Shincha News Flash! (Aracha Processing)Shincha News Flash! (Aracha Processing)

Around May 10: (Shincha Harvest at the Birthplace of Uji Tea)

Obuku is the first place where tea trees were planted in the Uji region of Japan.

Tea sprouts, which will be picked very soon.

Sencha grown in the Obuku area was presented to the Japanese Emperors for many years.

Sencha Pinnacle and Sencha Super Premium, which are grown at Obuku area and specially picked by skilled hands.

Idle banter is one of pleasant times for hand-picking ladies.

Everyone is very happy, because we can savor the joy of the harvest.

Obuku area is surrounded by rich nature, which is an ideal place for Japanese green tea to grow.

Young tea sprouts are gathered into big bamboo cages, and carried to a tea processing factory.

Now is the time for the Shincha (Sencha) harvest that we have all been waiting for! Shincha harvest started in the Uji region some days ago.

Obuku, where is located in mountain ravines, is the first place where tea trees were planted in the Uji region of Japan. Sencha produced in the Obuku area was presented to the Japanese Emperors for many years.

Today most tea leaves are trimmed by machine and traditional hand picked Sencha is rarely grown and is therefore very precious. The flavor and aroma of hand picked Sencha is much more mellow and refreshing than tea trimmed by machine.

One of the difficult aspects of the hand pick harvest is to assemble the team who will pick the tea. The farmer must decide the harvest date a week before at least due to the issue. Rain dew can ruin the harvested tea sprouts, so tea harvests are unable to be done during and after rain. Besides, this season's weather is quite uncertain. And it is said that tea leaves grow one sprout every four days during this season, and the best harvest timing is when three or four new sprouts appear. If too early, the harvest yield would be low, and if too late, the tea quality would be low. The ideal hand pick Sencha harvest date is just a few days every year.
To decide the harvest date, the farmer carefully checks the growth of the tea sprouts, weather forecast, and the temperature changes from the past few years.

Even a skilled tea harvester can hand pick just up to 6 to 8kg of fresh tea leaves all through the day. The picked fresh tea leaves are processed and finished, at which point the total weight of the tea leaves is only about 18% of the fresh tea leaves. Even if about 20 skilled tea harvesters pick all through the day, we can only gather around 25 kg of finished precious hand picked Sencha. From the time the sprouts appear to the time the leaves become too large to harvest is just a few days. So tea leaves for Shincha (Sencha) must be harvested as quickly as possible in one long stretch. Therefore it is never easy to pick large amounts of tea leaves by skilled hands in just a few days.

Top grade tea, hand picked Sencha is grown only in quite a small amount, because there is only one small place in all of the world perfect for farming this special tea - a tiny area of land located right here in the Uji region of Japan. Therefore, hand picked Sencha is very precious.

At last, we can celebrate the first tea harvest of the year with Shincha and enjoy its wonderful fresh flavor!
(The tea leaves for our Sencha Pinnacle and Sencha Super Premium are grown in the Obuku area, the birth place of Uji tea, and picked by skilled hands.)

Status of Shincha Teas

Shincha (the first tea of the year) is harvested starting at the beginning of May in Kyoto. We are planning to sell some limited edition Shincha items only available this Shincha harvest season. Celebrate our first tea harvest of the year with Hibiki-an's Shincha and enjoy the remarkable fresh flavor, which can only be experienced once every year! Please wait and see!

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