How do you usually prepare gyokuro? Gyokuro tastes different by how to brew it. It should be prepared differently from sencha brewing. The differences are the amount and temperature of water, and brewing time. Here I’ll introduce a basic way of gyokuro brewing.
*** Tea wares ***
Very small teapot (100ml/3.53oz) and cups (20ml/0.7oz)
Water cooler (a small bowl)
Example of gyokuro tea set (my past blog) >>> http://everyonestea.blogspot.com/2010/04/tea-set-for-gyokuro.html
*** Steps for preparing gyokuro for four servings ***
Pour boiling water into the teapot.
This is to warm the pot and lower the temperature of the hot water.
Pour the water from the tea pot to four tea cups.
This is to warm up the cups, and to cool the water more. One cup of water is about 20ml (0.7oz). If you have water left in the teapot, dump it away.
Pour the water from the cups to water cooler.
This makes the water cooler a little more. When you hold the water cooler with your hands, it should be lukewarm. The correct water temperature is 40-60 degrees Celsius (104-140 deg. F) for Gyokuro. It should be higher temperature for low-grade tea and lower temperature for fine tea.
Put the tea leaves into the tea pot.
One scoop (about 3g / 0.106oz) makes one serving. This time, I put 12g (3g*4servings) of tea leaves into the teapot. The leaves on the tea spoon are 3g, and the leaves in the teapot are 12g.
Pour the water from the water cooler into the teapot.
The amount of water would be just enough to cover the tea leaves.
Put a lid on the teapot and leave it for two minutes.
You should adjust the brewing time for your environment.
After two minutes, the leaves would absorb the water, and be half open.
Pour the brewed tea into cups.
Serve the tea by pouring small amounts into each cup in turns. Repeat until each cup is full. This would make each cup have an even consistency. Serve all the tea in the pot.
Some water were absorbed by leaves, so the each portion would not be too much (about 13ml / 0.45oz). The tea has very rich umami, and you will be surprised how different is it from sencha.
The points of gyokuro brewing are …
1. Very small portion (20ml/serving)
2. Low temperature water (40-60 deg. C / 104-140F)
3. Long brewing time (2 minutes)
You can use same set of leaves couple times. Just refill the teapot with warm water.