As the highest grade of loose leaf tea from Japan, this Gyokuro green tea has an exquisitely smooth yet rich umami flavour and sweet smell. Heavenly Drop Gyokuro translates as ‘Jade Dew’, and is named this as a result of the pale green-coloured infusion it creates. Though it is technically a type of Sencha green tea, the growing method and preparation of Gyokuro green tea is relatively unusual. For instance, the bushes used to grow Gyokuro tea are specially planted further apart to allow space for the leaves to spread out over the bush. What’s more, while the majority of Sencha tea is grown in direct sunlight, Gyokuro is grown in the shade.
The tea bush is shaded for three weeks prior to harvest forcing the nutrients into the top layer of leaves. The shading process allows chlorophyll to saturate the leaves, giving them their characteristic dark green colour. Being shade-grown also gives this particular type of green tea a higher concentration of Caffeine and L-Theanine than many other types of Sencha tea.
Once harvested, the leaves are steamed to prevent oxidisation, they are subsequently rolled repeatedly and dried creating slender needle-like leaves with a dark green glossy texture. Best brewed between 60°C and 40°C, it is not uncommon for drinkers of Gyokuro green tea to preheat their pot or cup beforehand in order to ensure the tea remains warm for as long as possible. Once brewed, this Japanse green tea produces a pale-green yellow infusion.