Gyokuro is one of the highest grades of tea available in Japan. Its name, translated as “Jade Dew”, refers to the characteristic pale green hue of its infusion. Gyokuro differs from other Japanese green teas in that the tea plants are cultivated in the shade before harvest, resulting in a full-bodied tea that is highly valued in Japan for its mellow and rich flavor. Of all the Gyokuro produced in Japan, Yame Authentic Gyokuro is considered peerless due to the high degree of skill and care that goes into making every cup. Even the leftover tea leaves are highly prized, and are eaten with ponzu or soy sauce as a delicacy.
The story of Yame and Gyokuro tea begins in the Meiji period, almost 150 years ago. At the time, Sencha was widely cultivated but worth comparatively little. Gyokuro was first grown in Yame by farmers wishing to produce a more valuable grade of tea. Over the years, numerous techniques were introduced, refined and perfected; for example, allowing branches of the tea plants to grow naturally without pruning, and from these annually picking by hand only the finest tea shoots.
Yame Authentic Gyokuro is a combination of these carefully honed cultivation and production methods which have been passed down from generation to generation.
Gyokuro is primarily cultivated in mountainous areas. This limits the amount that can be produced, and in order to stand out in the domestic market Yame decided to produce tea to the highest possible standard. Since the early 1970s, other areas have begun using machines in the Gyokuro cultivation process, but Yame continues to use tried-and-true traditional methods. The results speak for themselves. Since 1995, Yame Authentic Gyokuro has received numerous awards for quality and excellence from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries on an almost yearly basis.
With the committee to the fore, we hope to deliver authentic green tea that carries our seal of excellence to discerning customers across the EU and beyond. To this end we endeavor to suggest to our customers, new and exciting ways to enjoy Gyokuro, such as our ‘cold infusion method’.
At the same time, we are committed to preserving the high standards we have set for ourselves, and are resolute in our decision that the trust placed in Yame Authentic Gyokuro by consumers goes remains unbroken.
Yame Gyokuro tea field in the shade.
Yame tea farmers harvested Gyokuro by hand.