Of all tea types, green tea is one of the most popular. This means that the choice varies extensively, offering a wide spectrum of taste notes and mouth feels. Two specific varieties of green tea are Gyokuro and Sencha from Japan, which offer differing yet equally delicious flavours. Let’s explore the differences and discover which one might be right for you.
Our Sencha is a traditional steamed tea, produced by tea farmer Yoshiro Okamura. Steaming the tea leaves halts their oxidisation which preserves their vibrant, green colour and umami rich notes. Alternatively, Gyokuro, produced by Mr and Mrs Miyazaki, shares many similar manufacturing steps as Sencha. However, before harvesting the tea leaves, the tea bushes are shaded for 30 days, an innovation that uses a hand built canopy of thick straw. In doing this, the leaves are hidden from sunlight and encouraged to overproduce chlorophyl and store their amino acids which ignites a deeper green colour and rich flavour. The resulting taste gives Gyokuro a distinct sweetness which compliments its deep umami flavour.
To infuse these quality green teas, simply add 4g per 250ml of water, using one of our glass tea-ieres is the best way to get the perfect single cup. We also think pre-heating your tea pot or tea-iere, before adding the tea leaves, is a great way to experience the natural fragrance of these teas, as the residual heat will help to release their refreshing and complex aroma.
We recommend infusing the Gyokuro at 60 ̊C, whilst a warmer 80 ̊C can be used for Sencha. Differing temperatures of water are important as this will affect how much flavour is extracted from the leaves. With a rich and complex tea, a cooler temperature will allow for a balanced flavour and less bitterness. When pouring your tea, make sure to pour out every drop for the perfect cup and to prevent the tea from over infusing and becoming bitter.
As much of a ritual preparing the tea is, drinking it is just as exciting. Sencha introduces a distinct, grassy aroma; complimented by a buttery, vegetable note and a sweetness in the aftertaste. Gyokuro offers a more complex taste with a supremely rich umami and creamy texture.
Often drunk by those working in the gardens, even in hot and muggy climates, green tea is enjoyable for any time of day. However, for something even sweeter and more refreshing, you can try these green teas as cold infusions. We recommend adding 8g of leaf per 250ml a of cold water and then placing in the fridge for 4-6 hours to enjoy the tea in a whole new way. When cold infusing, the chilled water creates a thicker texture and sweeter taste. Sencha’s subtle floral notes are much more present and Gyokuro, has an even creamier mouthfeel.
For fans of green tea, these two Japanese infusions offer refreshing and quenching qualities. Their taste represents the gardens in which they were grown, picked and carefully processed and are a great choice to explore for yourself or even as a special gift for a loved one.