Shin-cha Super Premium (Tokujo-can) (2020)

Picture of Shin-cha Super Premium (Tokujo-can) (2020)
Brand:Maeda-en
Style:Shincha
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Region:Japan
Loose/teabag:Loose
Product page:Shin-cha Super Premium (Tokujo-can) (2020)

Ratings & Reviews

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Reviewer pic88 Aroma: 9/10 Flavor: 3/5 Value: 3/5
(44 reviews) on

I was surprised, but also not, about this super premium shincha. You see, I know my tastes and I know that I've loved some "cheap" teas because even though they were inexpensive, they were great teas. I've also had some disappointing experiences with really expensive teas. So, I purchased this with that knowledge somewhere at the back of my mind.

Now, I tried brewing this the same way as the other shincha that I got from Maeda-en and it turned out terrible. I thought I'd go for an even lower temperature, so I went from 75ºC to 70ºC, and holy heck, it felt like I got hit in the head. The effect that the caffeine had on me was miserable. My body was miserable and I could barely finish two small 110ml cups. I then went searching around online and found a suggestion to raise the temperature instead. I didn't want to go to far, so I just settled on 80ºC. This took away that nasty effect, but the tea didn't have nearly as much of a fullness as the other shincha.

Now, I'm open to the notion that this 75/100 rating is more demonstrative of my brewing method. I'd be happy to revise and try to find a better method. But, for the time being, this is the best I've found. I'd be very hesitant to try a low temperature again. I think if I did, I'd try something really, really low -- my kettle goes as low as 40ºC, though I think I'd try 45ºC or 50ºC. I definitely wouldn't try anything in the 70-75ºC range again.

I'll add any notes I have if and when I decide to experiment. For the time being, I'd say that I much prefer the other shincha. I wouldn't order this one again. It was a strange and interesting taste experience, though. The leaves are also beautiful. They're so thin and slender. They look almost like green pine needles.

Update: After brewing this many, many times, I started to have better results. First of all, 80ºC is much better than other temperatures. I use 1tsp (heaping) per 110ml and start at around 20s, then increment up by 5-10s for a few brews. I think that part of it might actually be just letting it sit. I have noticed other green teas not brewing well right after harvest. Maybe some people prefer them this way. To me, they're undrinkable (some of them). It takes some time for them to 'calm down' and then they're quite good. I think the other part was just the brewing process and learning to do it more smoothly. It did take me time to get this one just right, but it was a good tea afterward, so I'm raising the rating. I'd say that I still prefer the other shincha, but this one is much better than before.
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