Friday, March 19, 2010

Shincha 2010

Now we, Sugimoto America, are very happy to announce that 2010 Shincha preorder has started.

Shincha literally means "new tea" in Japanese and is the very first cut of green tea. During the wintertime, tea plants absorb and stock nutrients from soil. When the spring arrives, the plants, full of energy and nutrients, begin to sprout and show the amazing color of vibrant green.

Shincha is technically equal to Sencha, which is made of young tea leaves only. But only the tea harvested in early spring is called "Shincha." Shincha has much more Theanine, the component of sweetness, than Sencha.

Just like the last year, we offer 3 kinds of Shincha - Temomi Shincha, Hashiri Shincha, and Hachiju Hachiya Shincha. Last year, surprisingly, there were so many inquiries for Temomi Shincha. Not only to the U.S., we sent the Temomi to France!

Temomi Shincha
Temomi means "hand kneading" in Japanese and Temomi Shincha is 100% hand-made green tea. When the Sen Cha was created centuries ago, this Temomi method is commonly used, but today machine replaces the labor. Recent years, Temomi technique is vanishing.
Temomi Shincha is a very special tea for a special occasion. If you would like to try the truly traditional taste of green tea, this is definitely your choice.

Hashiri Shincha
Hashiri means "early season" in Japanese. Our Hashiri Shincha is produced from very young leaves harvested at the end of April. These early-season leaves are very soft and contain a lot of sweetness. This is the taste of spring.

Hachiju Hachiya Shincha
Hachiju Hachiya literally means "88 nights," and refers to the eighty-eighth day since the beginning of spring. The period of time lets tea plants matured, and Hachiju Hachiya tea leaves have the perfect balance of sweetness and bitterness.

Shincha is a special tea for Japanese people. I believe these Sinchas will herald the arrival of spring.

Friday, March 5, 2010

International Restaurant & Foodservice Show NY

International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of NY was held from February 28 to March 2. To meet my customers in NY, I flied to JFK on February 24, and that was my mistake. On February 26, 4th biggest snow in 141 years hit Manhattan! 20.9 inches reported at the Central Park!! My country in Japan, Shizuoka, is very warm and rarely have snow, so this was my 1st experience to have such a huge snow storm - I was very lucky (or unlucky).

Let me introduce one of our customers in NY - BOZU Restaurant in Brooklyn. They are serving our teas and have very unique dessert - Hojicha Pudding. It had slight Hojicha flavor with very soft texture. I really love it. If you have chance to visit Brooklyn, please visit Bozu and try Hojicha Pudding.

At the end, International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of NY ended with a huge success. Japan Pavillion of this show was the largest Japan Pavillion ever, and there were so many people visiting to try Japanese specialty foods. We served more than thousand cups of tea samples and received many positive feedbacks. Especially, our new products - Sencha Powder and Genmaicha Powder attracted a lot of attention of restaurant buyers. Sencha Powder and Genmaicha Powder are very easy ways to serve delicious green tea. You just need to mix it with hot or cold water. In Japan, these powder teas are recognized as "eco-friendly tea" and start being used in many Sushi restaurants.