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HARVEST SEASON NOTES: Spring-harvested or first flush teas tend to be the highest quality. Click here for Japanese terminology.
SHADING NOTES: The length of shading is approximate. We are still collecting info from sellers, so this list is incomplete.
STEAMING NOTES: (2) Asamushi (light, under 30s), futsumushi (regular steaming, 30-40s), fukamushi (deep steaming, 40-60s), tokujomushi (extra deep steaming, 90-120s), gokumushi (extreme deep steaming, 140-160s in two phases). We are still collecting info from sellers, so this list is incomplete.

Gyokuro

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玉露 – Gyokuro is a shade-grown green tea with a high concentration of rich umami flavor. While sencha is usually grown under the full sun, gyokuro is shielded from the sun (shaded for approximately 20 days, but length vary by farmer and region).

Under the broadest definition of sencha as a steamed, rolled green tea, gyokuro would be considered the pinnacle of flavor. Catechins that cause teas to have bitter flavors is presented from forming due to the shade, and instead, the plant preserves a high level of L-theanine amino acid content. As a result, the umami taste in the tea increases. The shading also increase chlorophyll generating beautiful deep green colors in the leaves.