Shade-grown Gyokuro offering a complex flavor with notes of oceanic umami and nori seaweed, with aromatic hints of preserved sakura in the finish.
Our certified organic Gyokuro is made at the Nishi family farm in the volcanic, nutrient-rich soils of Kagoshima Prefecture in southern Japan. Gyokuro, which means “jade dew” in Japanese, is made by shading the tea bushes in the weeks just prior to harvest. A long tent-like structure with one screen is set up over the tea bushes for about 10 days, and then a second screen is added for another 8-13 days depending on the season. By blocking out the sun’s rays from reaching the tea bushes, photosynthesis is inhibited. The tea bushes respond by developing very tender, thin, deep green tea leaves as they struggle to capture sunlight. There is also a change in the plant chemistry that occurs in shade-grown tea: the precious new tea shoots contain higher concentrations of L-theanine amino acid, known for its umami taste and alpha brain wave stimulating properties. At the same time, the plant develops less catechin (tea tannins), which give tea its astringent taste. The result is a smooth and incredibly flavorful, almost oceanic cup of jade dewdrops.
It is very rare to come across a USDA NOP certified organic Gyokuro, because the strenuous growing environment that the farmer creates to develop the rich taste of gyokuro requires ample fertilization. Our friends at the Nishi farm are widely respected throughout the Japanese tea industry for their skilled practice of organic vermiculture and soil management techniques that allow them to create incredibly rich soils without chemical fertilizers.
Rishi Tea specializes in sourcing the most rarefied teas and botanical ingredients from exotic origins around the globe. This forms a palette from which we craft original blends inspired by equal parts ancient herbal wisdom and modern culinary innovation. Discover new tastes and join us on our journey to leave ‘No Leaf Unturned’.
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