What is Shincha?

May 21, 2019

What is Shincha?  Shincha or “new tea”, is one of the most prized green teas in Japan.  It’s also one of the most expensive.  The high cost is due to the effort involved in picking the leaves during a specified period of time. 

During the winter months, the tea plant stores up nutrients like amino acids.  When the first leaves begin to bud, a higher level of these nutrients are released into the leaves than other times of the year.  The extra nutrients give the tea a sweeter note, as well as a much lower level of astringency.

Depending on the region, the shincha season lasts from April till late May.  Growing regions further south, typically begin to harvest early due to climatic conditions.

The two shincha teas that we were lucky enough to get our hands on this year were harvested the Honyama and Makinohara region of Shizuoka.  Both teas come from the Yabukita strain of tea leaf.