Hand-picking Japanese Green Tea (shin-cha)

The best Japanese green tea is shin-cha or “new tea” which is the year’s first harvest. May is the tea harvest season throughout most of Japan and many farmers take special care to select the best leaves for use in making shin-cha. While hiking in the hills near our home we met a nice family who were spending the day picking shin-cha the old fashioned way, by hand. Most Japanese farmers use machines to harvest the tea and it was a real treat for us to have a chance to watch this family bring in the harvest the old fashioned way. This friendly family were quick to invite us to join them and our daughter Emily received special instructions from the grandmother on how to properly pick green tea by hand. We were invited to share summer oranges as they took their break and they told us of how the people of their village had slowly reclaimed land from the river bed over several centuries to produce the tea fields they were now working in. Their large farmhouse stood at the top of a nearby hill overlooking the beautiful valley. They even gave us their cards which they made themselves and which proudly featured photos of their tea fields and their lovely village. At the end of this video you will see the extend of this family’s tea field which they told us would provide them with enough tea for their own consumption for a single year.

19 thoughts on “Hand-picking Japanese Green Tea (shin-cha)

  1. Hello monkeysmack, I’m happy to hear that you liked the video. Meeting this nice family and experiencing the hand-picking process was very meaningful to my family and I. I’m delighted we could share this experience with you. -Kurt 🙂

  2. Hello toukab, Thanks for letting me know you liked the video. I’m afraid that I do not know much about commercial green teas and am not sure of the health value of these. Perhaps someone more knowledgably will chime in with an answer. -Kurt

  3. I used to drink tons of Arizona green tea, lipton iced tea and others of that sort. After trying organic green tea from Japan, there is an immediate difference. It definitely relaxes me, and feel a difference in my stress level.

  4. thats my dream field ohh my god is so wide and GREEN

    i like it

    its true than the shincha only at the year rare is? like only 2009 become the picking from 2009?

  5. @skawik I’m happy to hear you enjoyed the video. I think that you are correct in noting that shin-cha is usually sold in the year it was harvested. After that it would no longer be “new” (though likely still quite good). ~Kurt 🙂

  6. @puresickmermaid I actually just ordered some fresh 88th day of Spring Harvests which from what I’ve read is the best.. as I have run out.. After drinking more tea’s I feel Japanese Green tea may taste more bitter but is healthier. Meanwhile Chinese Green tea tastes better, but not as nutritious. Just in my opinion.

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