Gyokuro: Rarest Japanese Green Tea
Gyokuro is a Superior Grade tea known for its health benefits, flavor and aroma. It is the jewel of Japan's tea collection and one of the rarest teas in the world.
In Japanese it means the same - “jewel dew”, conjuring up images of morning dew on emerald jade. It was developed only in the 1830s, much later than Sencha and Matcha.
Japanese tea artisans poetically conveyed the uniqueness of this green tea: it's harvested only once a year (late April), and plucked by hand, in limited quantities. Production requires high costs in growing the tea plants, and specific harvesting conditions. This explains the expensiveness of this tea.
Before harvesting, tea bushes are shaded with specific rice-straw screens or modern synthetic fiber mesh, for three weeks, exposing the leaves to less photosynthesis, preserving the plant's strong aromatic amino acids and giving Gyokuro a richer flavor.
Preventing direct sunlight slows the rate of photosynthesis, changing the chemistry of the tea leaves and creating higher levels of caffeine and theanine, key components that help energize, calm and protect cells from oxidation and irritation.
Significant color of Gyokuro is a typically deep green due to the increased concentration of chlorophyll in the young spring leaf.
This is a secret of delicate balance between the sweet-salty sensation of umami and light bitterness of the caffeine and catechins inside.
How to brew
|European tea-to-go style:
|Japanese traditional style:
Brew 1 teaspoon (2 g) with hot water of 60-70℃, in amount of 100 ml.
Brewing time: up to 2 minutes.
Brew 1 teaspoon (2 g) with hot water of 40-50℃, in amount of 30 ml.
Brewing time: up to 2 minutes*.
* In traditional brewing style you may re-brew tea several times, by raising temperature: second brew (60℃, 1 minute) and third brew (75℃, 30 seconds).
* You can also take out the tea leaves when you have finished drinking and sprinkle some of your favorite seasonings such as salt, soy sauce, and olive oil on it.
Gyokuro health benefits
1. MENTAL ALERTNESS
Gyokuro contains more caffeine than other green teas, which is due to the nature of its production: it is made from the highest quality leaves from the tops of tea plants. Therefore, the caffeine in tea acts completely differently than the caffeine in coffee: it works as a healthier simulant, providing long-lasting alertness, without the stressful "energy jolt".
2. HEALTHY HEART SUPPORT
The catechin in tea has been proven to help reduce the risk of blood clots, heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases. It blocks the absorption of bad cholesterol and lowers blood sugar. Drinking unsweetened Gyokuro can also help lower blood pressure, protect the body from a number of toxins, and regulate blood sugar levels.
3. CLEAN AND YOUNG SKIN
Vitamin C in green tea helps to lighten dark spots on the skin caused by scars and acne. It also can brighten dark spots caused by age, as well as prevent wrinkles and improve skin elasticity.
4. FAT BURNING
Gyokuro contains EGCG, an antioxidant present in all green teas, which helps boost metabolism and supports the body in burning fat and calories through faster energy consumption. As a result, combined with exercise and a balanced diet, the body benefits from both an increased rate of muscle building and an accelerated loss of body fat.
5. DENTAL HEALTH
Gyokuro contains polyphenols, fluoride and minerals that can help improve oral health by preventing cavities and bad breath, tooth decay and other infections in the mouth. Studies have found that drinking green tea could also protect against gum disease and gingivitis.
6. CANCER PREVENTION
Gyokuro’s antioxidants may help prevent oral cancer, but this effect is not limited to the mouth. In fact, studies show that EGCG can reduce the risk of bladder, prostate, breast, ovarian, and pancreatic cancers. Antioxidants act as a preventative to keep your body healthy.