We have been waiting patiently for October—the crisp, nostalgic autumn air arrives and persimmons (かき・柿) and pumpkins (かぼちゃ) emerge, as does the year's gyokuros.
Gyokuro is unique in its processing and resulting flavor: in their last ~20 days before harvest, gyokuros are shaded with black tarps to prevent direct sunlight. This shading fosters the development of umami and prevents bitterness (catechins) from growing. We saw this process during our sourcing trip this year and it was fun to see these tarps unfurl over the rows of tea trees, small farmers' heads peeking out above the leaves.
Gyokuros are designed to be enjoyed fully as a umami-laden tea, rich and broth-like. They are traditionally aged for six or more months post-spring harvest and released in September / October. This allows the fresh leaves / "green" grassy flavors to mellow so umami can take the spotlight.
Masumi, the owner and wife of the tea garden we are working with this year, kindly sent samples of this year's gyokuro. It just arrived in the mail—we will let you know how it is!
- This Friday, October 11, we will be popping up at The Ruby with Frolic & Detour Bakery for an afternoon of tea and cookies. See more here and purchase tickets here.
- In early November, we will begin a series of green tea tastings at our friend, Legion SF—the art gallery where we held our September pop-up. Stay tuned.
- From November to December, you will be able to find our tea at Voyager Shop in both San Francisco and Los Angeles. More to come.
Wishing you a brisk autumn,
Originally shared in our newsletter on October 7, 2019