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Super Spring - Chado Newsletter April 2024

Super Spring - Chado Newsletter April 2024

Daffodils, Tulips, Shincha - Spring.

We are approaching May, which means rain in Vancouver, and in Japan, it means sunny days and new tea.

If you visit a tea farm in Japan around this time, you will see the farmers working long days in the hot sun; all the work of the previous months, from the last harvest of last year, has been in preparation for the long days in the field around this time, harvesting the freshest, most succulent tea to make into Shincha – The ‘New Tea.’

I am from the UK, and most of the people who work for Chado Tea House are Japanese. When it gets to this time of year, there is excitement in the office because we are getting ready for the first tea of the year. My workmates asked me to think of something from my home that exemplifies spring and new beginnings and is eagerly anticipated each year.

So, I thought long and hard and came up with potatoes—not just any potatoes, but Jersey Royal Potatoes.

Jersey is the largest of the Channel Islands and is located in the English Channel between France and England.

Jersey Royal Potatoes are potatoes grown on the slopes of steep hillsides on the island. They come out at this time of year, and most of the potatoes are sold as ‘new potatoes.' They are fabulous and only available for a short time because they are highly prized and sell out quickly. If you ever get the chance to be in the UK at this time of year, please try them.

They are indeed a sign that Spring has sprung where I come from.

So it is with Shincha and Japan. We will receive our shipments of Shincha in early May, so please stay tuned.

New Leaves, photo Simona Suzuki @ gjta


Mature Refinement

More mature leaves can still make great tea.

Genmaicha is not typically made with new tea.

Genmaicha is usually made by taking leaves that were left to develop on the plant after the first harvest of the topmost leaves.

The robust flavor of Genmaicha tea, provided by the mature leaves, is further enhanced by the addition of roasted rice.

The fact that the new tea is not used in genmaicha production does not lessen the virtue of a good genmaicha tea.

Another tea made from more mature leaves is Bancha. Bancha tea is very popular, especially in the more rural areas around Kyoto. Kyoto was the capital of Japan and is generally associated with affluence so the fact that the comparatively economical Bancha is popular there is a credit to its flavor.


Genmaicha Premium+ Shizuoka

Traditional Genmaicha Premium from Shizuoka. This Genmaicha Premium+ consists of first flush medium steamed Sencha blended with roasted Japanese brown rice. A Nutty, toasty taste created by the classic blending of rice and Sencha green tea.

Brew at slightly higher temperature than Sencha about 85°C (185°F) to induce toasty aroma from the brown rice. This tea is perfect for a relaxing teatime or accompaniment to meals.

First flush Shizuoka
4g (2tsp) / One cup / 85°C (185°F) /30 sec / brew up to 2 times

This tea works well for cold brewing. Use 5g of tea and add 500ml of cold water, stir, and store in refrigerator for at least 2 hours stirring occasionally.

Organic Aged San-nen Bancha Hojicha Roasted Green Tea


Tea leaves are from later harvests in the autumn to winter. They are dried in the sun and then left to mature for up to three years. This ripening process breaks down tannins in tea. The tea is then lightly roasted, leading to a mild, complex taste.

The appearance is similar to that of Hojicha roasted tea. Therefore, the difference between Hojicha and San-nen Bancha is whether the tea is processed right after harvesting or ripened.

This tea is known for its low levels of caffeine.

4g (3-4 tsp) / one cup / 100°C (212°F) / 3-5 min

Dontaku Festival

Japan has many festivals at this time of year. Further into the summer, Japan can get very hot and humid, so around May, there are lots of chances for people to let their hair down before being outside, away from the air conditioning, gets tough.

One of the biggest festivals is the Hakata Dontaku Festival, held in Hakata, a district of Fukuoka City; Fukuoko is in Fukuoka Prefecture and is on the Island of Kyushu in southwestern Japan. Whenever you hear of an artsy event happening in Fukuoka, it is usually a good one to attend, as that area attracts all sorts of artisans and performers and generally puts in a good show.

The festival dates back over 800 years and was initially timed to celebrate the lunar new year. It now consists of parades of colorfully dressed participants dancing and playing instruments while being serenaded by onlookers using rice scoopers (shamoji) as instruments. .

Not only that, but Fukuoka is the home of Yame, a tea-growing region especially famous for its Gyokuro production. We carry several Yame Gyokuro Teas, which have been popular with our customers for many years.