- Gyokuro Shogyoku Preparation
Gyokuro is the highest grade green tea in Japan and our Gyokuro, Shogyoku Heritage Special Selection is the best of the best. It is made using only first flush leaves from tea bushes that are shaded for between 30 - 40 days depending on the year.
To achieve creation of the best of the best, it is not enough to simply cultivate the best tea leaves. Those leaves then need to be processed well and refined with extreme care to get only needles. That is the value a tea master -- a master appraiser and blender of tea leaves -- brings to the table, and few masters are more highly regarded than Hiroshi Kobayashi, the only 10-dan ranked master in Kyoto and one of only 13 in Japan.
Shogyoku is Kobayashi-san's flagship gyokuro, cultivated by himself on the factory's own tea field (dedicated to making this tea and their flagship matcha). Labeled "Heritage Grade" due the utilization of traditional shading -- a canopy with yoshizu reeds layered in gradual steps, and then processed and refined with utmost attention to maintaining the perfect needle shape in the final tea leaves. Using an umami-rich cultivar, Uji Midori, only a few dozen kilograms are handpicked each year and only once a year allowing the plant an entire year to fully rejuvenate and enrich itself with flavor.
Ingredients: Artisan green tea
Origin: Kyotanabe, Kyoto, Japan
Water Temperature: 104 -- 158 degrees (See below for clarification)
Water Quality: Best with Spring Water
Amount of Leaf: 1st infusion 3 grams of tea per 1-oz water for 3 minutes;
Subsecuent infusions of the same leaves: 6-oz water for 30 seconds
Steep Time: up to 3 minutes
Number of Infusions: 3
The first steeping is meant to extract an umami syrup, an ambrosia of tea. Feel free to adjust the water amount, temperature etc to see what delicious flavors can be extracted. Subsequent steeps may be enjoyed as a sencha, steeping a full cup for 30 seconds or more (depending upon personal preferences) at 70˚C/158˚F degrees.