Tea is like wine in so many gustatorial ways, but above all, it cannot simply satisfy a physiological need (namely, thirst); tea has to evoke something beyond simply smell and taste. As distinct as Chablis is from the Sonoma Coast, ryokucha is unique not just because of processing method, but because of place of origin. Truly fine ryokucha is a textural experience, creating a sensation reminiscent of rolling clouds and grainy hot spring sludge. It possesses formidable tannins, all the while remaining vibrant and fresh. All this, from a single passing of (just under boiling temperature) water.
Like all other things Japanese, the packaging is exquisite, but as the Shanghainese say, you can't eat packaging. Substance, in tea, in wine, in everything; that is the true source of beauty.