- Ippodo Tokusen Gyokuro, Premium grade and only sold at Kyoto Main Store, once per year in the fall. They have generously shared this with us as a special event.
- Sinensis Yokkaichi Gyokuro, Premium grade with only 5 kilos (out of 10k produced) sold outside Mie. Awards; Gold Medal at the World Tea Awards, and 5th place in a Japanese competition. Salvador Sosa (Sinensis director) in partnership with distributor Hidenori Moriguchi of Mite Co. located in Mie, made this Gyokuro available. It is produced by Koshi Hagimura owner of Hagimura Seicha in Yokkaichi very close to Suzuka. Sae Midori cultivar.
- After receiving your teas wait 1 day before opening packets, this is to let tea get to room temperature and avoid degradation. After 1 day open packet, re-seal with a bag clip or sim and wait +-12hr before using tea. This allows the needles to breath a little before steeping.
- I highly recommended getting vendor temperatures and ratios correct before tweaking to your palate. For those that don’t drink Japanese greens every day it is advisable to use a thermometer, scale, timer, and balanced water -not too alkaline or too low TDS.
- Preheating kyusu (pot) before steeping, brings out dry leaf aroma nicely, and holds steeping temperature better.
- Keep packet sealed tightly and away from light. Moisture and oxygen will degrade needles very quickly.
- If members follow those steps, everyone should get more consistent results.
Vendor Recommended Steeping (both are perfect):
Ippodo Tokusen Gyokuro (found vendor rec perfect)
10g/ 80ml (3oz)/ 140F (60c)/ 90sec, 90, 3min, 6, 15, 3.5hrs, overnight, in preheated kyusu
Sinensis Yokkaichi Gyokuro (settled on 9g/114ml/108F/2.30min)
6g/ 114ml (4oz)/ 104-122F (40-50C)/ 2 min, 2, 4, 10, overnight, in preheated kyusu
Ippodo also likes an additional cooler steeping option;
10g/ 210ml (7oz)/ chilled water/ 15 minutes
Excited to share these high quality gyokuro with you.
* pedant image
Edit: Added Notes #3 preheating kyusu, #4 seal packet, updated Sinensis Yokkaichi Gyokuro procurement details.