To achieve creation of the best of the best, it is not enough to simply cultivate the best leaves. The best leaves need to then be processed well and refined with extreme care to get only needles.
There's another step we often don't talk about. That is, as a crop, tea leaves will inevitably vary from year to year. To consistently create the same amazing flavor profile year after year is the role of a master blender, and Shogyokuen's CEO Yuu Kobayashi is a blender whose ability to appraise tea leaves is matched only by a handful of industry professional in Japan.
Shogyoku is Kobayashi-san's flagship gyokuro, made with the same traditional shading as the higest grade matcha, processed and refined with utmost attention to detail in the final tea leaves.
Tea: 3 grams, Time: 3 minutes, Water: 40˚C/104˚F degrees, 30 ml
This formula is meant to extract an umami syrup, an ambrosia of tea. Subsequent steeps may be enjoyed as a sencha, steeping a full cup for 30 seconds at 70˚C/158˚F degrees.
Another way to achieve this tea ambrosia is by allowing ice to melt over the leaf, our favorite way of enjoying this leaf in fact while with friends. You make a few drops at a time every 30 minutes, and spend a leisurely entire afternoon enjoying the leaf.
- Name: Heritage Gyokuro, Kyoto Shogyoku, Special Selection
- Japanese name: 特製祥玉玉露
- Ingredients: Green tea
- Harvest: May, 2015
- Region: Wazuka, Kyoto. Refined in Kyotanabe, Kyoto.
- Notes: This product is meant to have the same flavor profile year round, as each batch is reformulated by Kobayashi-san to ensure flavor consistency.
- Name: Shogyokuen
- Type: Tea factory, family business
- CEO: Yuu Kobayashi
- Established: 1827
- Employees: 12