Gyokuro Imperial (green tea)

4 Review(s)

Gyokuro Imperial

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  • 6.0 oz Tin $53.95
  • 0.2 oz Sample $3.95
  • 2.0 oz Pouch $19.95
  • 8.0 oz Pouch $69.95
  • 1.0 lb Pouch $114.95
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Highest grade available in the US. From the Kagoshima prefecture, Kyushu, at the southernmost tip of the island .

Sweet, umame, fresh flavors; low astringency. Richly textured with alpine notes. Superb and rare tea. Deep-steamed, which results in more body, more umame, more richness. Note also the liquor is more cloudy than light-steamed (asamushi), and there are often some small particles. This is not to be confused with a low grade tea, but is in fact characteristic of the "fukamushi" or deep-steamed type of gyokuro. There is no better, in our estimation.

The tea plants are shaded for 10-14 days before harvest to increase photosynthesis. The leaves become dark green and the flavor is mellowed, deepened, and given a sweet finish.

Great for several infusions. Note the cooler water temperatures and higher than normal quantity per cup. Expect three amazing infusions.
Radiation-free, of course.

2.0 oz Pouch $19.95 - 30 servings 67¢ per cup | 6 oz Tin $53.95 - 90 servings 60¢ per cup

Customer Reviews

  1. November 13, 2013 Review by Deborah

    I'm not really a fan of green teas as they tend to taste "grassy"/vegetal. I usually go for flavored (with dried fruit, etc.) green teas, but I decided to try samples of most of Zhi Tea's teas, including this one. This tea tasted very nice. The vegetal taste was faint, especially when I didn't over-heat the water. (They recommend heating the water to 160F.) The tea is sweet and has low astringency, and the taste I assume they are referring to as "pine notes" created a nice-tasting green tea.

  2. June 27, 2013 Review by Taba

    The best Japanese green tea I've found outside of Japan. This tea transports me across time and space, it brings me to a lovely moment as a child when I sipped from my grandfather's tea cup on a trip to Kagoshima, shortly before they joined us in Seattle. I swear I can taste the bay air in this lovely tea. Nothing else I've found online or in stores has actually brought me back to that moment. This is the real thing, it is a treasure in a cup.

  3. April 29, 2013 Review by Jisse

    Wow. Impressed. I used to get this from Teavan until they ran out. And I thought it was great. This one, though, kind of blows it away. Fresher, for sure, and just a better body, and obviously higher grade. I get three steeps too of which I could only get 2 before. AND it is way cheaper. Thanks!!!

  4. September 14, 2012 Review by derek

    I am a Japanese tea lover. I drink everything from matcha, kukicha, hojicha, sencha, everything! Not a day goes by (with rare exceptions) that I do not drink at least 2 cups of Japanese green tea per day!

    I really like this gyokuro from Zhi. It is very, very good. i have had better in Japan, of course, but this is as good as I have ever had in the states, I think once I had the best cup ever in a 5-star hotel in new York, but that was two decades ago and I haven't found anything online I like better than this one from Zhi.

    Really, really smooth and it does have that crisp oceanic quality that is mentioned in some descriptions. Slightly sweet, nutty, very, very round in the mouth. Gives up a great second steep. i give it an A. Thank you folks at Zhi Teas.

Water: 160-170°F | Leaves: 1 tsp per 10 ounce cup | Infusion Time: 1.5 - 2 minutes. Second steep, 1 min. Third steep 2 min.

Basic Steeping Tips
- Use filtered or spring water, whenever possible
- Don’t over-boil water
- Remove leaves after recommended time (adjust to taste) - If you want stronger tea, use more leaves instead of steeping for a longer time
Leaves can be re-steeped 2-3 times resulting in various flavor differences. Don’t throw out those leaves until they have given it all up!
Green tea has been researched a great deal over the last 20 years. Results indicate that the catechins in green tea are responsible for a lowered risk of heart disease, lowered risk of cancer (especially prostate and breast), and potential reduction in onset of Alzeheimer's.
Varietal: Yabukita; small leaf, sweet tea used in many of Japan's highest quality green teas.

Gyokuro is made only with the earliest leaf buds of the spring harvest. Grown under shade cover (using reed or straw screens) for 20 days before harvesting begins. Growing the tea in diffuse sunlight reduces photosynthesis in the young leaf buds. As a result, the tea plant produces more chlorophyll, which changes the proportions of the sugars, amino acids, caffeine and flavanols that contribute to the color, aroma and taste. Less exposure to sunlight results in a mild and sweet flavor and less astringency.

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