The season of Shincha (this year’s new harvest tea) and summer teas.

I was in Japan in May, visiting Kyoto, Tokyo, Karatsu, Arita, Mashiko and Kasama. It has become a regular trip, going to stay at each place, and it’s wonderful to find myself returning, with so much to see and so many delicious things to taste.  

In Kyoto, I was able to have my regular meetings and tasting sessions with Ippodo and Marukyu Koyamaen, the city’s two legendary tea makers and merchants, which took place in their grand flagship stores. Both these companies have been operating for over 300 years and have incredible reputations for dealing with the finest Japanese teas. They are direct competitors, and normally would not allow a single outlet like ourselves to sell both their teas in the same shop. We are honoured to be one of the very rare tea merchants to have the chance to promote Hoshino tea from Ippodo as well as from Marukyu Koyamaen in the same store! Although it snows quite a lot in winter, Kyoto can be very hot in summer. It was already pretty hot in May. So it was really delicious to be able to taste ice cold Shincha (this year’s new tea) while I was in Kyoto.

Here are some very refreshing options for iced green tea you could try out at home this summer. So delicious when the temperature is rising!

  •  Simply brew some loose sencha (green tea) in a bottle, using water at room temperature. Keep the bottle in the fridge overnight. You will be able to enjoy wonderful iced green tea in the morning.
  • Brew some loose sencha (green tea) in a tea pot, slightly stronger than normal (using around 5g for each cup of tea), with hot water at around 70 degrees. Wait for around 1 minute, and then serve with a few cubes of ice. 

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