Tea-picking in Japan begins from Kagoshima and that warm, southern region, and like the northward movement of the "front line" of the blooming of the cherry trees, gradually moves north to the colder regions. During the winter, tea plants store nutrients, and the tender new leaves which sprout in the spring contain concentrated nutrients. Shincha represents these tender new leaves. In Japan, it has traditionally been said that if one drinks tea made of the new leaves picked on the 88th day after the spring equinox (February 4), one can enjoy a year of good health.
Besides the fresh aroma of the young leaves, shincha is characterized by its relatively low content of bitter catechin and caffeine, and relatively high content of amino acid.
Shincha is available only for a limited time. The earliest batch, from southern Japan, comes on the market around late April through May. It is popular in Japan, but is available in only limited amounts outside of Japan. It is prized for its high vitamin content, sweetness, and grassy flavor with resinous aroma and minimal astringency.