Gyokuro, one of the delicious and expensive Japanese teas, is obtained by special methods and brewed with precision preparation techniques. It is one of the noble teas. Gyokuro tea, which has been consumed for years in Japan, is a typical “shaded green tea”. It is harvested only once a year and kept in the shade for 3 weeks to provide its unique flavor. It is among the most delicious and expensive teas in the world. It is obtained in a difficult process as a result of special processes. The characteristic flavor of this prestigious tea is the result of the methods applied to obtain it.
You may not have heard the name. When you read our article, you will wonder how it tastes!
What is Gyokuro Tea?
Gyokuro, known as Japan’s most beautiful green tea, is considered the “most valuable” and “noblest” of all teas. There are reasons that make this tea the “best green tea”! The high grade and first-class prestige of tea is the result of special processing methods. The word “gyokuro” translates as “jewel drop” or “jade drop”. It is thought that the name of the tea comes from the jade green hue it takes on after it is prepared. Gyokuro tea, also known as “pearl dew” or “jade dew,” undergoes a special processing method. It is harvested only once a year in certain tea plantations. This Japanese green tea is quite expensive and hard to find. According to the testimonies of tasters, it is worth it.
Gyokuro; has a sweet and mild flavor and a wonderful smell. It has a different taste than any tea. The main source of precious teas is one of the variations of the plant “Camellia sinensis”. It is a type of green tea obtained by shading method. The plant of this tea was first grown in 1835. Today, it is mainly produced in the Yame, Uiji and Asahina regions of Japan. Gyokuro green tea is grown under different conditions than other green teas. A special process is applied to change the chemical composition of the leaves. It grows at a lower altitude, in a foggy and rainy climate, unlike “sencha”, which describes the more common Japanese green tea species.
Each glass of gyokuro consumed leaves unique traces for both taste and health. Hundreds of years ago, the Japanese consumed gyokuro tea as a “traditional folk remedy” for digestive problems, heart ailments, and general fatigue. Today, there is scientific evidence that gyokuron is beneficial for the body. Green teas such as Gyokuro tea; These are teas that have the potential to prevent various types of cancer, such as pancreatic, ovarian, prostate, breast and bladder. They can also prevent various heart diseases. Check out its health benefits; maybe the tea you’re looking for is gyokuro!
Burns fat, strengthens muscles
Drinking sugar-free gyokuro with meals or during the day helps to shed extra pounds. It also makes you feel energetic and powerful. The antioxidants in its content accelerate the metabolism, burn calories and fat much faster. It is an ideal weight enemy with a balanced diet and exercise!
Reduces the risk of cancer
Thanks to its high antioxidant content, it can fight free radicals responsible for the development of tumors. It can be consumed daily to prevent cancer and cell aging.
Provides mental alertness
Gyokuro green tea contains caffeine and theanine. Caffeine content is higher due to less exposure to sunlight than other green teas. However, the caffeine in tea slowly gets into the blood throughout the day. For this reason, it acts as a longer and healthier stimulant than the caffeine in coffee. By shortening the reaction time to various situations, it activates the heart faster and increases concentration. This in turn strengthens mental and cognitive alertness. Provides a longer energy boost than coffee.
Supports heart health
Consuming gyokuro tea regularly supports and strengthens heart health. Tea; It’s loaded with minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins that reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. It lowers bad cholesterol (LDL) and regulates blood sugar level. When consumed without sugar, it helps lower blood pressure and protects the body from dangerous toxins.
Prevents tooth decay
Gyokuro tea contains important minerals for teeth such as fluoride. Acts as an antiviral agent; It prevents bacterial infections in the mouth and gums, dental plaque and tooth decay. It also leaves a nice and fresh scent on the breath. Remember; Oral health is the first step to a good digestive system.
How is Gyokuro Tea Made?
A series of processes that require dedication, patience and mastery are applied in order for this green tea to gain calming and refreshing properties. These processes are almost an art. Like its more famous cousin, matcha tea, it is grown in a shaded environment during the last three weeks of its life cycle. This practice causes caffeine levels to be higher than other teas.
A few weeks before the tea bush is harvested, it is covered with black curtains, bamboo and straw that filters out about 90 percent of the sunlight. This shading process increases the chlorophyll content by reducing the photosynthesis process. Shading is also the process that defines the characteristic flavor of tea. In this process, the leaves become dark green and the tannin content is reduced; This makes the tea sweeter, reducing its bitter taste. The smallest buds on the plant are collected. These are called the “first siphon”. Therefore, it is a very rare tea in stores. Immediately after plucking, the leaves are steamed to stop the oxidation process and preserve their characteristic flavor.
Gyokuro green tea leaves are rolled in several stages to soften, dry and form a needle after cooling. The leaves are dried again to reduce their moisture. At this stage, the tea leaves are divided into several classes called “aracha” and “tencha”. The best gyokuro are the “tencha” grade teas. The leaves are then heated to reduce their moisture for the last time. Thus, it becomes durable for a long time and its flavor increases. Finally, the leaves are soaked for several months before packaging. The main difference between gyokuro and matcha teas is in the final stage of processing. Matcha leaves are rooted and ground into a powder; however, the gyokuro leaves are left intact and infused before drinking, rather than mixing them directly into water as in matchada.
How to Make and Consume Gyokuro Tea?
How about a cup of gyokuro after learning about some of the benefits of this processed specialty tea? It takes some care to get the delicious taste of this beautiful tea. So choose a small porcelain teapot and a cup. Because very little water and very little tea leaves are used for gyokuro tea. Preheat the cup and teapot. Because this tea is brewed with a low temperature water, preheating ensures a hot tea for a long time.
Use quality water as Gyokuro is rare and expensive.
50 – 60 degrees is low temperature for a tea. In Gyokuro, this temperature allows the tea to last longer and lowers the caffeine level in the tea.
5 to 10 degrees below or above the ideal temperature can change the taste of the tea.
It is recommended to adjust the water temperature with a thermometer to get the exquisite taste of the tea.
The shoots will have a dark green appearance when the leaves are infused; you can also feel the soft sea smell.
Gyokuro tea is prepared as follows;
Add 1 or 2 grams of gyokuro leaves per 30ml of hot water.
If you don’t have a small scale, the “rule of thumb” is that a teaspoon holds about 4 grams of dry tea leaves.
Other important step is the right brew time.Additional brews require a higher temperature; however, the brewing time is shortened; because the tea leaves are opened and it is necessary to preserve the taste of the tea. The temperature of the water for the second brewing of gyokuro leaves should be between 57 and 66 degrees.
The second brewing time is between 30 seconds and 1 minute.
For the third brewing, water between 66 and 82 degrees should be used and a maximum of 1 minute The brewing time is sufficient.
Gyokuro tea should be consumed slowly to enjoy the distinctive features of its sweet and velvety flavor. It has very slight acidity and a pale yellow-green color.
Gyokuro is a gentle and delicate tea like Japanese. You can drink it at any time of the day; but it is also ideal for relaxing in the afternoon or feasting after dinner. It gives an exquisite taste with dishes such as seafood or sushi. The aroma of the tea is in perfect harmony with the seaweed. It is also compatible with bean paste or rice powder from Japanese desserts.
Iced tea can also be obtained from gyokuro. Put 1.5 tablespoons of dry leaves in the container and add 3-4 ice cubes to it.
Useful Information About Gyokuro
Gyokuro green tea leaves can be eaten. It has very soft leaves. You can consume the leaves with soy sauce and lemon juice. Dry tea leaves should be stored in a light and airtight container. Moisture should also be prevented from destroying the tea leaves.
The famous tea company “Yamamotoyama” gave this type of tea “gyokuro” about 150 years ago. Since then, gyokuro has been among the most expensive varieties of “sencha” tea.
The tea was first discovered in 1835 by Yamamotoyama’s sixth owner, Yamamoto Kahei. “Sencha” is the traditional green tea in Japan. It is a used term. This commercially available tea costs about $10 per ounce (about 30 grams). Gyokuro tea; It is part of the ancient Japanese culinary tradition, as well as other famous beverages such as matcha tea, sake, and plum wine.