Shincha Houryoku is a deeply steamed, Fukamushi Sencha type tea where the extra steaming causes the tea to brew a thick emerald liquid full of herbaceous flavor. Shincha Houryoku is also one of our Eighty-Eighth Night Shinchas. Eighty-Eighth Night Shincha refers to Shincha picked on the 88th day after the first day of spring in the traditional Japanese calendar normally around May 2nd. The Eighty-Eighth Night - "Hachijuhachiya" in Japanese - is a special day in Japanese agriculture since it is considered about the time all the plants begin to sprout.
Origin: Makinohara, Shizuoka
Harvest: First Flush 2021
Den's Preferred Brewing:
Leaf-water ratio: 2-3g(1 leveled tsp) per 4oz
Steep: 45 sec
2nd Cup: Water @ 180F; Steep 15 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 Shincha Houryoku Tasting Comments:
It’s always exciting to see a deep green cup of Fukamushi Sencha and even more exciting to see a cup of Houryoku because the cup color of the new harvest tea is even a brighter green. Yet, this year, despite the deep green cup, the flavor is very mild something that you would not expect from the color. Our 2021 Houryoku is especially mild. It has good umami and body, but no bitterness or astringency at all. The second cup is a bit lighter yet it still brings you a fresh grassy taste.
By the way, I realized another interesting facet of Houryoku when I had with Sushi recently. Our 2021 Houryoku matches well with many types of food, from light meals, to oily food, or sweets, but Sushi was the best marriage for Shincha Houryoku. Its mild taste harmonized well with the taste of seafood, seaweed and vinegared rice yet it brought me a steady refreshing Shincha flavor with every sip. Even better, Fukamushi Senchas are rich in catechins which bring you additional health benefits.