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Shincha - New Tea (Maeda-en)

Wednesday is Green Tea, White Tea, Rooibos, Oolong and Tisane (Herbal) Review Day!

Every Spring in Japan as the tea plants grow out their first leaves they’re meticulously harvested for the season’s most prized and celebrated beverage. Oohashiri Shincha or “New Tea” is the first tea harvest of the year and provides a rather unique taste and aroma that’s simply irresistible!

Quick Info

FAB* Rating 4/5/2
Company Maeda-en
Blend Name Oohashiri Shincha
Blend Base Green Tea
Country of Origin Japan
Package Type Loose in tin
Price per Package $35 USD
Quantity 2oz
*Flavor, Aroma, Boldness

Ahhh…. Spring! The time of flowers bees, baseball and… tea? That’s right… tea! This time of year is especially celebrated in Asia… but no one does it like Japan… and this year’s vintage is simply sublime!

I ran into Maeda-en on my last day at the World Tea Expo (WTE) as I was scurrying about in the final fifteen minutes the show floow was open. They offered me this wonderful tea to enjoy.

Very very rare and pretty darned expensive at about $35 (USD) for 2 ounces, this Oohashiri Shincha is only available from mid to late April. I really lucked out in receiving this most delicious of gifts!

The mixture of light green medium length leaves mixed with a few darker leaves and a notable absence of stems leads to a surprisingly beautiful bright green liquor (color.) The closest I’ve seen is a Tencha or Matcha (the powdered form of Tencha.)

The aroma from this Oohashiri Shincha is extremely fresh, almost sweet vegetal overtones downplay the followup notes of astringency common with almost all Japanese green teas. The smell was so fantastic I couldn’t set the canister down for several minutes. The brewed aroma is in full alignment with the expectations built from the dry leaves.

Vegetal flavors similar to fresh leaf spinach with a light sweetness and almost no bitterness or astringency to speak of make this a stunningly easy tea to drink. Sadly there isn’t much of a tail or finish to speak of… but it’s an easy thing to forgive with the complementing flavor and aroma both so pleasant.

I recommend everyone check out this Oohashiri Shincha from Maeda-en!