Tokiwa has a double meaning referring to the invariant permanency of stone as well as evergreen trees both symbols of eternity.
Gyokuro tea, created by a complex cultivation process that infuses the leaf with a concentration of flavor as well as a three weeks of shading to create rich sweetness, produces a light yellow-green tea when steeped for the first time, and a thick, deep green that reflects the greenness of its leaves upon subsequent steepings.
Sweet and rich to taste, it is the pinnacle of Japanese sencha, and should be enjoyed to the last 'golden' drop. Pay close attention to the steeping notes to enjoy gyokuro to its fullest.
Like regular sencha tea, gyokuro is steamed, rolled, and dried. However, in the cultivation of gyokuro, the main difference is in the approximately 20-day shading that is used to preserve a concentration of theanine amino acid, and prevent bitter tasting catechin from forming in the leaf.
Japanese tea knowledge
In Japan 'sencha' has a wide meaning and a narrow meaning. The narrow meaning differentiates it from the shaded gyokuro as well as large bancha leaves that do not roll into fine needles because of its size.
The wide meaning includes gyokuro and bancha in that, along with unshaded sencha, all these teas are steamed, rolled, and dried.