86
drank Gyokuro Suimei by Den's Tea
1926 tasting notes

My favorite thing about gyokuro is how it looks. I love the fine leaves that look so soft and richly green. The dry leaves smell nutty, a bit like almonds, and the aroma has a juicy character.

I also like the color of the steeped tea — the green in the liquor, rather than the typical color somewhere on the yellow spectrum. This one is a light greenish yellow, more green than chartreuse.

The steeped tea smells brothy, a bit salty, a bit nutty, a bit vegetal. The flavor is grassier than some, which I like, but also has the seaweed notes that I’ve come to expect, and something a little on the nutty side, like edamame.

I made this at a slightly higher temperature than recommended for a first steep, mostly because the Breville won’t go lower than 160.

The description says this is Den’s best, and it is quite good. I wish I appreciated gyokuro more in general. I enjoy it but I feel as though its greatness is somewhat wasted on me since I’m just as happy to drink a good sencha.

Flavors: Almond, Broth, Grass, Nutty, Salty, Seaweed, Soybean

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 17 OZ / 500 ML

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Bio

I got obsessed with tea in 2010 for a while, then other things intruded, then I cycled back to it. I seem to be continuing that in for a while, out for a while cycle. I have a short attention span, but no shortage of tea.

I’m a mom, writer, gamer, lawyer, reader, runner, traveler, and enjoyer of life, literature, art, music, thought and kindness, in no particular order. I write fantasy and science fiction under the name J. J. Roth.

Personal biases: I drink tea without additives. If a tea needs milk or sugar to improve its flavor, its unlikely I’ll rate it high. The exception is chai, which I drink with milk/sugar or substitute. Rooibos and honeybush were my gateway drugs, but as my tastes developed they became less appealing — I still enjoy nicely done blends. I do not mix well with tulsi or yerba mate, and savory teas are more often a miss than a hit with me. I used to hate hibiscus, but I’ve turned that corner. Licorice, not so much.

Since I find others’ rating legends helpful, I added my own. But I don’t really find myself hating most things I try.

I try to rate teas in relation to others of the same type, for example, Earl Greys against other Earl Greys. But if a tea rates very high with me, it’s a stand out against all other teas I’ve tried.

95-100 A once in a lifetime experience; the best there is

90-94 Excellent; first rate; top notch; really terrific; will definitely buy more

80-89 Very good; will likely buy more

70-79 Good; would enjoy again, might buy again

60-69 Okay; wouldn’t pass up if offered, but likely won’t buy again

Below 60 Meh, so-so, iffy, or ick. The lower the number, the closer to ick.

I don’t swap. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that I have way more tea than any one person needs and am not lacking for new things to try. Also, I have way too much going on already in daily life and the additional commitment to get packages to people adds to my already high stress level. (Maybe it shouldn’t, but it does.)

That said, I enjoy reading folks’ notes, talking about what I drink, and getting to “know” people virtually here on Steepster so I can get ideas of other things I might want to try if I can ever again justify buying more tea. I also like keeping track of what I drink and what I thought about it.

My current process for tea note generation is described in my note on this tea: https://steepster.com/teas/mariage-freres/6990-the-des-impressionnistes

Location

Bay Area, California

Website

http://www.jjroth.net

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