Tencha / Matcha Processing (Shincha News Flash! )Tencha / Matcha Processing (Shincha News Flash! )

Around May 26: (Shincha Harvest of Gyokuro and Matcha)

Hand picking harvest under "Tana" canopy.

Inside "Tana" canopy. "Tana" brings a feeling of peaceful tranquility and comfort.

Tea sprouts just before picked.

Recently it is not easy to recruit for hand picking.

The bag is filled with fresh tea leaves. It is very heavy.

Only young sprouts are picked by skilled hands.

Tea leaves picked and placed in a bamboo basket.

Tea leaves are replaced to large bag.

Tea leaves are replaced in baskets at the factory and processed immediately.

Various insects are also active at this time of year.

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

Warm and soft slit light between "Tana" canopy is reflected on young sprouts.

Under "Tana" canopy, tea leaves turn darker green.

Skilled tea harvester can hand pick just up to 12 to 18kg of fresh tea leaves throughout the day.

Tea trees after harvest.
The harvest of tea leaves for Gyokuro and Matcha started around May 20. As with the Sencha harvest, this year's Gyokuro and Matcha harvest is later than usual.

Gyokuro and Matcha are grown in the shade for 20 to 30 days before harvest. High grade Gyokuro and Matcha are shaded from sunlight by a structure called "Tana" as in the above picture. It is reasonably dark and amazingly cool and quiet in the "Tana" structure. Most of all, the air in the "Tana" is filled with the fresh green scent of tea leaves, so brisk and invigorating. While the tea trees are covered by the "Tana" for 20 to 30 days to shade sunlight, if you walk beneath the canopy, among the green tea trees, you feel that the tea trees surely must breathe and effuse elements which are healing and comforting, though it has not been proven by science. Under the "Tana" canopy, the air feels thick with these healthful and comforting elements.
Anyone who walks under the "Tana" is aware of an immense feeling of serenity and tranquility. Indeed, the women who pick Gyokuro and Matcha under the "Tana" say that in contrast to the Sencha harvest in full sunlight, which brings joy from the bright sunlight, hearing birdcalls and murmur of a brook, the Gyokuro and Matcha harvest under the "Tana" brings a feeling of peaceful tranquility and comfort because of the cool shade, quiet calm, and the heavy scent of the green tea trees.

To harvest tea from a farm that is 1,000 square meters (1,308 sq yards) in size, it takes 2 days with about 25 people picking the tea leaves by hand. In contrast, it takes only a half-day with 2 or 3 persons to trim the same amount of tea leaves by machine. A tea farm of this size usually produces approximately 100 to 120kg (220 to 265lb) of Aracha tea leaves (unfinished / including stems, veins, and powders, etc.) for Gyokuro or Matcha.

Gyokuro and Matcha gain an enriched flavor over time, and are traditionally enjoyed some months after harvest. In fact, a very special type of Gyokuro called "Kuradashi Gyokuro" and "Kuradashi Matcha" are aged for a few years, like a fine red wine. However, today's tea connoisseurs favor both fresh Gyokuro and Matcha and enriched Kuradashi Gyokuro and Matcha. With fresh Gyokuro and Matcha, you can enjoy not only the smooth and mellow taste, but also a unique fresh aroma characteristic of Shincha. This unique freshness cannot be found in typical enriched Gyokuro or Matcha.

We are now currently offering Shincha Gyokuro and Shincha Matcha, which are both limited edition teas only available this harvest season. If you love Gyokuro or Matcha, you are sure to enjoy the unique freshness of these two very special limited-edition teas.

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$24.00 (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$20.00 (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$24.00 (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$22.00 (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$24.00 (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$77.00 (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$26.00 (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$20.00 (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$23.00 (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?...

Newsletter Subscriptions

Sign up for our newsletter and you will get valuable information and knowledge related to Japanese green tea. They will surely enhance your green moments. The topics include;

  • Information on our new items
  • Special seasonal offers
  • Health facts on Japanese green tea
  • Japanese tea history, art and culture
  • Tips to enjoy Japanese tea even more
  • Updates on this year's tea, Shincha, harvest