Gyokuro (meaning "precious dew") is a shaded green tea and considered one of the finest green teas in Japan. Infusion produces a light green color and a deep, complex flavor. Gyokuro has a unique sweetness since shade allows the tea to retain a high Theanine and chlorophyll content.
Gyokuro is made from single buds that are picked only in April/May. The leaves are small - about 3/4ths an inch long and extremely fragrant and tender. Immediately after plucking the leaves are taken to the factory and steamed for about 30 minutes to seal in the flavor and arrest oxidation. Next they are fluffed with hot air and pressed and dried to 30% moisture content. Repeated rolling takes place until the tea develops long thin dark green needles at which time it is finally dried to a 4-6% moisture content.
Bring filtered or spring water to 140°F. Add 1.5 tsp of tea leaves to an 8oz cup. Pour boiling water over the tea leaves and let steep 3-4 minutes.
Green tea leaves (shade grown for 4 weeks),