Finding the best gyokuro can be difficult, especially when you don’t know exactly what to look for. In this article, we are going to teach you everything you need to know to find the best gyokuro, and we’ll also show you where to find the best gyokuro tea online. Afterwards, we’ll compare some of the best gyokuro green tea, and see the advantages and disadvantages of each one. Let’s get started!
What to know before judging the best gyokuro tea
Before you even look for the best gyokuro, there are a few things that are important to keep in mind. First, we should define what gyokuro is and how it's made. If you understand all the work that goes into producing the best gyokuro tea, you will understand how the quality varies so widely between gyokuro tea.
What is gyokuro tea?
Gyokuro is considered to be the most sought after leaf tea in Japan. It was once the tea of choice for the emperor, and this is why you will often see it sold as “imperial gyokuro”. Gyokuro is thought to maintain, or even improve its flavor with age, so it’s no surprise that it was in high demand in a time before refrigeration.
The reason gyokuro is so sought after today is because of its powerful sweet and savory flavor. This flavor is very unique in the world of tea. In fact, when discussing the flavor of gyokuro tea, we often find it more useful to compare it to foods rather than other teas.
It has the savory flavor of a hearty miso soup, with a touch of saltiness and a hint of this seaweedy flavor. It doesn’t sound like it would be good, but once you experience some the best gyokuro tea you will find you can’t get enough of it!
How is gyokuro made?
To make gyokuro tea, the farmer starts by covering the gyokuro plant for 3 weeks ahead of the harvest. When the tea plant is exposed to sunlight, it begins to convert the theanine into catechins. Catechins can be great to protect the tea against UV light, but they can produce a very bitter flavor in the final tea. If a farmer wants to reduce this bitterness, and maximize the sweetness, he will apply the covering.
After the shading period is up, the farmer will then select the top 3 sprouts of the tea plant. These are the sweetest in flavor and the highest in nutrients. All the best teas, including the best gyokuro will be made from these top 3 leaves.
After the leaves have been gathered up, they are ready to be steamed, dried and rolled into these tight needle shaped leaves. These tightly rolled leaves lock in the flavor and aroma of gyokuro, until it is ready to be released all at once into a glorious green infusion.
How much does gyokuro typically cost
When you are looking for the best gyokuro, you should expect to pay a bit more. Generally, gyokuro can cost somewhere in between 30 cents and one dollar per gram. Because you use 5 grams of leaves to make 3 separate cups of tea, this comes down to only around $1 a cup so it is not too bad for an indulgence.
The pricing of Gyokuro is a very detail topic. If you want to learn more about this topic, read our article 👉 Why is the Gyokuro Tea Price so High?
How to find the best gyokuro green tea
If you are looking for the best gyokuro green tea, you will need to get it as directly as possible. People often ask about the best gyokuro brands, and the truth is that gyokuro isn’t made by brands, it’s made by farmers. We don’t like to “protect our suppliers” we’ll show you exactly who produced the gyokuro tea you’re drinking when you order from us!
Where to buy the best gyokuro tea online
When you buy gyokuro tea from Nio, you will be getting it from the farmer, Mr. Sakamoto and his legendary Green Tea. Mr. Sakamoto has been growing gyokuro tea without the use of pesticides or chemicals since 1985. During this time, he has developed his own blend of organic fertilizer, which allows him to grow strong, healthy and flavorful tea plants without harming the local ecosystem. Mr. Sakamoto produces by far the best gyokuro green tea we have had, and we’re going to walk you through some of our favorites:
#1 Gyokuro Cha Musume
The Gyokuro Cha Musume is the best gyokuro for beginners. It comes from the Yabukita, cultivar which is the most commonly used tea variety in Japan. The main gyokuro tea benefit of this tea is the pricing. Even though it has a lower price tag, it is bursting with flavor. The cha musume has a direct savory sweetness with light floral notes.
#2 Gyokuro Sasa Hime
The gyokuro sasa hime is a more intermediate level tea. It’s made from a blend of Okumidori, Saemidori and Yabukita cultivars, so it has more nuance and balance. The sasa hime is also the best gyokuro green tea for cold brew, giving you a smooth and sweet green tea with plenty of fruity and vegetal notes.
#3 Gyokuro Wakamusha
The gyokuro wakamusha is a great tea if you prefer of these vegetal or seaweedy flavors that gyokuro is known for. This gyokuro is from the Okumidori cultivar and it is the newest addition to our collection!
#4 Gyokuro Cha Meijin
The gyokuro cha meijin is the best gyokuro tea for serious tea drinkers. It has much more of a warmer sweetness, with notes of caramel and brown sugar. This tea comes from the saemidori cultivar, which is well sought after for its delicate sweet flavor and lack of bitterness.
How to prepare the best gyokuro green tea
To prepare the best gyokuro tea, we advice you to respect the best practices! We wrote a detail article to help to you to prepare the best gyokuro possible. If you want to read, checkout the article called 👉 Gyokuro Brewing Guide by Tea Experts. Otherwise, follow these basic steps to prepare a delicious cup of tea. Make sure to pay careful attention to the water temperature, as this is the most important!
- Step 1: Add 5 grams of tea leaves to your japanese kyusu teapot or shiboridashi, which works particularly well for gyokuro. If you to learn the differences between these two Japanese teaware, we recommend you our special teaware comparision article 👉 Shiboridashi vs Kyusu.
- Step 2: Pour in 150ml of water at a temperature of around 140 degrees Fahrenheit or 60 degrees Celsius
- Step 3: Let the tea sit undisturbed for 2 minutes with the lid on to keep the tea warm.
- Step 4: After the time is up, you can pour out the tea into the cup and the built in strainer will automatically filter the leaves out
As long as you follow these steps, you should be able to easily prepare the best gyokuro tea!
Final words on the best Gyokuro
You may find Gyokuro tea bags being sold online, but this tea in particular should be prepared in a teapot. A teabag is not the best way to prepare Gyokuro tea. Whenever you want to buy gyokuro, it should always be loose leaf tea!
We hope you enjoy this article. Don't forget to share this article on the web, comment and give use some feedbacks.