Bancha is picked in the later summer in Japan. Broader leaves are used, with a slightly higher level of oxidation that brings out tones of hay and sea breeze. A more robust tea than Sencha, Bancha is an everyday tea consumed at most meals. The majority of tea consumed in Japan is green, with Bancha making a significant percentage of that proportion.
Fresh, crisp and clean, our organic Bancha allows for a more mellow tea suitable for all times of the year. Banchas are often overlooked in favor of Senchas, but we feel that our Bancha offers a classic brew well worth exploring, especially as it gives a good idea of the diversity of Japanese teas.
With all green teas, we would strongly suggest not using boiling water. Let the water cool for a couple minutes, which will ensure a less bitter brew.
Traditional Japanese brewing style is to use more leaves (around 3-4 teaspoons), and brew it for shorter times of around 30 seconds. After the 3-4 infusion you can increase the brewing time to over a minute.
Senchas are prized in Japan. They are steam dried to halt oxidation, giving rise to a rich palate of freshly cut grass and sea notes. This Sencha grown on Mt. Fuji in the Shizuoka district is picked earlier in the season than Banchas. Mt. Fuji offers rich, fertile soil that provides optimal growing conditions for tea in the region, and these spring pluckings are the ultimate example of Japanese green tea.
There are several ways to enjoy drinking Japanese green teas. Apart from the usual leaves in hot water technique, an alternative method is to apply an ice-cube on top of a teaspoon of leaves (we fine it works best in a small jam jar). Once the ice has melted, press the water out of the leaves using a spoon and enjoy a super-concentrated "tea shot". Be warned though: it is very green and very astringent to the point of mouth puckering.
We strongly urge you not to use boiling water with this tea. Instead, let the water cool for several minutes. This will ensure that the leaves are not burned.