Gyokuro Gokou

Gyokuro Gokou

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Single field, first harvest and JAS certified organic high-grade green tea

Gyokuro, also known as “Pearl Dew”, is categorically the highest grade of Japanese green tea.

Gyokuro Gokou is unblended and region specific; as a result, the extraordinarily fine flavour carries the truest message of the terroir of the Ookawa family estate. Like matcha, tea bushes intended to produce Gyokuro are shaded between four to six weeks prior to harvest. The resulting tender dark green leaf, brewed for enjoyment across multiple infusions, affords an exquisite tasting experience of concentrated umami flavour and delectable vegetal sweetness.

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Origin

This first harvest Gyokuro was grown on a single field in Uji Tawara, Kyoto, Japan, notable for its hilly terrain and proximity to the Uji river. A favourable growing climate, matched with the use of the Tana Oishitaen shading method, and the attention to detail of Mr Ookawa and his wife and son to produce a quality, mechanically harvested gyokuro.

It is made exclusively from JAS organic tea leaves of the Gokou cultivar. Approximately 25 days prior to harvest, the bushes are shaded from the sun and are later mechanically harvested by Mr Ookawa on the family estate.

The Gokou cultivar was developed in 1953 by the Kyoto Prefecture Tea Industry Research Institute. As a cultivar it is particularly well suited to shading as the leaves are naturally darker green and more pronounced in umami compared to the standard Yabukita cultivar. Given that the cultivar was adapted from a native tea bush, it is well suited to the prefecture's terroir.

How to brew

Gyokuro Gokou is ideally suited to senchado, cold brew, and kooridashi/ice brew.

 

Tasting notes

Steamed spinach, sweet melon, umami

You can expect a full-bodied flavoured tea that quickly encapsulates the senses with its intensely rich vegetal and seaborne aromas, and hint of melon rind. Each sip is extraordinarily sweet and smooth matched with hefty umami. Astringency becomes more pronounced with subsequent infusions.

The same tea leaves can be re-brewed up to three times. Each infusion will reveal more of the tasting profile.

 

Pairing suggestion

Portobello mushroom 'duxelle' in a baked parmesan shell

Wok-stirred Chinese greens, braised egg and white fish

Water chestnut, pork and steamed spinach gyoza with sesame oil

Chilled silken tofu in semi-sweet fermented soy

Black sesame ice-cream with vanilla creme wafer