Time for Tea: Gyokuro

on Food  

I didn’t get a particularly good night’s sleep last night – hearing the water heater making strange noises all night then begin slowly flooding our apartment at 5am does not make me a happy camper. I think maybe it will be comical in retrospect, after I’ve gotten some more sleep and we have hot water again.

Anyway, I’m a big believer in the ability of tea to cheer and comfort – even better if it’s served in a fat red teapot!


Today’s tea was gyokuro, a Japanese green tea grown in the shade (rather than full sun) and usually kept for more special occasions rather than everyday tea (possibly because it’s quite expensive). It’s supposed to have a very distinctive, sweet taste. To be honest I can’t really taste a huge difference between gyokuro and the much cheaper everyday tea sencha, but it’s possible I’m just brewing it incorrectly.

Apparently gyokuro should be brewed at 50°C–60°C for 90 seconds (as opposed to ~80°C for 1 minute for sencha), with a greater volume of tea leaves. Boiling water can be cooled by pouring it into teacups or another teapot before pouring over the tea leaves. Once you’ve served the tea make sure there’s no water left in the teapot – the leaves can be brewed a couple more times.

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