Tea Master Class with Mr. Taninaka at Midori-En



Upon my trip to Japan, I visited Midori-en the shop I buy my Ureshino Green Tea from.  Mr Taninaka passionately taught me a lot about tea for over an hour. 


Gyokuro, many people, including me, probably heard of the word as the top of the top quality teas, but never knew what it really tastes like.  The Gyokuro sold at Midori-En is from the Hoshino Village of the famous Yame area in Fukuoka Pref.  They grow it and cover up the tea trees for several days prior to harvesting and this increases the amino acids in the leaves and creates a very sweet flavour.  (Actually our premium Ureshino Greent Tea also uses the same kabuse method.)  Mr. Taninaka measures approx 7g of tea, lowers the temp of the hot water way down to 50-60 degrees and brews it for 2 minutes with very small amount of water enough for two small sake cups.  The result is a umami and strong flavour that strikes your senses.  The shock is very similar to drinking a great espresso for the first time.    It makes me understand that no wonder high priests cherished Gyokuro when they were not allowed to drink alcohol or smoke.  It is strong, highly addictive, a delicacy that gives you a kickin’ “fix”. 


This is Mr Taninaka shaking maccha (powdered green tea) in a cocktail shaker with ice.  It is a refreshing but powerful drink, zero sugar, zero calories. 


As a result of learning from Mr. Taninaka, we have changed the way of brewing our tea at Taro’s.  The biggest difference will be that it will be stronger than previous.  If you liked the previous weaker brews, let us know.  Also, in order to fully enjoy the power of our premium Ureshino sencha, we can brew it with a much smaller amount of water to create a very strong brew close to that of the Gyokuro.  Ask for “Gyokuro type brew” if you want to try it.


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