2023 Shincha is here - Chado April 2023
First Teas of the Season - Shincha
It's a busy time in the Japanese Tea World right now.
We knew we would be busy in May because of the arrival of new tea, so a few days ago, we decided to take a trip to an agricultural area outside of Vancouver for the day.
We got our capes and jumped into the Chado Matchamobile, and headed for a small town about 100km outside of Vancouver. We visited a tulip farm that grows over 7 million tulips every year. We noticed the stunning colors and variation in size and shape of the flowers; we also couldn’t help but notice the number of coffee shops in the small rural town nearby where we stopped for a snack.
As we walked amongst the flowers, we saw this proud yellow tulip standing in a sea of purple. It sort of reminds us of our tea shop amongst all the coffee shops out there; we are happy to be different and will remain strong and keep the brave yellow team, well green, strong to bring you that superior beverage we like to call tea.
The Vancouver Sakura Days festival did not disappoint.
The foods were plentiful, the vendors sold a wide assortment of Japanese goods, the people were happy, and the rain was pouring down in buckets, full buckets- it was a typical setting for the Spring show in Vancouver.
Next year is going to be sunny and dry – we just know it will be, honestly.
2023 First Flush Spring Tea 新茶
It is time for Shincha (新茶).
Most tea farms in Japan harvest the tea two or three times during the year. The Spring harvest, the first harvest, is when the freshest new tea leaves are picked. The tea picked during the first flush (the tea plucked first) of the Sprint harvest is used to make Shincha Tea.
We have received our 2023 Shincha from Japan, and we are ready to ship great examples to you.
The first tea is a new one for Chado Tea House, and we are very pleased to be able to offer it at its freshly picked best.
Platinum Award-Winning Tea at Nihoncha Awards 2022.
We first tried this tea last year, and we were keen to get some because we were very impressed by its quality.
Unfortunately, it was a very small production last year, and we were unable to secure a supply.
We worked with the farmer and reserved our share of the new 2023 harvest, and we are very glad to be able to offer it.
This is an unusual tea in that it is grown from a new cultivar that was only formally introduced in 2015. The cultivar is called Kirari 31, and this cultivar is the product of cross-pollinating Saki-Midori and Sae-Midori plants.
When we tried the tea last year, we were attracted to it by its immediate burst of flavor right when the tea was tasted. The full flavor of the tea is right there at the beginning, and there is no aftertaste with this tea.
We were not the only ones impressed by this wonderful example of Sencha tea. The judges at the 2022 Nihoncha Tea Awards were very taken with the tea and awarded it a coveted platinum prize in the Sencha category.
This tea may become a favorite we think.
Speaking of favorites, our next tea is a very popular tea with our clients already. We are pleased to bring you the new 2023 harvest of this tea:
Sencha NAMA Premium
We often get inquiries from customers that say something like this:
'When we went to Japan, we had a wonderful grassy flavored tea that had a very green color and great taste. Can you recommend something?'
In response to that type of inquiry, we always recommend our Sencha NAMA tea.
This is a Fukamushi Sencha tea. This is a Kabuse Sencha which means it is shaded for a week prior to harvest. It is then deep steamed. There is more to the story for this tea; however, the steaming process is performed for a slightly longer time than most Fukamushi teas, and the temperature of the steam is slightly lower than typical, which is achieved by lowering the pressure inside the steaming vessels.
This long, relatively low-temperature steaming not only preserves the intense grassy flavor (this is our most grassy tea) and aroma of the finished Sencha but also imparts the intense green color that is a pleasing characteristic of this tea.
New teas are arriving from Japan thick and fast, so please keep an eye out for our 2023 teas.
Harajuku - Japan’s Youth in Glorious Technicolor
If you visit Japan, you will likely feel inclined to go to Tokyo; it is a very interesting city and a great place to visit.
Tokyo is many things, and one of those things is big. To avoid being overwhelmed by its size and bustle, we always find it better to plan ahead and come up with a few areas to visit. Tokyo has many different districts that tend to specialize in particular things. If you like electronic gadgets, then visit Akihabara, which has wall-to-wall electronic shops, and you get a chance to see some new gadgets that may not have arrived in your hometown yet.
We decided to spend a day in Harajuku as we have not been there for about ten years. Harajuku is the center of youth fashion in Japan, and it is a great place for people-watching.
Many styles exist and are usually influenced by Manga, Gothic, and Victoriana and often involve oversized bows, platform shoes and exaggerated makeup. Many shops are filled with the clothes and makeup used to produce 'the look'
Like here, there are lots of coffee shops but do not worry; you can get some very nice tea to calm you as you are amazed and perhaps bemused by the walking fashion show surrounding you.