Tokuya’s Natural Raw Gyokuro (Kamo Natural Gyokuro) 2019


This tea is produced in Kamo, Kyoto under absolutely natural circumstances. The farmer omits besides non-natural fertiliser and other products even the use of natural additional substances. His focus is on producing a solely natural agricultural product, allowing the bush to develop an energy and vitality of its own accord, solely relying on its natural environment for nourishment and support.


The only artificial means the producer uses is black cheesecloth used to cover the bushes for approximately 20 days before harvest to suppress bitterness and enhance the inherent sweetness, and fragrance of the tea as is customary with the production of Gyokuro.

Since the producer believes in a natural approach, he also refrains from filtering and processing his finished product too much, and wishes to deliver an all encompassing impression of the agricultural product he has created through the final product he has manufactured. The light-green shiny twigs and soft, thick ‘hair-‘like stem and leaf-vein parts that complement the tea’s dark shiny green gyokuro leaf is indicative of this conviction.

Deriving from this appearance, I prefer to call this tea the ‘Natural Raw Gyokuro‘, a term I find better suitable to describe the qualities of this tea. And it is this leaf that produces this tea’s pale creamy, light-green liquor that isn’t absolutely cloudy, but rather faintly unclear due to several small particles floating around in its brew.

The brew has a thick, sweet flavor with a sufficient tone of the ‘oika‘ (or scent induced by covering) as is desirable for Gyokuro, with a faint spinachy green undertone and a faint flowery hint in the lingering aroma.

For the first brew I have used water of 60℃ in a brew of 2 minutes and half. For the 2nd brew I took 75℃ at 2 minutes. This produced a slightly enhanced thickness of the sweetness with a pleasant freshness reminiscent of menthol along the sides of the tongue. The third, and successive brews I took at 98℃ for one minute and was surprised to discover that the tea produced almost no expressive bitterness, remaining cloaked in a natural sweetness up to the 5th brew.



Origin: Kamo, Kyoto, Japan (single estate).
Farmer: Tokuya Yamazaki.
Cultivar: Samidori.
Harvest: May 23, 2019.
Type: Naturally produced Gyokuro.
Additional impressions: A ‘Natural Raw Gyokuro’; thick sweetness; spinachy green; slightly floral undertone; menthol; limited bitterness.

Cultivar chart – Samidori

Breeder: Masajirō Koyama
History: Derived from a tea bush native to the Uji region. registered in 1953.
Growth: Intermediate grower with a wide period for harvest.
Specifications: Its growth is absolutely vertical making it a highly suitable species for the purpose of handpicking. The youngest leaf is juicy, shimmering with a lustrous pale green color, favorable for matcha, making it a preferred tencha cultivar. Its yield is good.

Brewing Method
Measurements per person.

・Amount of tea :5g
・Water temperature:about 60℃
・Water amount:about 90㏄
・Steep duration:150 sec

Suggested no. of infusions: [5]
Increasing the temperature and shortening the steeping duration gradually over the successive brews will allow for an extended and varied pleasure of the tea.


Weight45 g




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