Yamecha - Japanese High Quality Green Tea
Yamecha is a type of tea produced in Fukuoka Prefecture in Japan. Yamecha makes up only about 3% of Japan's green tea production and about 45% of Japan's Gyokuro production on an annual basis. It is highly prized and one of the first regions in Japan to grow tea.
Yamecha is high in flavour-producing compounds such as theanine, glutamic acid, and arginine. Many tests on tea cultivated in this area have shown to produce a strong, sweet body.
Yamecha Gyokuro is well known in Japan for its high quality.
Gyokuro is a type of shaded Green tea from Japan. It differs from the standard Sencha(a classic unshaded Green tea) in being grown under the shade rather than the full sun. Gyokuro is shaded longer than Kabuse tea (lit., "covered tea"). While Gyokuro is shaded for approximately three to four weeks, Kabuse-cha is shaded for approximately one week. The name "Gyokuro" translates as "jewel dew" (or "jade dew", referring to the pale green colour of the infusion).
Gyokuro is normally prepared differently from other Green teas.
Use between 1-2 g per 30 mL (1 US fl oz) of water.
Use a temperature range of 50–60 °C (120–140 °F) (instead of 65–75 °C or 150–165 °F for Sencha). For high-end Gyokuro (e.g. National Tea Jury rank), consider a lower temperature, such as 40 °C (105 °F). Then for each additional steeping, increase the temperature by 5.5 °C (10 °F), until the last steeping, which may be increased by up to 11 °C (20 °F).
Steep between 2–3 minutes, then 30–60 seconds for each additional steep.
The larger quantity of tea and lower-temperature allows for approximately 5–6 steepings.
Since Gyokuro is typically steeped at a lower temperature than most other teas, it is common practice to preheat the teaware to ensure a more steady brewing temperature during steeping time and to prolong the warmth of the lower-temperature tea. One standard method is to heat the water at a higher temperature, pour it into and between the various teaware, and finally into the brewing vessel containing the tea leaves. When done properly, by the time the water has transferred between the various teaware and into the brewing vessel it has cooled to appropriate temperature and the teaware has been warmed. One reason for the lower steeping temperature is to preserve the subtle and delicate sweet notes in most Gyokuro. On the other hand it is possible to steep at higher temperatures to bring out more of the vegetable and briny qualities, but usually at risk of homogenizing or removing the sweet notes while increasing bitterness.
Using a premium YamechaGyokuro with 1.1 grams of tea per 30 mL (1 US fl oz) of water.
1st Steep: 120 s at 60 °C (140 °F). 2nd Steep: 30 s at 65 °C (150 °F). 3rd Steep: 30 s at 70 °C (160 °F). 4th Steep: 40 s at 75 °C (165 °F). 5th Steep: 40 s at 80 °C (175 °F). 6th Steep: 40 s at 90 °C (195 °F).
Though it is categorized as a type of Sencha according to production methods, Gyokuro cultivation differs from other Sencha teas. Gyokuro tea leaves are shielded from the sun for at least 20 day with straw mats before being harvested. This causes both the amino acid theanine and the alkaloidcaffeine in the tea leaves to increase, which yields a sweet flavour. The tea also gains a distinct aroma from the covering process. This type of cultivation is also used in producing Tencha.
Gyokuro is one of the most expensive types of Sencha available in Japan.
The greatest appellation of Gyokuro in terms of both quality and quantity is Yamecha, which is produced in Yame in Fukuoka Prefecture. More than 40% of Gyokuro is produced in Yame, and in the national tea jury in August 2007, Yamecha held all the ranking positions from first to 26th as the best Gyokuro.
Yame Dentou Hon Gyokuro - The Highest End of Gyokuro
YAME DENTOU HON GYOKURO is the only refined green tea that holds the "GI Authentication" authorized by the Japanese government to protect the relationship between production areas and products. It has been awarded Japan’s number 1 title the "Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Prize", for 19 consecutive years, including refined green tea producers and the refined green tea production area division of the National Fair of Tea, and truly reigns as premium Japanese tea.
YAME DENTOU HON GYOKURO is produced following the traditional technique of growing tea branches naturally, shading them with shelves made of woven natural straw, and finally picking only the top " tea buds" by hand.
There is a lot of refined Green tea in Japan, but "Traditional Authentic YAME GYOKURO" is a miracle tea that can only be produced in "Yame" in the deep mountains, which are ideal for agriculture, located in the Yame region of Kyushu and the southern part of Fukuoka Prefecture in Japan.
YAME DENTOU HON GYOKURO is the best Japanese tea. It is the highest quality tea among them. The YAME DENTOU HON GYOKURO Promotion Council carefully selects and delivers what is called the high-quality products of "the National Fair of Tea". However, the number shipped of those products is limited every year.
Generally, lower-quality Green teas are steeped hotter and longer while higher-quality teas are steeped cooler and shorter, but usually multiple times (2–3 typically). Higher-quality teas like Gyokuro use more tea leaves and are steeped multiple times for short durations. Steeping too hot or too long results in the release of excessive amounts of Tannins, leading to a bitter, astringent brew, regardless of initial quality. The brew's taste is also affected by the steeping technique; two important techniques are to warm the steeping container beforehand to prevent the tea from immediately cooling down, and to leave the tea leaves in the pot and gradually add more hot water during consumption.
Polyphenols found in Green tea include epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), epicatechin gallate, epicatechins and flavanols, which are under laboratory research for their potential effects in vivo. Other components include three kinds of flavonoids, known as kaempferol, quercetin, and myricetin.
Green tea leaves are initially processed by soaking in an alcohol solution, which may be further concentrated to various levels; byproducts of the process are also packaged and used. Extracts are sold over the counter in liquid, powder, capsule, and tablet forms, and may contain up to 17.4% of their total weight in caffeine,though decaffeinated versions are also available.