All 3 Kabusecha Shincha Teas 2018 of our supplier in Kagoshima in ONE box, freshly picked during the first days of spring harvest 2018, processed and packaged airtight on site immediately after picking and sent to destinations worldwide. The ‘Shincha Set 2018’ contains 50g each of the 3 different teas of the early Shincha picking, reaching from our time-proven Shincha Classic and the lightly steamed Shincha Yakushima to the intensive, highly aromatic and velvety sweet Shincha Yume. Please note – due to the nature-given limited availability only available for a short period!
The Shincha Set 2018 comes in a decorative box, making the perfect precious gift or present and containing information and preparation instructions for each of the teas.
A particularity in this year: all our Kabusecha Shincha teas are single-variety, i. e. are produced from one tea plant variety / cultivar only. This might reflect a change of heart on producer side, but is commented by the same as follows:
“Normally, when tasting the Aracha raw teas, we decide how to compose the individual blends, in order to achieve the desired aroma profiles. At this, there is a main component for each tea that makes this particular tea’s character. In this year, however, the 3 major varieties showed such a exiting aroma that we decided not to blend them at all.”
Hence, also in this year the Shincha Classic represents 100% the Yutaka Midori variety, the Shincha Yakushima the Yabukita variety, and the Shincha Yume the name-giving Yume Kaori variety.
The term Shincha in Japan refers to the fresh teas from the first days of the spring harvest. However, in order to qualify as a Shincha tea in the narrower sense, the green tea doesn’t only have to meet this condition, but also needs to be processed and vacuum-sealed immediately upon picking and be sent to the end consumer on the quickest possible way. Due to their exceptionally fresh and exhilarant taste and fragrance, Shincha teas enjoy highest popularity both in Japan and among green tea lovers worldwide.
For how long a Shincha tea can be called Shincha depends solely on its freshness. This is why the producer of our Kagoshima Shincha teas processes and vacuum-packages the freshly harvested tea leaves on site immediately upon picking and instantaneously ships it to the distributor in Germany, who in turn forwards our “contingent” to us without any delay. Due to the extremely limited yield of this picking and the high freshness requirement, this tea is only available for a very short time.
All Shincha teas in the Shincha Selection box are Kabusecha teas. Kabusecha tea (also: “Kabuse Sencha”) is a typical Japanese (half-shaded) green tea, characterized by the half-shading of the tea gardens by means of so-called “Kabuse” nets during the days/weeks before the harvest. The shading period is also responsible for the time delay, with which Shincha Yakushima makes it to the market in each year, compared to the several weeks earlier harvested unshaded Shincha (“Shincha Sencha”). In favor of a higher quality of the tea, the tea bushes are cultivated under Kabuse nets (jap: net = kabuse) during the last (up to 3) weeks before the harvest.
Unlike Gyokuro Tea, for which the tea plants are shaded for several weeks before the harvest, the Kabusecha shading method (up to 3 weeks of shading for our Kabusecha Tenko) comprises a half-shading, with ca. 50% of the sunlight being filtered out (compared to ca. 90% for Gyokuro). Therefore, Kabusecha tea is also commonly referred to as half-shaded tea. The idea behind the Kabusecha method is that of the recreation of natural conditions, i. e. a part-shading of the tea bushes as it would take place through trees and larger bushes in natural environments.
The ca. 50% withdrawal of light during this period triggers activities in the tea plant that are leading to an altered composition of the ingredients with increased amounts of amino acids (e.g. Theanine) and alkaloids (e.g. Caffeine, Theophyllin) and a reduction of bitterns (e.g. Catechine), among others resulting in a higher sweetness of the tea. Also the aromatic fragrance and the deep green color of the tea are enhanced through the shading.
In order to achieve an optimal exploitation of the active ingredients and to prevent oxidation processes, the freshly picked deep green tea leaves are steamed, cooled, rolled and dried according to the characteristic procedure of Japanese green tea processing. The producer of this Kabusecha green tea, who is health and environment-friendly-certified to both Japanese and EU standards, vacuum-packages the tea immediately upon completion of the processing cycle, so that the active substances, the aromatic fragrance and the intensive taste remain preserved throughout the tea’s streamlined way to distant shores and right up to your tea cup.