Shincha is the first, fleeting flush of Sencha green tea, heralding new growth and the arrival of spring in Japan. Shincha is celebrated for its scarcity and superbly Spring-like taste, with the sweetest floral notes, underpinned with subtle seaweed. To echo the spirit of celebration and the fact that this tea joins our Platinum Collection, we’ve created a special jelly that complements the nature of this tea, and adds an effervescent note of champagne.
Serves: 6 – 12
Duration: 15 minutes, plus setting overnight
Gyokuro Shincha Pairing – Elderflower and Champagne Jelly
5 Leaves of Gelatine
1 Bottle of Champagne
30ml Good Quality Elderflower Cordial
75g Caster Sugar
Soak gelatine leaves in cold water and set aside
Dissolve sugar in pan with 100ml water, plus a glass of Champagne
Drain gelatine leaves and squeeze to wring out excess water
Stir into the pan until dissolved
Allow to cool before slowly adding the remaining Champagne and elderflower cordial
Decant into 6 long Champagne flutes, or divide into other glasses of your choice – you can make the jellies stretch quite far if you would prefer them to be smaller
If you like, you can add fresh raspberries or fresh elderflower blooms if you can find them (they are in season from mid May to July and it is best to pick them when the sun has been shining on them, so that the blooms are fully open. Remember to give them a rinse first.)
Place jellies in the fridge overnight to set, or in the morning ahead of an evening soiree
Serve alongside small cups of warm Shincha Gyokuro to truly admire the harmony between them. The slightly saline note of seaweed complements the minerality of Champagne, while the elderflower only further enhances the florality of the aromas of this tea. Raise the glasses of both to toast, as Shincha is only here for a short while and should be savoured much in the same way as a good Champagne.
These jellies will keep surprisingly well over a number of days, though the top layer will set harder as time passes. It is best to enjoy them within three days, if you can resist them that long.