Not long after the sun rose this morning, the sky clouded over and it began to rain. The aroma of an early summer’s morning was caught on the misty breeze, soft thunder was mixing with the pitter-patter of rain, and flower petals from tree buds were floating in the humid air. As I sat beside my screen door looking out, I thought that it would be a great opportunity to brew my Uji Shincha from Ippodo. 😀
Ippodo’s shincha comes from Uji, Japan. As a part of Kyoto, Uji is considered to be the traditional centre of Japanese green tea.
The leaves of Uji Shincha are long and thin, as most lightly steamed sencha are. There is a soft scent consisting of overtones of a springtime freshness, as well as faint undertones of seaweed.
I have found this shincha to be fairly easy to brew.
The parameters I use are very run-of-the-mill when it comes to leaf and steeping time. For the leaf, 4.2g per 125ml (the size of my cup) is used. As for the infusion time, 1:00 minute is sufficient.
When it comes to water temperature, I like to brew at 73C (163F). I find the lower temp (compared to the higher temperature Ippodo’s pamphlets usually recommend) brings out more complexity in the flavour. It also adds a touch of astringency, but I find this helps maximize the overall taste.
Thoughts on Ippodo’s Uji Shincha
First sips of this Uji Shincha reveal a refreshing, delicate flavour. Notes of sweetness and seaweed make the taste rather dynamic. A hint of astringency tickles the back of the throat, but not enough to ruin this asamushi’s elegant demeanour. The liquid is a pale green with no cloudiness.
Up to 5 infusions can be achieved with this asamushi. Vegetal notes become more present in the second and third infusions, as the tea takes on a slightly cloudier colour.
For the second infusion, brew for 30 seconds at the same temperature as the first. For the third, brew for 45 seconds, a few degrees hotter. The fourth can be brewed for 1:30, several degrees hotter still. For the fifth, brew for 4:00 with the hottest water available.
Wrapping It Up
As this was my first year ordering shincha from Ippodo, I wasn’t sure what to expect. However, I am delighted to say that I thoroughly enjoy their shincha offering.
As I listen to the rain, sipping on my green tea, I know I will be ordering Uji Shincha again next season.