2015 Uji : Gokô cultivar kabuse-cha from Wazuka

I continue with my series of teas from Wazuka (southern Kyôto prefecture, along the border with that of Nara) with this time a kabuse-cha made from Gokô cultivar. This is probably the most representative of Uji’s shaded tea cultivars, especially used for gyokuro.

This kabuse-cha specifically comes from Ishidera area (such as my Meiryoku cultivar sencha), grown by Mr. Kubomi and was shaded 17 days.

The dried leaves have a dense and strong fragrance. It is a sweet fragrance where one can recognize typical Gokô’s scents of dried fruit, but what strikes me most is the scent of herbs, like thyme or tarragon maybe.
P1160057 P1160071The infusion, strongly brewed (60ml of water at 65 ° C for about 5g, a little more than a minute), does not disappoint, the liquor is fragrant, even a very fragrant for a shaded tea, with aromas that seem true to dry leaves with something creamy.

On the palate, the impression is clearly that of a kabuse-cha, with density, umami, mellowness. Despite the relative thickness of the liquor, the creamy impressions make it very easy drinking and smoothly flowing down through the throat. The aromas of aromatic herbs dominate those of dried fruits. The fruity aromas appearing more strongly in the after, mild, with also a little something of aniseed.
P1160077With the second infusion, umami appears more balanced and light, leaving more place for fruit and herbs flavors. With the third infusion, this kabuse-cha is being less intense and dominantly develop fruity notes, a few juicy yellow fruit, but also a slight vegetal touch.

There is no astringency at all in this tea from Wazuka that leaves on the palate sweet and fresh aromas. It is especially on hotter third or fourth infusions, than this tea shows great length.
P1160085The characteristics of Gokô cultivar are present, without heaviness, but it is a true kabuse-cha in Uji style, so it is intense, and to be enjoyed brewed stronger than sencha. A tea to sip quietly, to be appreciate for the strength of its many flavors, changing an infusion to another. It is not at all a tea to drink when thirst, as could the Yabukita or Meiryoku sencha presented before (although the latter shows in the after an unexpected strengt). Finally, I recommend porcelain.

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Categories: Reviews

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2 replies

  1. Is ごこうGokō and for that matter あさひ Asahi considered to be sort of exclusive Kyoto cultivars and therefore not really available in other parts of Japan? I was informed that these two varieties are used to produce high end teas. If that is so, any reason why they are not more widespread? Or am I missing something?

    • Asahi and Goko are not 100% exclusive Kyoto cultivar, but maybe 99.99%.
      There are supposed to be used for making high grade teas, but sometime you can find some “not so good” teas made with them.
      I’m not sure of the reason they are not so widespread, but i think this is because they are not very adapted to make teas that are not very shaded like high grade gyokuro and matcha. In Yame, cultivar who also could be used for sencha or kabuse cha are used fir gyokuro, like Saemidori, Okumidori, Yamakai, etc.

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