June 2015 - Shincha from Mie
Spring is the season of Shincha (新茶), or “new tea“ in Japanese. So for the June shipment we selected a delicious new Fukamushi Sencha (深蒸し煎茶) from Ise (伊勢), in the prefecture of Mie (三重).
Tealeaves are usually harvested 4 or 5 times a year, starting from April until October, though it varies depending on the area and specific plantation. Shincha is the green tea made from the very first harvest of the year.
Shincha is characterized by freshness, crispness and sweetness in taste. It is low in catechin and caffeine, and rich in amino acid responsible for umami.
Japanese people believe that drinking Shincha, picked on the 88th day (counted from the first day of spring - February 4th or 5th according to ancient calendars in East Asia) helps stay in good health all year round.
Fukamushi Sencha designates a type of green tea made according to a process invented in the 1950s: tea leaves are deep steamed for a longer period of time than Sencha, about twice longer to be precise.
Fukamushi Sencha has a less grassy and astringent taste than Sencha, but contains more vitamin E and vitamin A, which are usually less soluble in water. Its taste is rich and mild.
Ise, in the prefecture of Mie
Brewing Fukamushi Sencha
The amount of tealeaves should be adapted according to the desired taste: around 2 teaspoons (4-6 grams) for 150ml-200ml (5 to 7oz) of spring water.
The first infusion should be done at 70ºC to 80ºC (160ºF to 180ºF) for 40 to 50 seconds. Subsequent infusions should be done at a higher temperature, for a shorter period of time