How to Prepare Delicious Gyokuro
Necessary items: kyusu (tea pot), 3 tea cups, tea leaves, tablespoon, yuzamashi (vessel to cool off boiled water - optional)
A slightly smaller kyusu (Japanese tea pot) is most appropriate for brewing Gyokuro.
If you do not own a yuzamashi, you may use a mug instead.
A dedicated focus on preparing the best tea possible will naturally help in making delicious Gyokuro.
(1) Boil water and let it cool off.
In order to achieve the ideal flavour of Gyokuro tea, it is crucial to let the boiled water cool off first. First pour the hot water into the empty kyusu (tea pot). Pouring the water will decrees the initial temperature (90°C - 100°C) by about ten degrees.
Caution: Pouring the boiling water directly onto the leaves will cause your tea to lose its refined flavour and become bitter
(2) Cool off the temperature of the hot water.
Pour the water from the kyusu (tea pot) into the yuzamashi (vessel to cool off boiled water). This will further reduce the temperature by about ten degrees. Your water will now measure around 70°C – 80°C.
(3) Cool off the temperature of the hot water.
Pour the water from the yuzamashi into the three cups. This will further reduce the temperature by about 10 degrees. It will now measure around 60°C – 70°C.
Discard any hot water that might be left in your yuzamashi.
(4) Put Gyokuro leaves into the kyusu.
Now place the tea tea leaves into the tea pot. The amount should be around 2 tablespoons (8-10 g of tea).
Of course, the amount may vary, depending on your taste.
This picture shows what 10 g of superior Gyokuro looks like in a tea pot. It might seem to be more than you expected.
If you use high quality tea leaves, even a larger amount will produce very delicious tea!
(5) Pour hot water on the leaves.
When the temperature of the hot water in the cups has declined to about 40°C – 50°C, pour the water on the tea leaves in the tea pot. The amount of water should be just enough to cover the leaves. Even if it looks like being “too little,” it will be just the right amount. Discard all excessive warm water.
Let the tea infuse for about 2 minutes.
When the tea leaves have just begun to open up, the tea is ready to be served.
(6) Pour till the last drop.
After 2 minutes of steeping in the pot, pour the tea into the cups. When serving several cups of tea, pour a little into each cup alternately so the richer tea at the bottom of the pot is distributed evenly.
Alternate pouring (do not fill a whole cup at once!):
The photograph shows how to pour just a little into each cup in the sequence of 1-2-3.
After you have reached the third cup, go back in the order of 3-2-1. Then again pour according to the sequence: 1-2-3, 3-2-1.
Pour until not a single drop is left in the pot. The leaves should be as dry as possible.
Shaking the last bit of water out can help the leaves make better tea the next infusion(s).
(7) Enjoy your delicious Gyokuro!
Please enjoy the unique sweetness that is the trademark of Gyokuro tea. Genuine Gyokuro cups are very small, therefore Gyokuro is best enjoyed by sipping slowly. Let the tea rest on your tongue and enjoy the delicious taste as it spreads through your whole mouth.
For a second or third infusion, use water with higher temperature and shorten the time of the infusion. Tea of superior quality can be used for three or four infusions.
Please note that the above instructions for brewing tea are merely our suggestions. The taste of tea is subject to one’s own likings. Please continue to “experiment” in order to find the taste that is most fitting to your own preference.