This is a perfect summer tea. It has a light flavor to it but also a versatile character starting with a butternut creamy note that eventually transforms into an umami sweetness and ends with a nice flowery note.
160km south of Kagoshima City lies the small tropical island of Yakushima. It is here that the Watanabe family grows its organic tea that has become world-famous. Mankichi Watanabe was convinced to start organic tea farming in the 1990s and he soon after obtained an organic certification that he carries to this day. Mankichi Wantanabe has such a strong connection with nature, and that is evident in his tea. He has a great diversity of tea bushes on his tea farm and that allows him to harvest tea during different seasons.
Shincha is made by using the leaves from the first picking of the season. These leaves are the youngest, freshest and are also known for having the highest concentration of minerals in them.
In the first brewing, this tea has a sweet corn and hay flavor that tastes a bit like fresh rye. Next, you may begin to notice a natural umami sweetness coming from the tea. Eventually, it turns into a flowery note with a grassy taste. There are some tannins in this tea that dance on the top of the tongue, creating a tingling sensation.
In the second brewing, the butternut notes of this tea begin to come out. The tannins begin to get a little bit stronger in the second brewing, but they are still nice and subtle and stay right at the top of the tongue. There are also some fresh grassy and floral notes at the end that develop as the tea lingers in your mouth.
Steeping: 122 degrees F/ 50 degrees C for 1 minute. Can be steeped 3-4 times