The very first green tea harvest of the year is called shincha (new|tea) and is picked in the first months of spring. Shincha is particularly healthy and tasty due to its richness in nutrients. To avoid a long sea voyage and the associated temperature fluctuations of the sea route, these teas are transported by air freight. Due to the high demand and the limited quantity, this tea is only available for a short time each year.
Shincha is produced in the same way as Sencha, but only the very first small leaves and buds of the first harvest (also called Ichibancha in Japanese) are used. The subsequent Sencha harvests are divided into Nibancha (second harvest) and Sanbancha (third harvest).
Shincha is considered a rarity even among upscale green teas and is considered the most delicate of all harvests in terms of taste. Traditionally, it is obtained from Sencha (Shincha Sencha), but nowadays it is also found as Shincha Gyokuro or Shincha Miyazaki.
Good Shincha has a similar taste to the Sencha of the same tea field that follows it. The only difference is that Shincha tastes much fresher, fuller-bodied and shows more umami and a nicer sweetness. This is mainly due to the particularly high content of healthy amino acids, especially L-theanine. In this respect, it tastes more intense than a good Sencha and particularly delicate, nuanced and very refreshing.
Special ingredients of the Shincha
From the last harvest of the year until the first harvest in spring, the tea plant has a particularly long time to develop its valuable ingredients. During this time, it grows more slowly than later in the year due to the lower temperatures. The later pluckings grow much faster and have a lower nutrient content and a different composition. Only particularly tender, young and light-coloured leaves are used for Shincha, which in turn differ from slightly more developed leaves in terms of content. Compared to the rest of the Sencha from the first harvest, Shincha has a significantly higher content of important nutrients and thus develops the highest quality and effect.
Like almost all Japanese green teas, Shincha, which comes from the Camelia Sinensis, contains numerous ingredients for a healthy effect. These include high concentrations of cell-protecting antioxidants / catechins (EGCG), the amino acid L-theanine, which promotes well-being, balance and relaxation, as well as various vitamins (vitamin A beta carotene, vitamin B1, B2, B3, vitamin E and vitamin K). Metabolism, cardiovascular system, intestinal functions and also memory performance can benefit noticeably. But this excellent green tea also has an anti-inflammatory effect.
Preparation of Shincha
Shincha is prepared in the same way as the teas of its parentage, i.e. Sencha, Gyokuro, Kabusecha and Matcha. For the Shincha of Sencha, the usual are recommended from a health point of view:
2 well heaped teaspoons to 2-3 dl water
depending on the quality of the tea, 50-60°C infusion temperature
2 minutes brewing time.
Here, the flavour is particularly harmonious. The nutrient-rich Shincha has the potential for several infusions like no other green tea. Particularly high-quality Shinchas can also be infused in the traditional way with the following specifications:
1 well heaped teaspoon to 1,5 - 2dl water
for high quality tea 60-65°C infusion temperature
1st infusion 90 sec. Brewing time
2nd infusion 20 sec. Brewing time
3rd infusion 30 sec. Infusion time
Rarities from our assortment
With Shincha Tshuyuhikari, the first first flush rarity from the May 2023 harvest has arrived and is now available in limited quantities.
As a mild and light green tea with a fruity finish and a beautiful dark green needle leaf, it convinces both the green tea specialist and the newcomer.
This organic green tea is particularly suitable for the preparation of a cold brew. In our blog post "Real Cold Brew Tea is refreshing and healthy", we explain the history behind the traditional production of Cold Brew Tea in Japan.