As promised, here is another tea made from the cultivar Gokô. It is this time not a gyokuro like the 3 teas mentioned before, but a kabuse-cha, not from Uji but from Yame, the village of Hoshino more precisely.
Nevertheless, this kabuse-cha by Mr. Takaki is very high grade. Indeed, “kabuse-cha” is rather vague and may designate teas that have been shaded by direct coverage affixed on tea plants, as well as tea plants in shaded under arbor, as gyokuro, but with only one level of shading, and handpicked on uncut tea plants (see previous article). Those of Mr. Takaki belong to the second. This Gokô was shaded two weeks.
Also, Gokô is widely used for high end gyokuro in Kyoto (Uji) but is not very common in Yame, the other great gyokuro producing region, where one rather uses conventional full sun cultivars like Saemidori, Oku-midori, Yamakai or even Yabukita.
This Gokô cultivar kabuse–cha from Yame is a particularly interesting tea.
The leaves are a little broken, but are overall very finely rolled.
The fragrance is that of shaded teas both vegetable and sweet, without this softness to strong roasting. I feel orange flavors, but also a little mineral.
A warm infusion, long, with much leaves, is the royal way for this type of tea. 60-70ml / 4.5g, 60 ° C, 90 sec.
The scent of the liquor is strong, very mellow, sweet. No excessive “greenish” flavor.
In the mouth it is rich, but the first attack is delicate. Umami, although present, is not too heavy, it does not overwrite by its presence the deep flavors of this tea. Aromas of riped fruit, red fruit and candied fruit. A fresh vegetable note appears in the mouth after switching to the smooth umami after-taste.
Sweet flavors, vegetable, fruit, remaining in length and retro-olfaction are simply wonderful.
With the second infusion, the soup is certainly less fragrant, but still rich in the mouth, soft and velvety, with a subtle balance between green and fruity flavors. The fruit is also cooler and “juicy”, with more citrus impressions.
Even with more hot water, the third infusion becomes only slightly astringent. The fruity sweetness fades, leaving more room for the green, for a refreshing tea. The after-taste presence is still very good, with good returns of umami afterwards, making salivate.
It appears quite possible to brew this tea stronger; almost like a gyokuro (more leaves, less water). This indeed gives even more impact, more sharpness in flavorings, a very great power, without becoming heavy.
In short, this kabuse-cha is a wonder, a powerful tea, rich but delicate, which provide the better of the sensations of shaded teas.