How to Brew Shincha

Shincha is one of the best green teas that Japan has to offer.

It’s a seasonal tea, because it’s only available during the first flush.

I hadn’t written about brewing shincha, but better late than never.

In truth, I used to brew it just like a sencha.

First of all I must say that there are different recommendations online, and at the end you should go by your personal taste, don’t just blindly follow what you read in this or any other tea blog 🙂

In other words, start with the general guideline and then experiment from there.

I did a preliminary research in Japanese websites, and found out that shincha is often brewed at 80 °C (176 °F).

This is counterintuitive because for higher grades of green tea it’s often better to brew at lower temperatures.

Eventually, this video from Kurihara Tea, plus other sources that described the same or similar parameters convinced me to prepare it that way.

It’s actually similar to the way that you would brew a fukamushi sencha.

Shincha brewing guidelines

Use 2 to 3 grams of shincha,  60 ml (2 oz) of water at 80 °C (176 °F), and infuse for 40 seconds.

The rationale is that by keeping the water at 80 °C, the aroma of this green tea is intensified. Also, the short brewing time keeps it from becoming bitter.

For the next re-infusions you can keep the same parameters, or perhaps shorten the infusion time.

As a side note, if it’s a fukamushi shincha, you should use 30 seconds and maybe consider lowering the temperature to 70 °C (158 °F). This type of tea can become bitter easily.

I’ve been preparing shincha this way and have liked it very much. Too bad I already drank most of it.

I guess I’ll have to wait until next year.

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9 Responses to How to Brew Shincha

  1. Valeria says:

    Thank you for the tips, Ricardo! I’m just waiting for some shincha from the Tea Crane and will try to make it at °C as you recommend…

  2. Valeria says:

    WOW! I hope you’ll have a great time there! 🙂

  3. There is a coterie of Japanese shincha drinkers who believe that it is best to let shincha age until the fall before drinking. I have tried this and found that shincha is sweeter and smoother then.

    • Hi Terry.

      Japanese tea is often aged, it takes out some of the grassiness and it becomes more mellow. It also has to do with making sure that a particular harvest lasts all year in perfect condition, especially for matcha.

      In shincha it must be true as well. But there’s the urgency of many tea drinkers of drinking the first harvest of the year, the fresher the better.

  4. Javier says:

    Hola Ricardo,

    Thank you for all the information you put online. It helped me a lot when I was shopping for tea in Japan.

    I just brew some shincha for me and my wife according to your instructions and it was just perfect!

  5. Joshua wrng says:

    Today i had my fukamushi sincha:

    6gr / 100mL of water
    40s brewing time

    it tastes wonderful 🙂

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