Tradition and Innovation (Shincha News Flash)Tradition and Innovation (Shincha News Flash)

Around June 7: (Tencha / Matcha Processing)

Tea sprouts before processing. They are gathered into a big hole.

Tea sprouts just after hand-picked.

Steaming process.

Almost all the steps are automated, and carefully controlled.

Blown upward by a blast of air, the tea leaves soar upward about 6m (19.68ft) and are quickly cooled.

Tea leaves dry in a three or four level fire pit, heated from underneath by a burner.

Inside the processing room. The room is always kept clean.

Tea leaves emerging from the fire pit.

Thicker sections of the tea leaf such as stems and veins may not be completely dry, and are dried again in the fire pit.

Before Tencha is ground into Matcha powder Tea leaves are packed into the big bags.

The room is so long enough to install the fire pit.
Fresh tea leaves are processed just after harvest. At the most, they should be processed within 24 hours after harvest. Tencha (Matcha) processing includes 1) Steaming, 2) Cooling down, 3) Drying, and 4) Cutting / Sorting. Matcha tea leaves before ground into powder are called Tencha.

1) Steaming:
Fresh tea leaves just after harvest are steamed for 30 to 40 seconds. The steaming process stops oxidation (fermentation). Steaming temperature and steaming time should be adjusted by the condition of the tea leaves. The steaming process is one of the most important steps and determines the quality of the finished tea.

2) Cooling down:
Steamed tea leaves are quickly cooled by a strong blast of air. This fast cooling process extracts the aroma and bright color of tea leaves. Blown upward by the blast of air, the tea leaves soar upward about 6m (19.68ft).

3) Drying:
During this step, the tea leaves are dried in a fire pit. Inside of the fire pit is a three or four level structure, heated from underneath by a burner. The temperature of each layer is carefully controlled from 110 to 180C (230 to 356F). Before entering the fire pit, tea leaves are distributed evenly across a conveyor belt so that they dry consistently. There should be no overlap. Tea leaves pass through all levels of the fire pit to dry for about 20 minutes. This drying process determines the aroma and taste of Tencha (Matcha).

4) Cutting / Sorting:
After emerging from the fire pit, the tea leaves are cut and sorted to determine if they are dry enough. Thicker sections of the tea leaf such as stems and veins may not be completely dry, and are dried again in the fire pit. Finally, the cut and dry tea leaves are mixed thoroughly to ensure consistent quality and flavor. At this point, before Tencha is ground into Matcha powder, the tea is known as Aracha of Tencha.

Status of Shincha Teas: Now Available

Shincha is Now Available

At last, the Shincha Harvest started here in the Uji region! Some of our Shincha items are now available.
We have arranged to add four limited edition Shincha items only available this Shincha harvest season, featuring some regular Sencha items with especially enjoyable Shincha flavor. And other Sencha regular items are planned to be replaced later by Shincha step by step.
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!

Limited edition Shincha items

All items below are limited edition of 1,200 packages each ONLY AVAILABLE this spring harvest season. We have arranged various types of Shincha, which will be specially finished to enjoy Shincha's refreshing aroma and flavor. For more information regarding each item, please click on the links below. We hope you will enjoy the refreshing aroma and smooth flavor of each Shincha item!

[Limited] Shincha Traditional (80g/2.82oz): US$25.00 (Now Available)
These tea leaves are finished in the traditional Uji/Kyoto style. Therefore the astringent refreshing aroma and mellow flavor are prominent, and the harmony is excellent...
[Limited] Shincha Fukamushi (80g/2.82oz): US$21.00 (Now Available)
Saemidori breed brings us pleasure in the springtime, to consider the unique flavor and early-ripening. Enjoy the sweet and smooth taste unique to this tea, as well as the fresh aroma...
[Limited] Farmers' Shincha (160g/5.64oz): US$26.00 (Now Available)
Enjoy the natural taste and refreshing aroma of this "Aracha" Shincha at an affordable price. "Aracha" is unprocessed tea that Japanese farmers have been enjoying for centuries...

[Limited] Shincha Gyokuro (80g/2.82oz): US$23.00 (Now Available)
With our Shincha Gyokuro you can enjoy both the refreshing aroma of Shincha and the mellow smooth taste of Gyokuro in one cup of tea. In the tea industry, it is called "Kabuse Cha"...

[Limited] Shincha Matcha (30g/1.06oz) US$26.00 (Now Available)
Recently, Shincha Matcha is enjoyed mainly among teachers or masters of tea ceremony. They enjoy the fresh flavor of Shincha Matcha. And they feel delight of the spring season, inspired by the fresh flavor of Shincha Matcha...
[Limited] Shincha Matcha Refill (120g / 4.23oz): US$83.00 (Now Available)
This Shincha Matcha Refill package is an excellent value. The price is actually discounted 20%. Over time, the refreshing aroma will moderate and the flavor will enrich, so that you can enjoy a subtle variation of aroma and flavor with each refill...

Regular Sencha items with especially enjoyable Shincha flavor

We recommed three regular items especially recommended to enjoy Shincha's remarkable refreshing aroma and fresh and smooth flavor!...

[Shincha!] Sencha Pinnacle (40g/1.41oz): US$28.00 (Now Available)
Sencha Pinnacle, which is the highest quality Sencha produced in Japan, is the same type of tea which has been presented to the Japanese emperor for many years. This tea is grown at the same tea farm with tea that had been presented to the Japanese Emperor, and harvested in the same way, picked by skilled hands...
[Shincha!] Sencha Super Premium (40g/1.41oz): US$21.00 (Now Available)
This tea is grown at the same tea farm with tea that had been presented to the Japanese Emperor for many hundreds of years, and harvested in the same way, picked by skilled hands. With this special tea, you can enjoy the same Shincha flavor enjoyed by Japanese Emperors...

[Shincha!] Organic Sencha Premium (100g/3.53oz): US$24.00 (Now Available)
Organic Sencha's harvest generally starts 7 to 10 days later than conventional grown Sencha. The feature of the flavor is very simple and traditional. We imagine that the Shincha flavor enjoyed hundreds of years ago in historical Japan was just like this. Would you enjoy the simple Shincha flavor that was enjoyed long, long ago?...

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