GYOKURO

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. For more information, you can visit our dedicated page and use our comparative chart to see at a glance the properties of our featured products.

  • SATORI
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    SHINCHA 2021
    BEST SELLER
    Premium Gyokuro
    REGION: 
    YAME
    ORGANIC: 
    No
    WEIGHT: 
    50G / 1.76 OZ
    A stunning premium Yame dento hon gyokuro, with complex and enveloping notes of miso and nori with hints of citrus and nasturtium.
    PLAIN BAG :
    36 US$
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    WASHI WRAPPED:
    39 US$
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  • GYOKURO BOX I
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    Premium Gyokuro
    REGION: 
    YAME
    ORGANIC: 
    No
    WEIGHT: 
    125G / 4.40 OZ
    A luxury gift box of 125g of Dento Hon Gyokuro from Yame that won several national awards. An unforgettable tasting experience that will leave you breathless. For demanding connoisseurs.
    $120
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  • HIKARU
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    SHINCHA 2021
    Premium Gyokuro
    REGION: 
    YAME
    ORGANIC: 
    No
    WEIGHT: 
    50G / 1.76 OZ
    A dento-hon gyokuro from Yame with a full-bodied liquor with notes of nori, steamed artichoke hearts, and dried lily.
    PLAIN BAG :
    25 US$
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    WASHI WRAPPED:
    28 US$
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  • GYOKURO-SENCHA SET
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    Premium Gyokuro & Sencha
    REGION: 
    YAME
    ORGANIC: 
    No
    WEIGHT: 
    260G / 9.17OZ
    A green tea luxury gift set, with one of the best gyokuro of Japan and a sencha carefully selected by green tea masters in Yame (130g each).
    $96
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  • MIYA
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    2021 HARVEST
    Premium Gyokuro
    REGION: 
    YAME
    ORGANIC: 
    NO
    WEIGHT: 
    50G / 1.76OZ
    A remarkable premium Yame dento hon gyokuro, with complex notes of nori, fresh cut grass, and asparagus accent this tea’s light-hued liquor.
    PLAIN BAG :
    29 US$
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    WASHI WRAPPED:
    32 US$
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  • Small bag of competition grade dento hon gyokuro from Yame, Japan, called MIYAKO, with hand calligraphy on the front.
    MIYAKO
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    Competition Gyokuro
    REGION: 
    YAME
    ORGANIC: 
    No
    WEIGHT: 
    10G / 0.34OZ
    A rare competition grade dento hon gyokuro from Yame. The finest of all, this award-winning gyokuro combines extraordinary sweetness and umami. In 10g or 50g bags.
    $18$81
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  • KAZUHIRO
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    SHINCHA 2021
    Premium Organic Gyokuro
    REGION: 
    Saga
    ORGANIC: 
    YES
    WEIGHT: 
    50G / 1.76OZ
    A unique organic gyokuro with aromatic notes of wildflowers and dried honey that balance with refined notes of steamed asparagus. First harvest tea.
    PLAIN BAG :
    29 US$
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    WASHI WRAPPED:
    32 US$
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  • Open wooden box containing a set made of a tube-shaped golden box with a white paper label wrapped around it with hand-written Japanese calligraphy, a white porcelain tea pot, a white porcelain water cooler and two small white porcelain tea cups resting against a deep purple velvet tissue.
    GYOKURO & CHINA SET
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    Competition Gyokuro & China Set
    REGION: 
    YAME
    ORGANIC: 
    No
    WEIGHT: 
    100G / 5.37OZ
    A beautiful luxury gift set, combining 100g of an award-winning Dento Hon gyokuro of Yame, and a white porcelain tea set from Arita.
    $163
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  • Front view of three purple and golden tube-shaped green tea boxes placed inside a wooden box with Japanese markings on them mentioning their origins (Hoshino sencha and gyokuro).
    HOSHINO SENCHA & GYOKURO BOX
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    Premium Sencha and Gyokuro
    REGION: 
    YAME
    ORGANIC: 
    No
    WEIGHT: 
    375G/13.11OZ
    An exceptional green tea gift set combining 125g of premium gyokuro and 2 x 125g of premium sencha, all of them grown in the mountainous area of Hoshino (Yame, Fukuoka).
    $144
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  • HOSHINO GYOKURO AND SENCHA DOUBLE BOX
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    Premium Sencha and Gyokuro
    REGION: 
    YAME
    ORGANIC: 
    No
    WEIGHT: 
    320G/11.29OZ
    A beautiful and prestigious green tea gift set, combining 160g of Gyokoru and 160g of premium Sencha, from the renowned area of Hoshinomura in Yame.
    $120
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  • Gyokuro Box Limited Edition
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    Competition Gyokuro
    REGION: 
    YAME
    ORGANIC: 
    No
    WEIGHT: 
    50G / 1.76 OZ
    A limited-edition competition-grade Dento Hon Gyokuro from Yame. A blend of yamakai and kanaya midori, a concentration of umami and sweetness that comes in 5 bags of 8g in a beautiful wooden box.
    $82
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  • (private) KIRARI31_8g
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    Competition gyokuro
    REGION: 
    YAME
    ORGANIC: 
    NO
    WEIGHT: 
    8g
    Competition Dento Hon Gyokuro Description An exclusive and precious gem - the very essence of umami. Tea master Kiya san and IKKYU are delighted to present you the 2021 edition of the Kirari 31 dento hon gyokuro that won the first place at Japan’s 74th National Tea Competition in 2020. Grown and produced thanks to the incredible skills of Jiyo Masafumi san in Kuroki village in Yame, who has won this competition seven years in a row, it is simply the best gyokuro of Japan. Kirari 31 is the rare cultivar used to make the most exclusive green tea of Japan. With only 4-5 kilos made each year by this producer, this gyokuro can be compared to caviar, champagne or liquid gold, and is usually presented to national tea fair competitions. The main feature of this single-origin gyokuro is its exceptional level of umami, thanks to the thicker mesophyll compared to what you can find in the already highly rated Saemidori cultivar (mesophyll is the inner tissue of a leaf, that contains many chloroplasts). Combined with less astringency, dento hon gyokuro made from Kirari 31 yields a rich and sweet liquor with a long finish. In line with the traditions behind the making of every Yame dento hon gyokuro, its tea leaves were hand-picked one by one by Jiyo san and his wife during the first harvest, in steep tea fields at 300 meters above sea level. Jiyo san added micro-organisms to his soil to improve its quality. If you’d like to learn more about Yame dento hon gyokuro, you can visit our special page about Gyokuro here and also our Yame tea page. Please also watch the interview of Kiya san explaining about the parallels between green tea (especially gyokuro) and wine. In his interview, Kiya san brews this Kirari 31 gyokuro. For more details about the producer and his achievement in 2020, see these articles (in Japanese) : Asahi Shimbun & JA Fukuoka Yame. Origin100% Japanese tea from Kuroki village in  YameQuality and TypeCompetition-grade Dento Hon GyokuroHarvest2021 Cultivar Kirari 31 Organic No Tasting Notes sweetness A sweet-tasting tea is a very light tea that leaves a sensation of natural sweetness in the mouth. UMAMI Although there is no official translation of the word “umami”, some call it “savory taste”: it leaves a mild and lasting pleasant brothy after taste and is recognized as one of the five basic tastes (together with sweetness, sourness, bitterness, and saltiness). It also induces salivation and a furriness sensation on the tongue, stimulating the throat, the roof and the back of the mouth.  BITTERNESS The natural bitterness of green tea comes from the way it is made. Unlike black and oolong teas, green teas are made from the unfermented leaves of the tea plant, which keeps the antioxidants intact, but also gives them the bitter taste. This bitterness can be regulated with the water temperature : the higher the more bitter and vice-versa. CAFFEINE Caffeine is a naturally-occurring stimulant, found in several plants. Caffeine is water soluble, and is extracted into the brewed cup when preparing tea. In most cases, tea has much less caffeine than coffee. CATECHINS Catechins are a type of polyphenol (EGCG) and are the main astringency component in green tea, long known as tannins. In order to release more catechins you will need higher brewing temperature at around 80 but this will also increase the astringency and bitterness of your tea because of the caffeine. Dont use such temperatures for Gyokuro. THEANINE L-theanine (here referred to as theanine) is an amino acid that has a relaxing, but not sedating, effect. It is renowned for its ability to put you in the ideal state of calm attentiveness. It can sharpen focus, while reducing stress and enhancing overall well-being. Theanine can interact with caffeine, allowing a smaller dose of caffeine to have a stronger effect in terms of boosting concentration and alertness. FRAGRANCE The fragrance of a cup of green tea can vary from a highly roasted aroma to a fresh one. Preparation 1st Brew *Given the low water temperature, don't forget to pre-heat your teaware to enjoy your gyokuro at a warm temperature. Pour hot water in your cup(s) and tea pot before starting your brewing.  Tea3g /0.10oz per cup Water15 ml / 0.51oz per cup Temperature40-50C / 104-122F Brewing120s Preparation 2nd Brew Tea3g /0.10oz per cup Water15 ml / 0.51oz per cup Temperature40-50C / 104-122F Brewing60s Preparation 3rd Brew Tea3g /0.10oz per cup Water15 ml / 0.51oz per cup Temperature40-50C / 104-122F Brewing60s DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS & PRODUCT SHEET (PDF) Selected By Kiya Yasuhiko Kiya Yasuhiko the Third (heir and third owner of Kiya-horyouen) is a certified Japanese Tea Appraiser (out of a total of 39 in Japan). He works to spread new ideas and concepts about Japanese tea and promote Yame tea, gyokuro and tea culture in general. We are honored to propose Kiya san’s incredible teas and be able to collaborate together on new ways to enjoy green tea by going beyond the traditional approach. Kiya san has developed exclusive teas for IKKYU. His deep and unique knowledge of tea along with the quality of Kiya san’s products will lift you to the highest levels of Japanese green tea. Conservation & Packing Unopened8 months Opened2 weeks Resealable vacuum bag, or aluminium bag with neutral gaz for best preservation. Reviews Related Products
    PLAIN BAG :
    50 USD
    WASHI WRAPPED:
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  • COMPETITION SENCHA AND GYOKURO DOUBLE BOX
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    Competition Sencha and Gyokuro
    REGION: 
    YAME
    ORGANIC: 
    No
    WEIGHT: 
    250G/8.81OZ
    A beautiful and prestigious green tea gift set, combining 125g of an award winning competition Gyokuro and  Sencha, from the renowned area of Hoshinomura in Yame.
    $139
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what is matcha ?

Matcha (抹茶) is a fine powdered green tea made from tencha leaves (shaded leaves) that benefits from high theanine contents. Matcha combines an elegant aroma and sweetness, and brings a pleasant state of relaxation to both body and mind. Because the leaf powder is dissolved in hot water, all of the tea nutrients are ingested, including those that are not water-soluble (vitamin A, protein, vitamin E, minerals, dietary fibers).

In Japan, matcha is enjoyed during the Tea Ceremony, according to the Sado principles. Even if you are no specialist, to prepare your daily matcha, you will need several key accessories, such as a chawan (matcha bowl), chashaku (bamboo scoop), a chasen (matcha whisk) and a kusenaoshi (chasen holder). Since 2021, our shop includes handmade chasen made in Takayama, Nara prefecture, with 100% Japanese bamboo. Feel free to browse our tea accessories section to complete or start your collection.

 

 

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"Tea is nought but this: first you heat the water,
then you make the tea.
Then you drink it properly.
That is all you need to know."
Sen no Rikyu

 

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