First Crop of the Season (Ichiban-cha)
In Japan, green teas are categorized as first, second, and third based on when the tea is harvested.
- First harvest of the season is called Ichiban-cha (also called Shincha)
- 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 referred to as "syun," or seasonable. Japanese culture value the concept of "syun" (seasonable), and an example of it is a famous haiku where it must use a word of season "syun" in the short poem. The characteristics of the first harvest is that the tea leaves are still "young," and bring in richer and clearer aroma.