Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Japanese Green Tea In: Gokuzyo, A Tea Review

So, as many in the gaming world know, Mass Effect: Andromeda will be out soon. Ben and I have tried to not get too excited about the game after the betrayal of ME3 (no I am still not over it) but both of us being long time Bioware fans, it was only a matter of time before we snapped and got excited. Pre-order has been placed, Ben's birthday weekend of spending the entire several days off work to play the game has been scheduled, and obligatory playing around wth ME3 (no I am not playing the ending again) to get back into combat shape are occurring. Hilariously the character Ben just created to get back into practice with his biotic charge ended up looking like Dennis Rodman, so there have been a LOT of poorly placed basketball puns. So yeah, if I just kinda disappear at the end of the month, no one get worried, I just got sucked back into Mass Effect world.

Earlier this month I looked at Japanese Green Tea In's Issaku, and today I am looking at their Gokuzyo, a green tea from the Arahataen Green Tea Farm. This tea is a Shincha (or Ichibancha) the earliest harvested green tea, in fact, the name Gokuzyo translates to 'the highest grade' so this is the good green stuff. The aroma of the leaves is super green, potent savory notes of snap peas, seaweed, bamboo leaves, cut grass, and soybeans. It has an almost salty quality to the aroma, like sea air but a bit more salt than marine.

Into my Shigarakiyaki Shiboridashi the leaves went for their steep, like the Issaku this tea gave my shibo some trouble, the leaves were so small that they clogged the filter causing a slow pour and a bit of leftover tea in the bottom. The aroma of the leaves is both savory and sweet, notes of sea air, spinach, soybeans, and cut grass blend with subtle sweet apple and sesame seeds. The aroma has a good balance of sweet and savory, which I enjoy. The liquid smells sweet and nutty, with a distinct sea air and cut grass aroma that gives it that oh so familiar early season Japanese green tea aroma that I tend to crave this time of year. Especially when the weather can't make up its mind what season it is.

This tea starts pleasantly thick in the mouth, with a very nice smooth texture that turns a bit slippery as the tea cools. I took my time sipping this cup, and I am glad I did, the start of the cup when it is still quite warm has a strong savory quality, seaweed and cut grass blending with soybeans and a touch of sweetness from a snappea note. As the tea cools it starts to get sweeter, notes of sesame and a touch of just ripe Gala apples. The real show stopper of this tea is the aftertaste of the tea after it has cooled some, it hits almost a full minute after I have swallowed, but it explodes in a pretty distinct fashion. Intense honeydew melon! I was tasting this tea when Ben was home, we were in the middle of a conversation and I just stopped midsentence and yelled 'holy crap melons!' which took him a bit by surprise (only a bit, he is used to my random thought explosions) but it certainly took me by surprise since it was so out of nowhere. So, my advice is this, if you try this tea definitely let it get a little cool before drinking it so you can get that melon aftertaste, it is so much fun!

This tea was sent for review purposes by the company.

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