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 to 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: Uchimaki, Shizuoka
Harvest: First Flush 2021
Every year Den's parent company, Shirakata-Denshiro Shoten, strikes a special contract with the Moriuchi tea farm to purchase their very young shincha leaves and use it as the only tea in our Hashiri Shincha. The Moriuchi tea farm is owned and operated by Mr. Yoshio Moriuchi who has a brilliant history in tea farming. He has won Gold and Silver medals in the past several years at the World Green Tea Contest, the O-Cha Frontier Contest, and the Shizuoka Tea Auction. His passion for tea and his spirit of ingenuity are still growing. He uses an original natural fertilizer that he blends himself. He is very careful at timing the harvest to bring out the best flavor of the tea leaf. His first flush tea is very delicate and the top buds and tea leaves are carefully picked.
After the leaves are picked, Mr. Moriuchi makes Aracha (rough tea) with the young leaves. The Aracha is brought to the Shirakata-Denshiro Shoten's 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.
Den's Preferred Brewing:
Leaf-water ratio: 2-3g(1 rounded tsp) per 4oz
Steep: 90 sec
2nd Cup: Water 180F; Steep 30 sec
You can also brew with hotter water, say 200F for 45 sec. This way, the wild grassy flavor comes on strong and you can taste the deep nature. I recommend you try brewing it both ways.
Den’s 2021 Hashiri Shincha Tasting Comments
Opening the bag of Hashiri Shincha is always a pleasant yet nervous moment because the first impression of the rising aroma would tell me a lot about this season’s harvest. I smelled fresh grass with a hint of seaweed that signaled to me that this year’s harvest is great! The processed tea shape is nicely thin and twisted though they are a bit smaller than last year and has an attractive blue-green color. For the first taste, I always brew with hot water (200 F) for 40 seconds. The first sip produced a comfortable astringency and good umami on both sides of my tongue. Then I brewed another new cup with 160 F water for 90 seconds. The result was still very fresh like just like the grassy aroma. It struck me that this year’s Hashiri has a deep flavor and I wondered if I could extract it using cold water. I made cold brew iced tea by using 2 rounded teaspoons (about 6g) of Hashiri, 4oz water, and ice. Then I waited 15 minutes. The result was a cup with concentrated umami and a very soft finish yet the after taste seems to last forever. You can enjoy both hot brew and cold brew with this Shincha and I encourage you to try this luxurious cold brew Shincha.
The flavor profile of Shincha is best experienced using bottled or filtered water.