Japanese Shincha (New Tea) Season

“Farmer’s Shincha“ has arrived at CHA CHA TEA, as well as this year’s new crop of Genmaicha (Green tea with roasted brown rice). I will also switch to new crops of the other teas as they arrive in the next few weeks.

What is Shincha? 
In Kyoto Japan, we have a tradition of celebrating Shincha in May. Shin-cha in Japanese means New-Tea. It is the new tea of the year, or the new harvest. In tea terms: the first flush. 

Japanese Green Tea is usually harvested between two and five times a year from Spring to Fall. The first flush, Ichiban-Cha is by far the BEST. It has the most refreshing aroma. 

One day, I said to my husband that we (as Japanese) are very serious about new tea in early summer and new rice in the fall. He said that “you (as Japanese) are very serious about everything!” Hahaha. That may be a stereotyped image but in general, it’s probably right. And I took it as a compliment. 

Now, people are able to enjoy fresh green tea all year round almost the same as Shincha in Japan. Preservation techniques and technology have made a lot of progress. 

At least this is true for CHA CHA TEA customers because I buy the tea from a farm that takes the utmost care to preserve the freshness of their green tea leaves. A long time ago, it was impossible to have fresh tea outside of the tea growing country. One hundred years ago, it took an entire year to get tea to Canada from the far east. Now, it takes only one to four weeks.


So, why is Shincha still a big deal?
Although you can enjoy fresh green tea here every day, it is a very special experience to brew new Shincha tea leaves freshly harvested from Japan to celebrate the new tea season. Many of my customers look forward to this new tea every spring. 

It is very exciting for me to be able to share fresh green tea from Japan with my CHA CHA TEA customers. Come and join me – we can herald the new tea season.

 

unsplash-logo Manuel Cosentino

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