Gyokuro may not always be the first name that comes to mind when you think of green tea and that’s because it’s not too mainstream. However, gyokuro is one of the finest kinds of green teas out there and is one of the most loaded with goodness, too!
Gyokuro is a green tea variation that is non-fermented. Like other variants of green tea, gyokuro is also grown in the shade to achieve its unique color and taste.
Most of the difference between shaded green teas is in how long they are kept in the shade.Gyokuro tea, for example, is kept in the shade for about three weeks prior to harvest while other kinds of shaded green teas are kept for one to two weeks.
How to steep gyokuro tea
Preparation for gyokuro green tea is quite different from other teas as well. It is steeped for a much longer time using lower temperatures.
When prepared right, gyokuro tea has a very pale green color, hence its name which means “jade dew” in English. As far as taste goes, gyokuro is sweet and mellow, yet full-bodied with a rather dominant umami taste reminiscent of seaweed.
Health Benefits of Gyokuro Green Tea
Of course, gyokuro tea is packed with health benefits, too. Here are some of them:
All green teas contain a bioflavonoid called catechin which has been studied to show that it helps in lowering risks of stroke, blood clotting, heart attacks, and a number of other heart diseases.
Polyphenols, also found in green tea, have also been shown to block cholesterol absorption in the intestines and encourage cholesterol excretion. In fact, in a study conducted by experts from the University of Maryland, risks of heart attack can be lowered by 11% if you drink three cups of green tea daily.
EGCG which are antioxidants abundantly present in green teas like gyokuro is great for speeding up metabolism and burning fat and calories more rapidly by promoting faster energy consumption.
The result is the body’s ability to burn fat faster and build muscles more speedily.
Aside from burning fat faster, EGCG is also known to help fight cancer, especially those of the breast, bladder, prostate, pancreas, and ovary. These polyphenols have the ability to inhibit cancer cell growth by lowering cellular levels of the cyclin D1 protein and blocking enzymes that aid in the maintenance of cancer cells, thus sending the cancer cells to permanent growth arrest.
Because gyokuro tea is shaded weeks before harvest, its leaves tend to have more caffeine than those teas grown in full sunlight. As you know, caffeine is an amazing substance that can keep you mentally alert, but only for short periods at a time.
However, mental alertness from the caffeine in coffee is not the same as from the green tea. For one, it does not come with the feeling of jittery overstimulation and it lasts for a longer period of time as well. This is all thanks to L-theanine, a substance found in green tea that allows caffeine to be released slowly by the body and moderates the elevation of serotonin levels.
The combination of caffeine and L-theanine in green tea results to a state of RELAXED CONCENTRATION.
One of the most surprising benefits of drinking gyokuro green tea is that it promotes dental health by providing protection against bad breath, gum disease, and cavities.
This was discovered in 2016 by researchers who studied the effects of green tea on oral health. In a separate study, people who drank green tea regularly also showed significantly lower risks of having oral cancer.
While noticeably more expensive than most kinds of green tea, gyokuro is definitely worth trying. Not only does it have a unique taste that you won’t get anywhere else, it also has great health benefits.