Superior Japanese Green Tea

Mr.Toshikazu Yamashita's Gyokuro is only purchasable through the MaikoTea headquarter.

Yamashita's Gyokuro Shopping Page
Mr.Toshikazu Yamashita
Yamashita's Profile

1. The Uniqueness of Yamashita Gyokuro Tea
Yamashita Gyokuro Tea has two qualities that make it so very special. First, proper soil is selected with the exact quality of nutrition and moisture. Secondly, the leaves are hand selected and manually kneaded or "pressed." These two exceptional aspects are impossible to maintain at large-scale tea gardens. Every step of the production is verified with the craftsman's own eyes and the touch of his own hands. This relentless individual care assures best results for superb taste and superior quality of the tea. Each step of the manufacturing process is checked making adjustments according to the particular climate of that year. Permitting enough time to cultivate the leaves slowly is the basis for the Yamashita Gyokuro production. Carefully supervised cultivation under the best conditions ensures no trace of bitterness but only the typical Gyokuro sweetness.

2. Very careful selection by hand picking the tea leaves one at a time

Yamashita Gyokuro tea is picked entirely by hand.
This personal unique manner of hand picking (Shigokitsumi)
ensures that Gyokuro leaves are protected from the damage
caused by scissors or harvest machinery. For this reason,
it is only possible to harvest a few kilograms a day.
Furthermore, since the percentage of water in tea leaves
is very high in our area, only 15 % of the initial weight will remain after the leaves are processed. 3 kilograms of tea leaves take about 4 to 5 hours of hand pressing and will result in 500 grams of delicious tea.)

Tea Picking (Animation)

3. Exclusive Japanese steaming process

Following the Shigokitsumi (hand picked) harvest, the leaves are treated with high temperature steam and then instantaneously cooled off. Mr. Yamashita has improved these steps over many years of experience. This very important steaming process prevents any further fermentation of the green tea. The success of this steaming greatly influences the quality of all further processing.

4. Dedication to manual pressing

Mr. Yamashita insists that all further steps of the manufacture are done by manual pressing of the leaves. In modern Japan the manual kneading of tea has become an absolute oddity.
Most Gyokuro producers have abandoned this tedious and time-consuming 'old-fashioned' method. But it is exactly this part of the manufacture that enables the expert craftsman to scrutinize the produce thoroughly and to eliminate all pieces that are damaged.
This indeed is the very heart of the exceptional Yamashita Gyokuro production.

Tea Processing (Animation)

5. The finishing skillful touch

The last stage of the masterful procedure is called 'itazuri'.
Because the water content of the tea cultivated in this geographical area is very high, it is necessary to add another rubbing of the tea. This part of the process is an exclusive tradition only observed in the Kyoto area: 30 minutes of itazuri at the end of this amazing cycle.

6. Proper enjoyment of Yamashita Gyokuro

For achieving the best taste of Yamashita Gyokuro the right temperature of the hot water is of utmost importance.
Exceedingly hot water (70° C - 100 ° C) may cause some astringency and diminuishes the uniquely sweet aroma that makes Gyokuro so enjoyable and special.
Superior quality Gyokuro needs an extraction time of approximately 2 minutes and the water temperature should be about 40 ° C (the same as for a warm bath) in order to attain the best consistency and a flavor that surpasses all previously experienced savors of tea.
Taking a sip of this high quality tea for the first time a gentleman in England exclaimed: " This is like soup! "
What a true and fitting expression!
Please take plenty of time to infuse this tea and let it slowly spread on your tongue. Then you will experience the same sensational Gyokuro flavor that seems to linger in your mouth forever.
How to prepare delicious Gyokuro

Mr.Toshikazu Yamashita's Gyokuro is only purchasable through the MaikoTea

Yamashita's Gyokuro Shopping Page
Yamashita's Profile

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About Japanese Tea
Chako's Tea Exploration Adventure
1.Let's go to Maikonocha
2.Tea Picking
3.Tea Processing
4.Tea Varieties
5.Serving Tea
Maccha Gyokuro
6.Tea and Health

Proper Tea Storage

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2-1 Kamidaimon Fugenji Kyotanabe Kyoto JAPAN 610-0322

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