WHAT IS gyokuro ?
Gyokuro is the king of Japanese green teas and is a delicate and exclusive beverage that requires enormous amounts of skill and work.
Gyokuro from Kyushu is the most appreciated of all Japan and is praised for its exceptional quality. Yame area in Fukuoka is the main production region in Japan (40%). Yame produces the highest quality gyokuro of the country, called Dento Hon Gyokuro.
Gyokuro is sweet, with a unique mildly astringent aroma and mellow umami taste, with high levels of theanine and caffein. Gyokuro lovers will tell you of the wonders of the first sip that leaves a long-lasting impression in your mouth.
The tea leaves are cultivated using a special method where the young leaves are shaded from direct sunlight for around twenty days. Shading is usually done through dark plastic sheet, but in Yame, traditional farmers will use natural rice straw to make ‘Dento Hon Gyokuro’, the highest label of quality.
Compared to sencha, gyokuro tends to be smoother, more full-bodied, and less astringent. Gyokuro is also much richer than sencha in umami, due to its high levels of theanine. Thanks to the shading process, the rate of photosynthesis is significantly reduced, and less theanine gets converted into other compounds.