Sunday, 8 June 2008

Gyokuro II and a Tea Recipe

Good morning all

Apologies for being so absent over the last week or so - what with moving house and having a very busy week at work I just have not had time for tea blogging, and barely time for tea, indeed (though I've still managed to fit in quite a bit). Right now it's a chilly early Sunday morning in (relatively) sunny Canberra. I thought I would get up early and make some more gyokuro tea, but using the method I described somewhere below - i.e. a much higher proportion of leaf to water.

Well, I did, and I'm not entirely sure if I did something wrong (e.g. the water was too hot, I steeped it for a bit too long), but the method produced only a tiny amount of tea (most of the water got sucked up by the tea leaves, which now closely resemble lawn clippings) which was so astringent and strong I couldn't drink it - a very sad thing. 

I added more, slightly cooler water, in a larger quantity, and poured myself another cup after only about 30-45 seconds, and this is better but still largely (to me, anyway) undrinkable. The aftertaste is very pleasant - green and relatively sweet - but the tea itself is just so grassy and astringent that I can barely get it down. It's like drinking your lawn. Anyway, I'm rather disappointed - I was really looking forward to it this morning, but I just can't drink gyokuro like this. So even if it is inauthentic, I will go back to doing it the old regular 'two teaspoons to a pot' method... I feel like such a philistine...

I won't throw out the remaining liquor though, I'll save it to use on my face - I feel like making a mask or something this morning, so I'll use the tea instead of just plain water... Meant to be very good for your skin, green tea, being anti-inflammatory and so on...

On to more happy news: last Sunday I made a Marmalade Tea Loaf, the recipe for which can be found here at This reminds me very much of the cup-of-tea cake that my mum always used to make when I was little (although I don't think hers had marmalade in it) and as a result brought on quite a fit of homesickness and nostalgia... It's a particularly good cake, very moist and fruity, and really easy to make - you do need to soak the fruit in the tea the night before (and you don't need to wait until the tea's completely cold, either, if like me you are putting it on just before you go to bed and are too sleepy to hang about), but apart from that it's just a very quick mix. You can't taste the tea in it terribly strongly, of course, so you don't need to worry too much about using your finest tea - although I am quite interested to try making it again with some Earl Grey instead of plain black tea... And it is, of course, an extremely fine accompaniment to - guess what? A nice cup of tea...

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