Rishi is a domestic USA vendor who is investing a lot of time, effort and expence into introducing excellent Japanese teas. This is significant in that no other domestic USA vendor is excelling on this front. I have tried many of their sencha and shincha offerings over the last 3-4 years, first really taking notice of their Kagoshima offerings at a time when only a handful seemed to be available to the West ... they offered a really nice grouping of them.
It is interesting watching their sencha offerings as they change from season to season and year to year.
Fast forward to 2010 Shincha, I conducted tastings of 3, the Kukicha, Sae Midori, and Organic Nishi.
The Kukicha is a very clean looking kukicha, hardly any dust which shows effort went into the making of this "byproduct" tea. The taste is very full and rounded yet has an overall light and refreshing feel. It is very nice kukicha.
Sae Midori, seems I had more than my fill of Sae Midori Shincha this year, a varietal that is not really my fave. Still this was a very good example of how a Sae Midori can exceed expectations. Very full mouth feel and deep rich flavor.
Nishi Organic. I come to expect Rishi to do a very good job in sourcing organics, and they did not let me down with this one. 3 exceptional steeps. If anything on the downside, it was a bit tricky to brew and hard to nail each time, but this only serves to fuel my interest.
I rate them this way ... out of a possible 5 with 5 being the highest.
Sae Midori 4.6
Nishi Organic 4.5 - 4.75 depending on how well I brewed.