“Shincha” is not a typo of “Sencha”–“shin” means “new,” and “cha” means “tea” in Japanese. Shincha is “New Tea,” also called “first flush tea.” It is made only with young tea leaves, first two leaves and a bud, from the first harvest of the year. Fresh, young, delicate, and fragile–“Shincha,” is all about “appreciation of the moment.” Shincha yield is limited, especially organic –it’s a now or never, kind of thing. Making a special cup of tea using a new young tea leaf is a special moment for me. I notice how delicate the leaves are. I am fascinated by how deep the green color is, and beautifully shaped fine leaves. Pouring warm water over the polished leaves is like pouring love over something tender and precious. While waiting leaves to steep, I enjoy watching leaves open up slowly, and count the blessings I have. I pour every last drop into a cup. Finally, I smell the fresh aroma from the tea field and taste the complex flavor. Shincha always brings me a feeling of connection to nature and gratitude for life. Green Tea is made from leaves of Camellia Sinensis. Camellia Sinensis has many varieties, or cultivars. Each cultivar offers a unique profile of leaf–size, thickness, color, aroma, and flavor. One cultivar is the best choice to make a tendar, deep flavor of ceremonial grade matcha. The other is the best to be oxidated and processed into black tea. Matcha made from a cultivar called “Saemidori,” which is the popular cultivar to make matcha, and matcha made from assam cultivar, which origins from Assam area of India, would not taste the same, even if exactly in the same method is used. There are a variety of cultivars grown to make quality Japanese green teas. We received over 40 different varieties of Shincha this year. We tasted them all, and selected the very best for our customers.
Asatsuyu—Literal translation of this name is “Morning Dew.” Strong in both Umami and astringency.
Yabukita—This is the most common cultivar of Japanese green tea. Good balance in Umami and astringency.
Yumekaori—Literal translation of this name is “Scent of Dream.” You’ll taste delicate Umami taste in this tea, which is like a gentle ‘whisper.’
Asanoka—This name is “Morning Scent.” Stronger Umami, less astringency compared to Asatsuyu.
Saemidori—“Bright Green.” This cultivar is commonly used to make Matcha. Bright green color and smoky middle note is its character.
In Japan, Shincha is regarded as a “delicacy of summer treat.” Japanese culture adores special things available in each season. Harvesting first flush tea, Shincha, is like a public announcement of arrival of summer. People love to try the first things of the season. Shincha is a special summer treat. The young leaves and a bud just “woke up” with bright sun of early summer, after they had been storing up all the nourishment from soil throughout winter and spring. How about a “First Flush Tea Tasting” time with your tea-loving friends and compare the flavors. I’m sure you will enjoy them.
“Tea is a time to breathe deeply and meditate.” M. Miller
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Meet the Author: Kiyomi