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.