Obubu’s Limited Edition Okinawa Shincha 2014

Origin: Okinawa
Harvest: Spring

I am almost a year late on this, but we can pretend it is a Kuradashi Sencha (an enriched tea that is best a couple months after harvest), except that it is a Shincha and I have never heard of a Kuradahi Shincha. Regardless I’ve been having a lot of Taiwanese oolongs recently and have been craving a proper Japanese green tea. So I’ve decided on trying this Okinawan Shincha that I bought from Obubu.

Dry Leaves: Smells very fresh and grassy. Some of the leaves look machine harvested, but this was a relatively inexpensive tea so it isn’t that big of deal. Leaves are mostly blueish green although there is quite a bit of yellows and lighter greens.

First Steeping
Temperature: 160oF
Brewing Time: One Minute
Aroma: Grassy
Flavor: Grassy and Buttered Vegetables
Tasting Notes: It was very simple, but perfect. I was a little surprised at how murky the water became when I was brewing this in my houhin. Besides that this reminds me a little of a Kabushincha and a little bit of Gyokuro, although it is missing the sweetness of a kabushincha and the depth of a gyokuro. Regardless it was quite interesting despite its simplicity.

It had almost no astringency. I almost want to place this on the sweeter side of the bitter-sweet spectrum of Shinchas, but it lacks sweetness and bitterness which is something I have not encountered often with Japanese greens. It is a very neutral tea.

Second Steeping
Temperature: 165oF
Brewing Time: One and a half Minutes
Aroma: Wet Grass              
Flavor: Grassy, Vegetal and Citrus
Tasting Notes: Still a very neutral tea, although the citrus flavor is making it a little tart. It still is a very mild tea, I might have described this as plain, but it is very subtle and delicious. While I do tend to prefer teas with stronger or more complex flavors, this was quite nice. Definitely not the type to dazzle you, but the kind you can only appreciate with a clean palate and plenty of time.

This was my favorite of the three infusions. It feels like the quintessential Japanese tea, very reserved, but one can easily see the prettiness if one pays attention.

Third Steeping
Temperature: 170oF
Brewing Time: Two Minutes
Aroma: Wet Grass
Flavor: Grassy, Vegetal, Tangy Berry and Citrus
Tasting Notes: It’s starting to remind me a lot of a guricha which is a shame, it is starting to lose some of its charm. Not that it isn’t still enjoyable, but it is becoming a little generic. In later infusions it develops an almond flavor and becomes essentially guricha. Starting to be on the sweeter side.

Overall an interesting Shincha and for 50g at $11 (at the time of writing this) it is not a bad deal. Definitely worth checking out if you are a fan of Senchas, and it is a nice introduction to Japanese teas if you are worried about bitterness. I did find the packaging a little garish, but it was an amusing contrast to a very unassuming tea to have a very bright package. My major criticism of this is that it loses its uniqueness in later infusions. I’ve been drinking an ungodly amount of vibrant and loud teas this year; I have been craving the simpler more refined teas and the first two infusions was both simple and refined, but it started to lose both in later infusions when minor flavors started to appear. Regardless I am quite fond of this tea and it was an interesting experience to see a tea blossom from a meek beauty into something louder.


Just a guy who likes tea.