Tea Reviews

Adagio Teas – Gyokuro

January 13, 2020
Adagio Teas - Gyokuro

Adagio Teas – Gyokuro

Tea description

Gyokuro, a shade-grown steamed green tea, is among the finest of Japanese teas. While the young leaves of the spring season develop, the Gyokuro plants are shaded from the sun for several weeks. This slows the growth allowing, tea leaves more time to develop depth and flavor.

The sun-deprived leaves are higher in chlorophyll, which explains their vivid green color. They’re also higher in amino acids, most notably L-theanine, which accounts for the perfectly smooth, rich and soft flavor.

Adagio Teas - Gyokuro

Adagios fine Gyokuro green tea produces a deeply sweet aroma of freshly buttered greens and seaweed, with no grassiness or harshness.

Think of tender new grass just sprouting in the spring. Soft on the palate with a balanced, delicate finish. Energizing and soothing cup of tea. Use lower water temperature and enjoy multiple infusions to get the most from this tea. Product of Japan.

Where to purchase: https://www.adagio.com/green/gyokuro.html

Tasting Notes

For the tasting, I used my glass teapot with an infuser from Everything Zen. I used a measuring spoon to level out the tea leaves. 

Gyokuro means Jade dew and is a highly regarded Japanese tea. A good Gyokuro is rich in L-theanine which gives its intense umami – sweet flavor. 

I tried two separate infusions with this Adagio Gyokuro. The first with a regular kettle and with an eyeballed measure of temperature.

For the second infusion, I used a temperature-controlled kettle and the time that was specified on the package. Both yielded very different results. I thought it would be best to share both experiences. 

The tea leaves are broken up and have a jaded deep green color.

Tea attributes common to both infusions

Dry Aroma: Caramel like smell with a hint of nuttiness. It did not have a powerful vegetal aroma.

Liquor color: greenish-yellow

Evolution of tea leaves: Softened and expanded tea leaves with a deep green color.

Wet leaf aroma: A strong seaweed like aroma. 

Adagio Teas - Gyokuro
First infusion

Steep time: 2 minutes

Water temperature: approximately 80-85°C

Tea notes:

The liquor has a bold vegetal flavor that melts into a sweet aftertaste. Throughout the tasting, there is an astringency or bitterness. The flavors balance nicely with the bitter meets sweet flavor profile. 

I picked a special treat as my tea accompaniment. A wonderful homemade tomato-passionfruit jam with no preservatives or excess sweetness. This little treat was gifted to me by the gorgeous Ritu Matthew who is a baker, artist, and creative curator based in Dubai, U.A.E. 

This lush red-orange colored jam paired really well with the gyokuro. The fresh fruit pieces break through the bitter after taste and made for a nice wholesome tasting. 

Second infusion

Steep time: 2 minutes

Water temperature: 77°C

Tea Notes:

With the controlled water temperature, the flavor profile of Adagio teas Gyokuro has changed entirely. The liquor was well balanced with a pure green vegetal, spinach, seaweed-like flavor without any jarring bitterness. The tasting finished clean and smooth. It was very refreshing. 

I felt that the sweetness came through a lot more in the previous infusion.

Notes:

It is important to remember that the water temperature is crucial when brewing a gyokuro.

Finally, drinking a pot of gyokuro got me really hungry. 🙂

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