Japanese Green Tea - Ichiban-cha

First Crop of the Season (Ichiban-cha)

In Japan, green teas are categorized as first, second and third based on when the tea is being harvested.

  • First harvest of the season is called Ichiban-cha.
  • Second harvest  is called Niban-cha
  • Third harvest  is called Sanban-cha  (Some farms do not even pick the third harvest)

This is also called "New Crop" (or Shin-cha). Since it is the first harvest, this is refereed as "syun" or seasonable. (Japanese culture value the concept of "syun" (seasonable), and example of it is famous haiku where it must use a word of season "syun" in the short poem.)  The characteristic of the first harvest is that the tea leaves are still "young" and brings in richer and clearer aroma.

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