WHAT IS SHINCHA ?
Shincha means ‘new tea’, and refers to tea made from the first harvest of the year. The best green teas are made with leaves plucked in early April.
Green tea enthusiasts and connoisseurs wait impatiently for it because of the special fragrance and taste that come with these young and fresh leaves that you can enjoy as soon as you open the bag. This special ‘kick’ lasts about four-six weeks, and that’s why ‘shincha time’ ends around June.
While shincha is traditionally associated with sencha, all green teas of the highest quality- those that IKKYU labels as ‘premium’- made from the first harvest of the year (such as gyokuro, kabusecha, tamaryokucha, kamairicha) are called shincha.
When you order premium-grade tea after the end of the shincha period, the producers stilé use leaves they picked during the first harvest to make new batches, thus guaranteeing perfect freshness and quality. Producers store hundred of kilos of whole leaves in huge refrigerated places and process them throughout the year.
The second harvest (May-June depending on the area) also yields superior quality tea – that we label ‘high-grade’ here at IKKYU.
what is matcha ?
Matcha (抹茶) is a fine powdered green tea made from tencha leaves (shaded leaves) that benefits from high theanine contents. Matcha combines an elegant aroma and sweetness, and brings a pleasant state of relaxation to both body and mind. Because the leaf powder is dissolved in hot water, all of the tea nutrients are ingested, including those that are not water-soluble (vitamin A, protein, vitamin E, minerals, dietary fibers).
In Japan, matcha is enjoyed during the Tea Ceremony, according to the Sado principles. Even if you are no specialist, to prepare your daily matcha, you will need several key accessories, such as a chawan (matcha bowl), chashaku (bamboo scoop), a chasen (matcha whisk) and a kusenaoshi (chasen holder). Since 2021, our shop includes handmade chasen made in Takayama, Nara prefecture, with 100% Japanese bamboo. Feel free to browse our tea accessories section to complete or start your collection.
REGISTER TO OUR NEWSLETTER
Stay up to date on our new arrivals, promotions and Japanese culture
"Tea is nought but this: first you heat the water,
then you make the tea.
Then you drink it properly.
That is all you need to know."
Sen no Rikyu
HELP & FAQ