Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Maeda-en
This is the creme de la creme of our Shin-cha selections. Our best baby leaves are harvested in the under the bright spring-time sun, then deep steamed to create this rich and hearty brew.
For each Hatsumono, or New Crop that one eats/drinks, it is said that one’s lifespan is extended for another 75 days. Shin-cha is also the harbinger of spring, and is a tea merchant’s treasured tradition.
I pre-ordered this in early spring, 2010 (or perhaps even late winter!) and when I received it, I tucked it away in my tea drawer and kept it there. As I write this, it is the first time I tried this delightful tea.
It came in such a pretty package! The box was beautiful, and the tin was even prettier. I just… didn’t want to open it! How silly of me to postpone trying this tea! Just like in people – the true beauty is within!
The tea leaves are cut very small and are vivid green. When I poured hot water (165° F) over them the top of the water in my brewing device had a tiny bit of froth at the top that reminded me of Matcha!
The flavor is sublime! It has a creaminess to it that is a little buttery, but not as buttery as some green teas I’ve tried. It’s almost like butter and cream. The vegetative quality is a little grassy and a little bit like vegetables, and when combined with the creamy taste it is quite a luscious experience.
And like the description suggests, this is really quite hearty for a green tea. It has a sort of thickness to it that I would liken to Matcha, but without the “chalkiness” of Matcha. The mouthfeel is velvet-y smooth and there is a very light astringency in the finish that is a nice contrast to the creamy-soft mouthfeel.
From what I can see of the Maeda-en website, the spring 2010 harvest of this outstanding tea has sold out. So, I recommend that you keep your eyes peeled for the 2011 harvest, and pre-order it when the opportunity presents itself. You won’t be disappointed!
Anne started her journey with tea as a casual drinker and became more serious about her tea drinking when she realized that she couldn't drink coffee. Shortly thereafter, she started becoming obsessed with the beverage and she started creating small-batch, artisan blends of tea that she sold online as LiberTEAS. After a few years, she realized she wasn't cut out to be the sole proprietor of a business so she closed LiberTEAS and started reviewing teas online. She met Jennifer through another blog that they both reviewed for and they decided to start their own review blog. This review blog!
Throughout her journey as a tea reviewer, she discovered 52Teas and became enamored with the idea of creating a new tea every week. When the founder of 52Teas decided he wanted to move on, he offered the business to Anne but knowing that she wasn't cut out to be a sole proprietor, she instead offered the company to her oldest daughter who employs her as the Mad Tea Artist for 52Teas!
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