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Article: ISSO TEA SCHOOL Vol.1 What is Ichibancha?

ISSO TEA SCHOOL Vol.1 一番茶とは?

ISSO TEA SCHOOL Vol.1 What is Ichibancha?

Hello! This is ISSO TEA.

"I chose ISSO TEA as a gift for my dear friends!"
"I gave ISSO TEA to my friend overseas!
"I took it overseas and enjoyed a tea party!"
"I put a teabag in a bottle and take it to work every day!"
"I'm enjoying my tea time with my family!"

After the release, we've received comments like these, and it makes us very happy that our world is slowly but steadily expanding.

Thank you!

ISSO TEA is "contemporary organic Japanese tea."

What is the contemporary lifestyle with Japanese tea?
To explore this possibility, we are opening ISSO TEA SCHOOL.
If you're looking to discover the world of Japanese tea, or if you want to discover what other ways there are to enjoy it, come explore with us!

ISSO TEA SCHOOL Vol.1 What is Ichibancha?

The word "Ichibancha" appears in the description of our ISSO TEA tea leaves.
First of all, what exactly is "Ichibancha"? I received a question, so today I would like to answer that question.

"Ichibancha" is tea made from the first buds that emerge in the spring of the year, and is usually picked between April and May. Starting from Tanegashima in the south, the leaves move north through Kyushu and Honshu, like a cherry blossom front. Tea leaves at this time are rich in nutrients stored over the winter, and have an exceptional aroma and flavor.

Characteristics of Ichibancha

1. Rich taste and aroma

The new leaves of Ichibancha tea are very tender and rich in amino acids, including theanine, the umami component of tea. This is why Ichibancha tea has its distinctive umami and sweetness.

When exposed to sunlight, theanine turns into catechin, an astringent component. Therefore, by loosely covering the tea with black coverings to block the sunlight, the umami and sweetness are further enhanced and the astringency is suppressed. Covering the tea fields is a time-consuming task, but it is an important task that affects the taste.
2. High nutritional value

The new shoots that sprout in spring are fresh and full of nutrients stored during the winter, making them full of vitality and rich in theanine and vitamins. Theanine has a relaxing effect and helps reduce stress and improve concentration. Vitamins also have antioxidant properties, improving immunity and preventing cell aging.

3. Limited harvest season

Organically grown Ichibancha tea is only harvested during a limited period in the spring, making it extremely rare. For this reason, we take great care in cultivating and harvesting it to maximize its quality.

ISSO TEA's First Tea

At ISSO TEA, we offer a variety of products to bring out the best in the characteristics of Ichibancha tea.

Signature Sencha
You can enjoy the delicate flavor, sweetness, rich aroma, and beautiful color of organic first-grade tea.
Yutakamidori Sencha
You can enjoy a luxurious variety of tea made from organic Yutaka Midori first-flush tea leaves selected from the highest quality tea leaves.

Hojibo Roasted Tea
Only 5% of the rare organic first-grade tea stems are selected and roasted in a specially developed far-infrared roaster, giving off a refined, sweet aroma.

Genmaicha Roasted Rice Tea
We carefully select organic rice of the distinctly fragrant Hinohikari variety from Kumamoto Prefecture and combine it with organic first-grade tea from Kyushu to fully enjoy the balance of flavor and aroma.

Lemongrass Green Tea
This tea is made by combining organic lemongrass grown on the Goto Islands in Nagasaki Prefecture with the stems of only 5% of the rare organic first-season tea leaves, allowing you to enjoy its refreshing aroma and flavor.

Black Bean Hojicha
ISSO Kuromame Houjicha is a luxurious combination of Shukukuro black beans, blessed with the majestic nature and mineral-rich mountain waters of Hokkaido, and rare organic first-grade tea.

Ceremonial Grade Matcha
The elegant and refined aroma, the outstanding umami and full-bodied flavor, and the beautiful deep green color are the result of the craftsmanship of Japanese artisans, achieved using organic matcha. Carefully ground in a stone mill, the fluffy foam can be enjoyed.

Click here for a list of ISSO TEA products

We will continue to offer various ideas so that you can fully enjoy the charm of Ichibancha tea.

We would like to continue exploring the undiscovered possibilities of Japanese tea.
If there's anything you'd like to know or explore, please let us know!


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