Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Importance of brewing conditions

I don’t think that there are many places where one can have gyokuro.  I had the chance of having gyokuro at Gyokuro-no-sato, a tourist spot.  You pass through a classic gate.  You can enjoy the beholding sceneries like the soothing-to-the-eyes pond and the eye-catching green maples, which will definitely amuse you as you walk on the steppingstones approaching the tea house.

We were lead to a large room, and tea wares were displayed there.  But, they didn’t prepare tea in that room.  Tea was prepared in another room, and a staff brought in confectionary and tea.

The staff told us to have the sweets after we enjoy the first serving of tea.  Did you know that you enjoy sweets first at the tea ceremony for matcha, but with gyokuro or sencha, you usually enjoy the tea first?  I think that it makes sense when you consider the thickness of the teas, and it is the best way to relish both tea and sweets.

The served gyokuro was absolutely my taste.  Its roundness was perfect and it smoothly wet my mouth.  Moreover, it had an exquisite balance in flavor.  In preparing gyokuro, brewing conditions have huge impact to the taste.  This tea was slightly lighter than the tea I usually prepare.  It reminds me that this way of brewing is also excellent.

More amount of water was definitely used when compared with the way I do it.  Fewer leaves might have been used, and the temperature must have been pretty low as mine.  I’m not sure for the brewing time.  I’ll have to try some combinations myself.  I’ll get into finding a good recipe at home for a while, haha.

It is good to have tea out.  It inspires me!

The second serving came in a small teapot

Gyokuro-no-sato (Japanese):


  1. Is gyokuro less common than sencha and matcha in Japan? Eating the sweets after drinking tea makes sense; as the flavor is more delicate and could be overwhelmed by the sweetness of the treat. Whereas matcha has a very full and strong flavor compared to thinner teas. It looks very pleasant there, with the water and greenery!

    1. Gyokuro is less common than sencha and matcha. I guess that there are many people who have never tried it.
      Regarding the order of tea and sweets, I wanted to explain it better with English. You explained it perfectly! It is exactly what I wanted to say. Thank you.

  2. This is not about tea itself, but I was wondering, do you see any teahouses use fuchin (scroll weights) on their scrolls in the tokonoma? My school always uses them, but I haven't seen fuchin used anywhere else. I haven't been to very many different teahouses, though.

    1. I’m sorry that I don’t know about the rule about fuchin. I have not seen them at my schools. I think that I have not seen them at most of houses where I have been to.