Organic Shincha from Chiran
Today we are going to be talking about the Nuruki Shincha from Chiran. We recently launched this tea and even more recently got the opportunity to visit the farmer in the beautiful town of Chiran. Shincha is the first tea to be harvested each spring, and is made from only the youngest tea leaves and buds at the top of the plant. The youngest leaves have the highest concentration of nutrients as well as a lighter and sweeter flavor.
This tea is incredibly sweet and smooth. The younger leaves of the tea plant tend to have a sweet and smooth taste, and that is evident here. The liquor of the tea is a beautiful jade green color and has a denser texture to it. After multiple steepings, this tea takes on a light sweetness that is really quite pleasant. This tea is also what's known as a Fukamushi or a deep steamed tea.
What is Fukamushi Tea?
Normally, sencha is steamed for 45-60 seconds but Fukamushi sencha is steamed for 90-120 seconds. During this longer steaming process, the cell walls of the tea plant are broken down, which softens the tea and allows more of it to be extracted in the water. The result of this is that the tea becomes a deep shade of green and the flavor is also smoother and creamier.
During the deep steaming process, the tea leaves also become more brittle and the tea can often break down into smaller pieces. If you see a small dusty residue inside the tea, that is not an issue, that is just how the tea is supposed to be. This also has an effect on the tea that you brew, as the small tea particles can pass through the teapot. You can often tell a fukamushi by how green and cloudy the tea is but also how the residue on the bottom of the glass.
Where is the Nuruki Shincha from?
This particular tea is from a beautiful town in the south of Japan called Chiran. This town is in a subtropical region of Japan, surrounded by volcanoes with extremely rich soil. During our last visit, we had the opportunity to tour a few of the organic tea fields in the area and were really impressed with what we saw.
While we were visiting the farm of Mr. Nuruki, we learned a lot about the different methods of tea farming and we were able to taste a few new teas. Perhaps we will be launching some new teas from this farmer soon, but in the mean time you can try this wonderful Shincha from Mr. Nuruki!