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Monday, December 6, 2010

Go Go Gyokuro

So I did it, I broke open my first gyokuro of the season, and now begins the journey that I feel many seasonal gyokuro drinkers undergo. That is getting the brewing parameters fine tuned, as with many teas that require a higher leaf to water ratio getting things exact can be rather difficult when it is not done regularly. Gyokuro also seems to have an additional difficulty of getting the temperature right, as with that much leaf, I feel gyokuro is extra sensitive to even slight changes in temperature.

Fitting the bill that gyokuro is a winter tea, I opened it up on the first day we had snow here in this part of Western Michigan. As I am writing this we have quite a bit more snow falling, and I am starting to get excited for the holidays. Though after having a few sessions of Gyokuro a few questions have been arising.

I love in the middle of winter holding onto a nice hot cup of tea, and enjoying it thoroughly. But Gyokuro is brewed in such small amounts and at such low temps, that the entire warming effects are lost on me. The only reasons I feel why it is considered more of a winter tea is its robust umami like flavor, and the fact that Gyokuro should be aged for at least half a year, likely more for it to be in its prime.

Either way I am excited that it is gyokuro season, and I hope all of you are enjoying the start of winter and the holiday season.
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