04 April 2009

Limited Karigane Gyokuro Super Premium

It’s quite a time I haven’t written anything. Probably a sort of laziness I developed in most recent times. But it caused not only stopped blogging, but also drove me to some easier ways to prepare tea, than gong fu.

But spring is finally here, as you can see from pictures. Yes, it's real sunlight. And as the nature wakes up this time of year, I finally gathered enough will to continue writing about tea.

2009 Karigane Gyuokuro Super Premium Teapot

Last month or two I tried Japanese green teas - I ordered a tokoname kyusu teapot and few teas from Hibiki-An and O-Cha and experimented with preparation. Actually, it’s really easy – you just boil the water, let it cool down, pour the water into teapot, let it infuse and drink.

All I need now is to perfect my skill, learn the right water temperature, amount of leaves, infusion times.

2009 Karigane Gyuokuro Super Premium Leaves

Today I had Karigane Gyokure Super Premium from Hibiki-An. Karigane is made from leftover stems and veins of gyukuro (shaded) leaves. Because the karigane is by-product, it’s cheaper than equally good gyokuro or sencha. Also, karigane is made only from high grade of Japanese green teas, so you get good value for your money.

As seen on dry leaves, the tea consist mostly of soft, short, light green stems and dark green leaves. The smell of these leaves if fresh and vegetal, yet very subtle.

Subtle is good description for this tea. The liquor is very light green in colour, clear, like spring water, the smell reminds me of citrus fruits. The taste is sweet, again the slightly acidic, refreshing taste predominates. Fortunately for me, the fishy, sea smell sometimes found in Japanese tea is absent in this tea.

2009 Karigane Gyuokuro Super Premium Leaves

This tea isn’t really complex and it’s quite easy to ruin it into potato sweetness, but I still like it. Interesting experiment, I have to compare it with other karigane teas I have sampled.


Bret said...

Welcome back, enjoy your experimental stage of Japanese tea. Ive always liked Hibiki-an,s teas. Exellent value in a quality tea. Crazy fast shipping. The Sencha Superior is my favorite, a great, fresh tea at a nice price.

Salsero said...

It's always good to hear your voice. I enjoy the Japanese teas also. O-Cha's Yutaka Midori is a favorite fukamushi, but there are so many other wonderful Japanese sencha and gyokuro. Lately, I have discovered bancha, which I thought I would not care for but am enjoying a lot as the simpler (and cheaper) brother of sencha.

Tuo Cha Tea said...

Hi Brett,

yes, Hibiki-an has really express shipping, I ordered tea on Sunday and got it by Friday next week! And most of shipping is free.

Hi Bratt,

thanks for pointing out, I will try that. Also I'm excited about shincha, I will order some as it will be sold this year. My girlfriend borrowed my camera, so I will now have few days photo- (and thus blog)-free.


Jason Witt said...

This post on Karigane is interesting. I never knew it was made not only from the stems but also the veins of the Gyokuro. I wonder how they separate the leaf from its veins so precisely?

Jeremy said...

Is that a cha he or a yuzamashi next to your kyusu? Either way it's lovely--may I ask where it is from?

Tuo Cha Tea said...

Hi Jeremy,

thank you and yes, it's a cha he. I got it from Guang (HouDeAsianArt) - it's a green celadon work of Mr. Xu-De Jia.
Bret at TeaGoober has a similar one (http://teadork.blogspot.com/2008/10/collection-of-three-tea-jars-fair-cup.html)


Unknown said...

Japanese green tea is different from Asian green tea, it's taste is depend on the climate, is this tea is also from the plant Camellia Sinensis or something else.
Green tea online