at a temperature of to 60°C (140°F), and since the tea leaves will have already been warmed and be starting to unravel, leave for just 1 and a half minutes for the full flavour to come out.
Don’t be fooled by the small size pot and amount of tea in your tiny tea cup. A single sip fills your mouth with a cornucopia of delicious flavours.
Benefits of Gyokuro Green Tea
Gyokuro has antioxidant properties and helps in boosting energy. It makes one feel energetic and refreshed by boosting the immune system. Gyokuro has slightly higher levels of caffeine than sencha or matcha per 100g of leaves, and it also contains vitamin and catechins as well as theanine, an amino acid, which will leave you feeling refreshed. Since tea is an effective tool for energy boosting and stress release, it can be a tremendous substitute for coffee.
It is said that drinking green tea burns excess fat which helps in losing weight. But why exactly? Antioxidants, which are beneficial for speeding up the digestion process. Switching up a milky calorie-dense latte to a green tea could help improve your diet overall and leave you feeling healthier. As with tea ceremonies, appreciating the tea and the meditative practice involved with the preparation and the drinking of the tea itself can also leave you in a relaxed, peaceful state of mind.
The composition of green tea also makes it very efficient for reducing the risk of tumours, cancer and heart diseases. It strengthens the immune system and fights various harmful bacteria entering the human body with its anti-bacterial properties. Green tea also helps in regulating blood sugar levels and lowering the cholesterol levels for proper functioning of the body.
Gyokuro helps in lowering blood pressure and protects the human body from several dangerous toxic substances. Since the tea is rich in minerals and fluoride, it is very suitable for cleansing the mouth, and preventing bacterial and viral infections such as tooth decay and dental plaque.
Where Can You Buy Gyokuro Green Tea?
If you are considering buying gyokuro and don’t have a local tea shop to visit, buying online is your next best option. Keeping in mind that you’ll be paying around JYP2000 for 100g of gyokuro, authenticity is important. With reviews, worldwide shipping and plenty of information including specific brewing instructions in English try tea from Kyoto, and browse a wide range of genuine, locally produced tea, of top quality at a reasonable price.
If you are looking for tea utensils, you can also browse the range online. Make sure you find the right teapot and teacups for gyokuro! Their products are sourced from traditional tea factories across Japan, and are meticulously selected and tested by the company’s owner before they are listed for selling.