Long steamed to accentuate the sweeter, less astringent characteristics of the tea, making a buttery smooth infusion enriched with fragments of leaf.
After checking the fields everyday from the end of March to early April the farmer, Horiguchi-san, harvests the tea at the exact point the first bud has reached maturity.
The first flush is called "Shincha" in Japanese. Shin (新) means "new" and Cha (茶) means "tea" = "first tea of the season".
Sometimes also called "ichibancha" (first flush tea).
Fukamushi is steamed two or three times longer than the more common asamushi sencha. Fukamushi means "steamed for a long time".
This changes the appearance and the taste - the longer steaming makes the tea taste softer and sweeter with less astringency. The tea leaves themselves become softer and more fragile when they are dried. As tiny pieces break off you get a deeper colour, more cloudy texture in your teacup.
The more broken appearance might make you think Fukamushi Shincha is of lesser quality – but just taste it to see that this is definitely not the case. Ingesting a little of this pure leaf means you get more of the rich nutrients than a pure, clear infusion.