Review of Shin-cha Select Gold (Hachijyu-Hachiya) (2020)

10 of 105 of 55 of 5100 of 100

This is, easily, the most striking tea that I've ever had in my life -- and I've had hundreds.

First of all, the scent was lightly fruity at the same time that it exhibited notes similar to the umami gyokuro green tea. The color was the most rich green I'd ever seen. I think the description had said that it leans to a blue and it almost does. It's so green, it's almost blue. But, none of this prepared me for the flavor.

I brewed 1 tsp with 110ml of water heated to 75ÂșC for about 20-30s (no rinse). There was some dusting in it -- about as much as fukamushi-cha. The color was a deep green, edging on blue. The flavor was like nothing I'd ever tasted before. The tea had more body than even the most premium green oolongs I'd had. There was such a fullness in the breath, with a sweet/umami note that was so complex, I'd like to think myself good at describing things, but I'm at a loss for words. There was an energy to the tea, beyond anything I'd ever experienced before. It has so much life in it and it's so obvious. I'm almost glad that I spent my life trying hundreds of other teas first. Because, if I'd had this first, I'd have been ruined for other teas.

The flavor is very interesting, it's so complex and so full, but it's not the kind of thing that I think I'd tire of. It's already sold out on the online shop. There were a handful left when I made my own order. With how good this tea is, I can see why people rush to snatch it up. It's seasonal, so it won't be back in stock until spring. Shin-cha, you see, is the first crop and it isn't stored before going through the process to prepare it for consumption and then being sent out. So, this is the freshest you can get, short of picking tea leaves right off the bush.

I'd definitely buy more of this in the future. This is astounding tea. It's in a league of its own. It's also a pleasure that's not the least bit guilty. Because, you have to drink it as soon as possible. You have to absolutely devour this tea, so that it's as fresh as possible when you do. You really shouldn't store it. It also feels so incredibly nourishing. So, my only concern is the inevitable sadness over finishing the last drop and having to wait until next year for more.

I'd recommend this to try to anyone in a heartbeat. You must like green/umami flavored teas, though. This is more like gyokuro than any other tea. So, if you don't like gyokuro, this wouldn't be for you. But, if you do enjoy a green/umami gyokuro with a sweetness, this would be above and beyond that and you'd likely fall in love with it at first sip.

I'm going to continue on, brewing as many cups out of this as possible. If you manage to pick some up for yourself at some point, enjoy!

Update: I'm changing this to 100/100. This is perfect tea, even though I typically think that "nothing is perfect," this is perfect tea. So, it deserves the rating. As for the value, this is a bit expensive, but it's also worth it. So, I'm giving it 5-stars there.

Add your own review

Login or Sign Up to comment on this review.