GYOKURO - Japanese Shade Tea
(Japanese Style Green Tea)
Small Batch Blended and Packed in Canada. HACCP Certified.
Ingredients From: China
Region: Zhejiang Province
Shipping Port: Shanghai
Grade: Gyokuro – Made to Japanese specifications
Altitude: 700 – 1500 feet above sea level
Manufacture Type: Shade grown and steamed green tea
Cup Characteristics: A full flavored green tea that has a satisfying light refreshing character. Tending pleasantly
vegetative with some briskness.
Infusion: Very bright
Caffeine / Antioxidant Level: Low / High
Luxury Ingredients: Green tea
In ancient Japan, Gyokuru was referred to as “history, philosophy and art in a single cup.” And why not? For many centuries
the variety was known as Japan‟s greatest green tea. Unfortunately, following the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan in
March 2011, much of Japan‟s tea crop was affected with Cesium 137 forcing many tea companies, including our supplier
to find new sources for traditionally Japanese tea varieties. Thankfully, before the disaster, many Japanese tea manufacturers
had already begun setting up shop in China to produce teas for the internal market using Japanese machinery, varietals and
techniques. What‟s more, China‟s prime growing season is in spring, when our supplier traditionally makes tea purchases.
The decision to place food safety over tradition was made and our supplier has now begun purchasing all Japanese style teas
from China – including this delicious Gyokuro.
So, just how is this fabulous tea made? Gyokuro is made from single buds that are picked only in April/May. In an effort to
encourage chlorophyll development (responsible for the dark green color) and reduce tannin levels (the source of its sweet
favor), the tea is covered with black curtains, bamboo or straw shades for 3 weeks before plucking. The leaves are small -
about 3/4 of an inch long and extremely fragrant and tender. Immediately after plucking they are taken to the factory and
steamed for about 30 minutes to seal in flavors and arrest fermentation. Next they are fluffed with hot air, pressed and dried to
around 30% moisture content. The tea is then rolled repeatedly until it resembles long thin dark green needles, then dried until
around 4-6% moisture content. The tea is then ready for drinking! (Gyokuro is usually brewed in a Japanese Kyushu style
teapot and served in cups with no handle.)
Why drink green tea? According to Japanese tea researchers there are many reasons.
Reduces the incidence of cancer - Their studies relate to the high levels of catechins in tea. One study by Y.Nakamura
concluded that green tea and catechin markedly inhibited the development of cancer. This study utilized data from a survey of
inhabitants of Shizuoka (the major tea growing region of Japan) where green tea is a staple product and a main beverage where
the inhabitants daily consume as much as 1 - 1.5g of green tea catechins in their tea drinking. The survey suggests that green
tea catechins played a significant role in a low SMR (Standardized Mortality Ratio). The scientific aspect of the study when
combined with the survey lead the scientists to the conclusion that there is a striking reduction in the cancer death rate amongst
residents who are accustomed to drinking quite strong tea and frequently changing the tea leaves.
Green Tea Suppresses Aging - It has been shown in other studies that high the concentrations of powerful antioxidant Vitamin
E and C in the bodies of animals the longer they lived. Prof. Okuba (Chem.Pharm.Bull.31 1983) demonstrated that catechin in
green tea is a far stronger antioxidant than vitamin E, leading to a hypothesis that green tea contains a powerful antioxidant that
is believed to help control aging.
Hot tea brewing method:
Traditional method (see note below): When preparing by the cup, this tea can be used repeatedly - about 3 times. The secret is
to use water that is about 180°F/82°C. Place 1 slightly heaping teaspoon in your cup let the tea steep for about 3 minutes and
then begin enjoying a cup of enchantment - do not remove the leaves from the cup. Adding milk and sugar is not
recommended. Once the water level is low - add more water, and so on and so on - until the flavor of the tea is exhausted. Look
at the pattern of the leaves in the brew, not only do they foretell your fortune but you can see the bud and shoots presenting
themselves, looking like they are about to be plucked.
Modern Method: Bring filtered or freshly drawn cold water to a rolling boil. Place 1 slightly heaping teaspoon of loose tea for each 7-9oz/200-260ml of fluid volume in the teapot. Pour the boiling water into the
teapot. Cover and let steep for 3-7 minutes according to taste (the longer the steeping time the stronger the tea). Adding milk or
sugar is not recommended.
Note: Traditionally, the recommendation has been that green tea be brewed at 180°F/82°C. Regretfully, modern society makes
it necessary to consider that water may not be free of harmful bacteria and other impurities. Therefore you need to boil water
to kill bacteria. If you wish to use traditional brewing temperatures bring the water to a boil and allow it to cool to the desired
brewing temperature – it’s the food safe thing to do!
Iced tea brewing method (Pitcher): (to make 1 liter/quart): Place 6 slightly heaping teaspoons of loose tea into a teapot or heat resistant pitcher. Using filtered or freshly drawn cold water, boil and pour 1¼
cups/315ml over the tea. Steep for 5 minutes. Quarter fill a serving pitcher with cold water. Pour the tea into your serving
pitcher straining the tea or removing the tea bags. Add ice and top-up the pitcher with cold water. A rule of thumb when
preparing fresh brewed iced tea is to increase the strength of hot tea since it will be poured over ice and diluted with cold water.
(Note: Some luxury quality teas may turn cloudy when poured over ice. This is a sign of luxury quality and nothing to worry
Iced tea brewing method (Individual Serving): Place 1 slightly heaping teaspoon of loose tea into a teapot for each serving required. Using filtered or freshly drawn cold water, boil and pour 6-7oz/170-200ml per
serving over the tea. Cover and let steep for 5 minutes. Add hot tea to a 12oz/375ml acrylic glass filled with ice, straining the
tea. Not all of the tea will fit, allowing for approximately an additional ½ serving. A rule of thumb when
preparing fresh brewed iced tea is to increase the strength of hot tea since it will be poured over ice and diluted.
luxury quality teas may turn cloudy when poured over ice. This is a sign of luxury quality and nothing to worry about!)
RECOMMENDATION: We recommend the use of our ‘1 Cup of Perfect Tea’
measuring spoon for best
More antioxidants are extracted from tea (L. Camellia Sinesis), or rooibos (Asphalatus Linearis), the longer it is brewed….and
the more tea or rooibos that is used, the greater the antioxidant benefit.
FOOD SAFETY ADVISORY:
While green tea is traditionally brewed using 180°F/82°C water, we strongly recommend using filtered or freshly drawn cold
water brought to a rolling boil when brewing all types of tea. Today‟s water has been known to carry viruses, parasites and
bacteria. Boiling the water will kill these elements and reduce the potential incidence of water-borne illnesses.
Ideal Brewing Temperature: 100ºC/212ºF.
Minimum Brewing Temperature: 90ºC/194ºF