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Japanese Gyokuro Green Loose Leaf Tea

Regular price $18.95

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CUP CHARACTERISTICS: A full flavored green tea that has a satisfying light refreshing character. Tending pleasantly vegetative with some briskness.
REGION(S): Kagoshima Prefecture
GRADE(S): Shade Gyokuro

INFUSION: deep olive hues
Prepare yourself for one of the truest expressions of tea craftsmanship on the planet. Organic Gyokuru, made according to exacting specifications that date to Japan's Edo period (1603-1868), offers a brew so pure, it is best enjoyed with a poem. To this end, we've found the perfect literary accompaniment: a verse committed to paper by famed Japanese poet Sen no Rikyu (1522-1591). Replying to the question, "what is tea?" the ancient poet wrote:

Tea is not but this.
First you make the water boil,
Then infuse the tea.
Then you drink it properly.
That is all you need to know.

Simple right? We thought so. The only catch is that achieving a tea as pure and simple as this Kagoshima-grown Organic Gyokuro takes hard work, and lots of it.

To start with, Gyokuro is produced only from hand-plucked tea grown between March and April when tea bushes flush, pushing up fresh new shoots. Complicating matters, for the first three weeks of production, the bushes are shaded with bamboo and straw, forcing the plants to produce more chlorophyll, deepening the flavor of the leaf. About two weeks after the shading has been removed, the tea is plucked. Extreme care is taken to select only leaves that are smaller than one inch in size. Anything larger and the tea will lose its fragrance and pliable, tender qualities. Next, the leaves are gently bruised and lightly steamed resulting in a fine, dark leaf with pungent depth and luscious green character.

Simplicity, as they say, comes at a price. That is all you need to know.

A note about Japanese teas, post-Fukushima
The 2011 Fukushima nuclear event sent shockwaves through the Japanese tea industry. Before the event, almost 90% of Japanese teas were grown in Japan's northern regions, within the affected zone and therefore susceptible to radiation. Since
that time, southern Japan has stepped up production in regions where considerable amounts of testing have determined both soil and leaf to be radiation free.
At Metropolitan Tea, food safety is our primary concern - if we wouldn't serve it to our own families, we wouldn't sell it. It's as simple as that. If you have any other questions about Japanese green teas, please call and speak to our Master Taster anytime.

How is organic tea grown?
Growing organic tea or herb is a multi-stepped process. In all cases, organic tea farms adhere to the following:
. Abstinence from using any synthetic fertilizer or pesticide
. Protection of the environmental integrity of lands surrounding the gardens
. Minimization of pollution and optimization of biological productivity
. Replenishment and maintenance of garden soil fertility
. Promotion of biodiversity in and around tea gardens, including natural wildlife habitats.
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).