Sencha Hana from Chiran - Chado March 2023
Spring has Sprung!
There has been quite a show of the wonder of nature the last few days here in Vancouver. The northern lights (Aurora Borealis) were visible from our office and were spectacular. We read that the phenomenon was much more prominent than usual due to a ‘coronal hole’ in the sun’s atmosphere. This hole also meant the lights were a lot more purple than usual; we are all about green when it comes to tea, but seeing the purple mingle with the more common green of the lights was a real treat.
The Northern lights are not the only wonder of nature that has arrived on our doorstep. Spring has sprung in Vancouver, and the daffodils are poking through the soil, the birds are singing, and Vancouverites are enjoying the Spring rain (for now). It is an optimistic time of the year that gives us hope for good things ahead.
One of those good things is the new tea for 2023. We always wait with excitement to get the new teas. During the winter time in Japan, the farmers have a bit of a break from actively managing the tea – harvesting, trimming etc. and spend the time while the tea sleeps to tend to the maintenance of the farm. Come spring, the tea duties burst into overdrive, and the tea plants start to grow, the buds and new leaves grow, and the preparations for the new tea begins.
The new tea for a particular year is called Shincha in Japan, and it is an exciting period. We will get our Shincha teas soon and put them on the site as soon as they arrive, so please stay tuned.
We have a new Sencha for you this month.
We often receive samples from various tea producers throughout Japan. We document each tea we receive and note their taste and other characteristics.
We periodically introduce some selective teas as special items for sale if we feel they are good quality and would interest our customers.
The tea we would like to introduce today is an authentic deep-steamed premium Sencha from Chiran, Kagoshima prefecture, at the southernmost tip of Japan.
There are many types of Sencha tea. Some sencha is characterized by its astringency level, some by its sweetness and others by many other flavor profiles. The reason we were drawn to this sencha is that it has a very well-balanced taste and mouthfeel; everything about this tea is 'just right.' This Sencha Hana does not have a single overpowering characteristic, but rather the whole tea works together to produce a very satisfying drink.
Each tea on our site has an associated table that explains where the tea comes from and various other details.
Here is the table from this Sencha.
We can go through this chart and find out about this tea.
This tea is classed as fukamushi Sencha level 10, Kabuse partially shade dried with low to medium temperature, and is a blend of three cultivars.
This means this tea is a true fukamushi sencha, which indicates deep steaming. The tea is partially shaded during cultivation (Kabuse) for about one week before harvesting. Because it is shaded, we would expect it to have a lot of Umami taste.
After steaming, the tea is dried at a low to medium temperature so we can expect a fresh scent. This is a blended tea consisting of leaves from three cultivars. Having the three cultivars working in harmony make this tea enjoyable for most tastes.
It is an excellent high-quality 'base sencha' to use as a reference when trying other teas that may have more prominent components.
Sakura Days 2023
It will be a busy time for the next few months with the Shincha coming and the Annual Sakura Days festival. We will be there; please pop by and say hello. The garden at VanDusen is beautiful; if we get lucky with the weather, it is a great place to spend a sunny day.
Happy tea-drinking where you are.