Fall Shinchas?


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Fall Shinchas?

Postby michaelb3600 » Nov 3rd, '11, 10:17

As a relative newbie I realize this might be a silly question, but can someone recommend or explain the fall shinchas?

Den's front page advertises a Kuradashi Sencha coming in Dec and Ito En's facebook links to a new Aki-shun Shincha. I know that these teas are stored from spring or the year before, just curious if anyone can recommend one.

Didn't know if the other retailers offer these as well.

Thanks!
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Re: Fall Shinchas?

Postby Chip » Nov 3rd, '11, 10:56

It might be a matter of semantics, but it seems to be an oxymoron or at least a juxtaposition in terms to call a shincha (which means new harvest tea) tea that has been stored "shincha." It is simply kuradashi made from ichibancha (first flush) once it is stored.

Ito-en is causing some confusion by calling it shincha on their site at this stage.

All shincha is ichibancha, not all ichibancha is shincha ... once a shincha is stored away, my understanding it is not shincha which means new harvest. How can a tea that has been stored away for 1.5 years be called new harvest? It can be called 1st flush (ichibancha).

Anyway, I do not recall having kuradashi shincha or sencha, oh wait, I did have a sample sent to me by a TCer several years ago. I recall it was interesting, but not necessarily my preferred style ... I think I prefer sencha fresh. But I would be willing to give it another try.
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Re: Fall Shinchas?

Postby sherubtse » Nov 3rd, '11, 14:07

michaelb3600 wrote:As a relative newbie I realize this might be a silly question, but can someone recommend or explain the fall shinchas?

Den's front page advertises a Kuradashi Sencha coming in Dec and Ito En's facebook links to a new Aki-shun Shincha. I know that these teas are stored from spring or the year before, just curious if anyone can recommend one.

Didn't know if the other retailers offer these as well.

Thanks!


Hibiki-an offers kuradashi sencha & gyo:

http://www.hibiki-an.com/product_info.p ... cts_id/526

http://www.hibiki-an.com/default.php/cPath/21

I haven't tried either of them, but the sencha has me interested. I may order it with one of their fuka-s.

Best wishes,
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Re: Fall Shinchas?

Postby JRS22 » Nov 3rd, '11, 15:34

I read through Den's explanation and interpret it as saying that the tea was shincha at the time it was stored. Otherwise some people might think this is just leftover tea and not stored intentionally.
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Re: Fall Shinchas?

Postby michaelb3600 » Nov 3rd, '11, 16:54

Thanks guys,

I wasn't sure if I needed to spend $30 to find out on any of the above, but the concept is neat, and pretty Japanese. I'd have my doubts too if it were to create a product as nice as the super fresh shincha.

I appreciate the info and links, will report back if I order anything.
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Re: Fall Shinchas?

Postby shinobicha » Nov 3rd, '11, 16:57

I've had three Kuradashi teas: Maiko's Nomigoro (gyokuro), Hibiki-an's Kuradashi gyokuro (two versions, the 'premium' and one step down), and Den's Kuradashi sencha.

Maiko's Nomigoro is gyokuro that's been aged 4-5 years - I've only had a sample of it, but it was amazing.

Hibiki's supposedly 'highest' quality Kura gyo was very disappointing. Didn't taste good at all. The next step down was pretty good though...maybe worth a try.

Den's Kuradashi sencha was excellent. I definitely recommend.
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Re: Fall Shinchas?

Postby Chip » Nov 3rd, '11, 20:49

Am I the only person a bit bothered by the reference to this tea as shincha by Ito-en? Once shincha goes into storage for future use, it usually loses the shincha badge and is just called ichibancha.

If this was not the case, then all shincha sencha put into storage for future use would still be called shincha until it is fully depleted. You could buy 1, 2, 3 year old shincha sencha and beyond which would certainly not be "special" nor new harvest anymore.

Shincha is a special designation ... I will ask someone in the biz! :wink:

I notice that Den's puts "shincha" in and takes "sencha" out. I agree with this wording. They are no longer calling it shincha.
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Re: Fall Shinchas?

Postby Proinsias » Nov 3rd, '11, 21:30

Confused, does a pack of shincha morph into non-shincha as it lies in its little foil pack in my house?

I'm sure I've heard you say, Chip, that you've enjoyed packs of shincha you had stored for months or more. Am I missing something, is stale shincha an oxymoron?
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Re: Fall Shinchas?

Postby Chip » Nov 3rd, '11, 21:41

Proinsias wrote:Confused, does a pack of shincha morph into non-shincha as it lies in its little foil pack in my house?

I'm sure I've heard you say, Chip, that you've enjoyed packs of shincha you had stored for months or more. Am I missing something, is stale shincha an oxymoron?

Ah ... your question brings further clarity in my mind, shincha has gone through final processing and is packaged for IMMEDIATE sale ... traditionally ... so I have understood. Shincha is traditionally off the shelves by around July or so of the same harvest year. Or sooner, once it is gone, it is gone, period.

When shincha stocks are low, they do NOT pull out shincha from their storage, process/package and sell it as Shincha. Just not done this way ... except by either those who mislead or do not understand the terminology. The subtle differences between the terms shincha and ichibancha.

The shincha we buy has gone through final processing and packaging and final sale ... we buy it as shincha and it basically remains shincha til we use it.

If a shincha is placed into bales for future final processing and packaging at a future date, it becomes simply ichibancha. This is what happens to most shincha in the spring, we then purchase it as ichibancha later in the harvest year ... it is not longer referred to as shincha. The more precise term at that time is ichibancha.

Kuradashi is placed into the granery for use at a future date when it will go through a final processing and packaging.

Or is this an exception to the rule like i before e except after c? :lol:

You notice Den's does not say 2010 Shincha Kuradashi even though they used 2010 shincha for their kuradashi.

Am I just a hard line funTeamentalist?
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Re: Fall Shinchas?

Postby Proinsias » Nov 3rd, '11, 22:22

Thanks for that Chip, feeling less confused.

What's the final processing?
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Re: Fall Shinchas?

Postby Chip » Nov 3rd, '11, 23:51

Proinsias wrote:What's the final processing?

Depends on the tea and the producers and the grade.

Usually tea is stored as aracha ... final sorting and usually a very brief roasting ... then onto packaging.

The way they do this in stages is really quite brilliant and makes a lot of sense from an economic/cash-flow standpoint as well.
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