Shincha Kunpu ($19.75)

Shincha Kunpu is an Eighty-Eighth (88th) Night Shincha that is lightly steamed. Eighty-Eighth Night Shincha refers to Shincha picked on the 88th day after the first day of spring in the traditional Japanese calendar. It is around May 2nd. The Eighty-Eighth Night - "Hachijuhachiya" in Japanese - is a special day in Japanese agriculture since it is considered about the time all the plants and vegetation begin to sprout.

  • Origin: Honyama, Shizuoka
  • Harvest:First Flush 2018
  • Species: Yabukita
Den's 2018 Shincha Houryoku Tasting Comments:
Every year when I receive Kunpu, I taste it with Hashiri Shincha first and compare them to each other. Both are lightly steamed and I like to see how the young leaf is different from an even younger leaf. In a normal year, Kunpu has a more matured Umami flavor whereas Hashiri has a fresh greenish flavor. However this year is the opposite. Since I knew of the mature taste of Hashiri already, I was curious if Kunpu had an even stronger flavor. When I opened the bag of Kunpu, a good seaweed like aroma came up, but not as strong as Hashiri. When I sipped, it has a nice balance of freshness and Umami, but again not as strong as Hashiri. I thought this year's Kunpu was not very attractive to me. Umm... while I was still thinking about it, I came to want to taste it again. Again, very gentle taste, but not as strong flavor as Hashiri. While tasting it again, I came to realize that it never bored me. It is very smooth and gentle yet the taste complexity - Umami, light astringency and herbaceous sweetness - stayed in my mouth. I could drink many cups of this tea all day. Eventually I noticed how elegant and calm this year's Kunpu is. You may agree that the first cup does not impress you much, but I think you will also agree that this year's Kunpu, with its gentle cup, delights you.
Den's Preferred Brewing:
Water: 2oz @ 160F
Leaves: 2 grams or 1 rounded teaspoon
Steep: 90 sec
2nd Cup: Water @ 180F; Steep 30 sec

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