This review is for the 2013 Shincha Gyokuro.
I have recently found some Shincha Gyokuro from my order on 07-19-2013. I keep it sealed airtight, but I wondered how fresh it would still be. I was amazed at the fresh dry tea aroma nearly a year later. On 07-07-14 & 07-08-14, I made hot tea and the aroma and taste was, and is, amazingly fresh. It is so smooth and vegetal and truly green in color. Very delicious!
My sister is here from Oregon (and my niece from Florida), and she asked me if I had any of that tea from Japan. I have given Hibiki-An tea to her as a gift in the past and when she visits. She loves it!! She also loves her Tokoname teapot I bought for her a few years ago. I am able to get four quality steeps from the leaves.
Last night, 07-08, we made Iced Shincha Gyokuro. I used about 6 to 7 TBSP for a half gallon. I liked my iced green tea a little stronger and without sugar, and I didn't think it would be strong enough. My sister wanted a little sugar, so we added some. To my surprise it was not too sweet. and the Gyokuro tasted great, even though I still like a bit more green tea taste. It was very refreshing and full of flavor. Later, I made two more tasty cups of hot tea, from the same leaves!
My sister and niece are leaving tomorrow, and I told her she could take the tea with her to Oregon. That is one of the many blessings of tea. I like sharing it with my sister. That makes us happy. :D Thank you Hibiki-An for delicious, quality tea, fond memories, and such great service!