Shirakawa Gokou Matcha

Dancing green brilliance and a deeply hidden display of potent aromatics await all who dive into this single-cultivar matcha from Kettl Tea. I’ve had a great deal of time away from preparing matcha, so tasting this brings a renewed clarity to the palate as I savor each of three sips this rich tea has to offer. When I chose to purchase new matcha, I decided to focus in on unblended options. Let’s explore together the Gokou cultivar as well as how this particular batch stands out.

Gokou Cultivar
Like many tea cultivars that find their origin in Uji, Gokou is primarily used for both Gyokuro and the tencha used in crafting matcha. Best used when shaded, Gokou boasts a rich dark emerald color and bold umami taste – perfect for narrowing down and experiencing the terroir and passion of its producer! It is picked a few days after the Yabukita cultivar and presents a creamy texture.


Season: Spring 2020
Cultivar: 100% unblended Gokou
Origin: From the gardens of Mr. Kiyoharu Tsuji, Uji, Japan
Picking/Processing: 25-day shade-grown and hand-picked
Elevation: Information not provided


My Whisking Parameters
For Usucha
Leaf to Water Ratio – 2 g for 100 mL
Temp – 80°C
Whisk time(s) – 45 sec.

My Tasting Experience
Eyes Dry: Chronium oxide-green, light moss
Nose Dry: White chocolate, vanilla, asparagus, lily flower
Nose Wet: Butter, petrichor, kale
Mouth Texture: Full-bodied, deeply fresh and thick, creamy
Mouth Taste: Coconut cream, chocolate, umami
Nose Bowl: Cane sugar and forest foliage
Mouth Finish: Sweetness of pear, full-bodied and lingering
Body Sensation: Feelings of contentment, lifted mental state, fullness

While this particular experience outlines my preparation of Usucha, I’ve listed a few other ways I’ve found to enjoy this matcha and have placed them below.

Koicha4 g | 40 mL | 80ºC | whisk to paste
Iced latte2.5 g | 40 mL | 80ºC | whisk , pour over ice with milk (200 ml)
Hot latte2.5 g | 40 mL | 80ºC | whisk , add frothed milk (200 ml)


For nearly USD $2.20/per gram this exceptional matcha is best enjoyed when savored and accompanied with the desire for a deep umami experience with a dynamic character. I personally recommend using this in comparative tastings alongside other unblended matcha as you notate the differences. Tsuji san’s mastery over several cultivars and renowned reputation through consistent winnings at national tea fairs signal his deep understanding of the terroir. If you’re interested in enjoying this yourself you’ll find the Shirawaka Gokou Matcha HERE

Steep well!

– Marco


    1. Antonia! Thank you so much for your kind words of support! The teas give me such comprehensive experiences and I’m happy to share my findings! What aspects of the preparation or enjoyment do you enjoy most when reading about tea?

      Liked by 1 person

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