‘Shincha’ is an important time of the year for green tea purveyors. The word literally means ‘new tea’, and it refers to the first harvest of green tea leaves of the year, which occurs in springtime. Green tea goes stale quickly, so traditionally in Japan, people could only drink fresh green tea during the harvest time. After this, the tea would be roasted and made into hojicha or genmaicha to preserve it.

Although the storage techniques we have in the modern day mean that we can have fresh green tea any time of the year, shincha is still an exciting time for green tea lovers. The leaves from the first harvest are still prized as the freshest of the fresh. With the popularity of matcha ice cream these days, even ice cream chain Baskin Robbins are releasing a celebratory new flavour to mark the occasion.

The flavour has been announced as ‘caramel matcha au lait’. The three tastes of bitter matcha, mellow milk, and sweet caramel work together to create a perfect harmony. The flavour celebrates both matcha ice cream and matcha au lait, two popular ways we enjoy green tea nowadays.

The flavour will be available for a limited time from 28th April 2022, costing 390 yen for a regular size/single scoop.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.