Gyokuro, meaning 'jewel dew', is regarded as Japan's highest quality tea.
The new leaves are shaded for the last 2 - 3 weeks before being picked, keeping out nearly all sunlight. This stimulates the production of chlorophyl and keeps the level of amino acids that determine the sweet and savoury taste high, and of the tannins low.
Plucked by hand just once a year in Uji, the oldest tea region of Japan, this is not an everyday tea. Drink from a small cup, let it roll around your mouth and tastebuds. It feels slightly 'thick' in the mouth, and has simply incredible sweetness and aftertaste that follows the initial savoury tones.