Hashiri Shincha is sold out. If you purchased some, THANK YOU. If you missed it, we still have our other enjoyable Shincha, Hachiju-hachiya Shincha.
Hashiri means the "first (harvest or catch) of the season" and our Hashiri Shincha is just that. It is the first of the first flush teas. It is made from the very young leaves and buds of the tea plant.
We are very glad once again to be offering Hashiri Shincha. Not only do we get to supply you with a great tea, but we also have the opportunity to work with a tea grower who is essentially an artist in the tea field.
Origin: Tawarazawa, Shizuoka
Harvest: First Flush 2022
Every year Den's parent company, Shirakata-Denshiro Shoten, strikes a special contract with a specific tea farmer in Shizuoka to purchase their very young Shincha leaves for use in our Hashiri Shincha.
This year, we are very excited to introduce Shincha from Tawarazawa in Shizuoka. Tawarazawa is known for its stepped tea gardens. Stepped tea gardens are mostly located on mountain or valley slopes and have various functions. The tea gardens in Tawarazawa were established 500 years ago and were created with the purpose of keeping the natural landform. The tea garden walls were made with natural stone and they zigzag throughout the tea garden.
In this location, there is a large temperature difference between day and night. There is also a natural clean water source from the nearby beautiful Osawa river which nurtures the tea garden. As a result, the tea in this area has a good balance of sweetness, umami, and astringency with a bright green color, and an elegant and gentle mouth feel. It is said that tea from this garden was a favorite of the Shogunate (miliary leaders) during the Edo period. Thanks to our ancestors’ wisdom and efforts in tea farming, we are still blessed with this great gift from mother nature.
Once young, delicate leaves are carefully picked by the farmer and Aracha (rough tea) is made, it is brought to the Shirakata-Denshiro Shoten factory, where it is processed as little as possible. To maintain its field freshness, especially for this Hashiri Shincha, there is no blending and only a light roasting. Consequently, it is somewhat delicate and will be available for a very limited time.
Bulk Order Discount
Every year, some of our customers who really like Shincha buy it in bulk. To help these Shincha lovers, we have made a bundle set for them. We are offering 5% discount if you purchased 4 of 2oz bag or 10% discount for 8 bags or a 1Lb bag.
For many years in Japan, Shincha has been celebrated as a beverage of good fortune. The legend has been handed down that the young energetic tea leaves from the first flush will bring you health and long life. For gift giving, we have Japanese style "Tatou" wrap as an option. Tatou is one style of folding paper meant to enhance the gift and the experience of opening it.
Den's Preferred Brewing:
Leaf-water ratio: 2-3g (1 rounded tsp) per 4oz
Steep: 90 sec
2nd Cup: Water 180°F; Steep 30 sec
Special note: The flavor profile of Shincha is best experienced using bottled or filtered water.
You can also brew with hotter water, say 200°F for 45 sec. This way, the wild grassy flavor comes on strong and you can taste the deep natural flavor. I recommend you try brewing it both ways.
Here are Den’s tasting comments for his Hashiri Shincha which is currently being shipped to our customers:
“When I opened the newly arrived bag of Hashiri Shincha, I sensed that the aroma rising from the bag welcomed me to another great new tea season. My first visual impression of the processed tea leaves was that they were longer and shinier than last year’s Hashiri Shincha, and this added to my feeling of high quality 2022 Hashiri Shincha.
As I do every year, I brew my first taste of Shincha in very hot water to experience all the tea’s taste profiles, both on and off-flavors. Honestly, I felt the cup had the taste of a pale cup, yet it was still very pleasant because I could sense the ancillary flavors of freshly cut grass, seaweed and spinach. At the tasting, my staff expressed tastes of kale, buttered saffron and unripe banana. This proved to me that this tea was blessed with the good weather and rich soil.
I brewed the next cup with 160°F water, which is the traditional brewing for enjoying its fresh Umami flavor. The flavors became even more complex. Hashiri Shincha is made of very young tea leaves with goal of you enjoying its young grassy flavor, but 2022 Hashiri has freshness, good Umami and substantial body that is left in your mouth after tasting. Our 2022 Hashiri is another successful Shincha and it celebrates the start of a great tea harvest for 2022.