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An extraordinary neon green Japanese tea from Shizouka. Read More

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An extraordinary neon green Japanese tea from Shizouka.

This truly extraordinary Japanese tea generates a bright green, almost luminescent infusion with a wonderfully smooth, sweet and creamy taste - we'd compare it to freshly shelled peas, lightly steamed and coated with melted butter. Sound a bit far-fetched? Just wait till you've tried it.

Although the technique of steaming tea first originated in China, it's since become more widely associated with Japan where steamed green tea has been favoured since first being introduced by the Chinese during the Song Dynasty (960-1279). We've sourced our Gyokuro from Shizuoka, perhaps the most famous of Japan's tea-growing regions.

The secret behind the tea's vibrant colour and rich, buttery taste comes down to the technique of covering the bushes with blankets to protect them from the light, forcing the leaves to store up their nutrients. This unique style of cultivation accounts for less than 1% of all Japanese green tea: fewer leaves are produced, but each one is packed with green chlorophyll, picked and skilfully steamed to keep that natural neon glow. Amino-acid aficionados might be interested to hear that Gyokuro is reputedly high in amino acids such as mood-enhancer L-theanine, but we'd recommend this tea primarily for its taste - anyone who associates green tea with a tannic, bitter brew will soon be disproved.

  • Tea Type

    Green Tea

  • Origin


  • Taste Profile


  • Tastes like

    Fresh peas with melted butter

  • Food pairing

    Combine traditional Japanese flavours by pairing with Sushi

  • When to drink

    A tea for sitting and reading


Brew the perfect cup

Add one teaspoon (around 2g) of loose leaf tea per cup and use freshly drawn water heated to around 80 degrees. For the ideal temperature either pour the water before it reaches boiling point or allow the water to sit for 3-5 minutes after boiling. Allow to brew for 2-3 minutes according to taste. Best enjoyed without milk.

A note from Whittard

“I’m a big fan of our Mango & Bergamot – the coloured petals look lovely against the green tea leaves, and I like to store it in glass sweetshop jars on my kitchen shelf.”

- Marie Laure, Covent Garden Store Manager


The Chinese first brought tea to Japan during the Song Dynasty (960-1279) and Japanese tea drinking has since been raised to a fine art, known as chadō or ‘the way of tea’. While the Chinese went on to develop six distinct tea classes and thousands of different varieties, the Japanese kept firm to the original process of steaming the leaves to create green tea. This concentration on one particular method has created a truly unique style of tea, characterised by a lush green leaves with a buttery vegetal flavour. First brewed by monks as an aid to mediation, today these highly valued teas play an important social and spiritual role in Japanese culture.



Our Gyokuro tea might be almost neon green, but the colour is entirely natural. Tokyo first started using its famous neon signs in 1926, so we've given this tea the number 26.

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