Craft brewers have their young summer ales. France has its Beaujolais Nouveau. And for centuries, Japan has had its Shincha: the year’s very first harvest of green tea, celebrated for its fresh and lively flavor, naturally sweet finish and smooth umami character. Accessible for only a precious few months, the much anticipated first harvest captures the season’s most refined flavors.
In Japanese, “shin” means new and “cha” means tea. Shincha’s singular character derives from its harvest starting in early April, when young green tea leaves contain naturally higher concentrations of nutrients and vibrant flavors, the result of wintertime dormancy. Fresh Shincha leaves are distinct from latter-harvested green teas, with a subtle sweetness attributed to a higher content of the amino acid L-theanine and a lower caffeine content. The rich and vividly green tea leaves are not only fragrant and fresh in taste, but higher in Vitamin C and catechin antioxidants than regular green tea.
Every year we offer a variety of shincha in loose leaf form, and last year we began offering it in a ready-to-drink bottle as well for those who don't want to spend the time steeping their own. Our Shinchas are all offered for a limited time only to preserve the fresh, seasonal taste that is special to Shincha.