Gyokuro Tea is a very high grade of tea made from the tips of leaves from tea bushes that have been sheltered from direct sun by bamboo screens (now, black nylon nets more likely to be used.)
Growing in the shade makes the taste sweet because it inhibits chlorophyll development.
The leaves are harvested after 20 days of growth, at the time when the leaves are about to open from the buds. They are steamed, then rolled.
It is rare and expensive, a real luxury tea, so it is saved for special occasions and visitors, and served in very small cups.
It is a pale green colour and has a hint of seaweed in the taste.
It is produced in Yame (Fukuoka), Uji (Kyoto), and Okabe (Shizuoka Prefecture) in Japan.
Warm the pot and the cups. Put 3g of tea in pot for each person.
Use water that is 125 F / 50 C, allow 20 ml (1 ½ tablespoons) of water per person. Let steep 2 minutes, serve.
For the second round, leave leaves in pot, use water at same temperature, but let steep for 30 seconds.
The name means “jade dew.”