Something about Bancha . . .


Made from leaves that have not been oxidized.

Something about Bancha . . .

Postby fire_snake » Dec 4th, '12, 11:26

I can't quite put my finger on it, but there's just something about Bancha that is wonderful.

I bought some on the cheap (I assume most of it is) - a whole bag of it, over the weekend. My first Bancha purchase. I expected to see shavings and dust, and leaves that just looked unwholesome in general. Much to my surprise, I was met with a lovely, grassy aroma. The leaves are large and dark green. They look strong and substantial. The aroma of the leaves, when left to sit in a wet shiboridashi, is of a full grassy, toasted sort. Very inviting.

The tea tastes full and bright - this is not a weak tea. Heavy grassiness, but with a little kick, sort of a toasty finish, perhaps due to the twigs.

I felt a little drugged after the first cup. Man, is that grassiness ever pronounced. I have to say, my first Bancha experience was not at all unpleasant.

Cheers.



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Re: Something about Bancha . . .

Postby Teacup1980 » Dec 4th, '12, 16:44

Which vendor did you buy from? I'd like to try.
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Re: Something about Bancha . . .

Postby NOESIS » Dec 4th, '12, 16:46

I'm a big fan of bancha! An excellent, casual drinking tea. Much less temperamental than fine Sencha. Lots of leaf and boiling water for 30 s yields a very savory cup. By far my favorite genmaicha, Ippodo's "Obukucha', uses bancha as the base tea.
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Re: Something about Bancha . . .

Postby Chip » Dec 4th, '12, 18:07

... hmmmm, I'm in the mood for bancha! :mrgreen:
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Re: Something about Bancha . . .

Postby sencha » Dec 4th, '12, 23:38

Why drink bancha when there is sencha available? Is the taste significantly different?

Edit: I'm looking at prices at Upton, and it seems their bancha is more expensive than their basic sencha. I would assume the sencha is of higher quality, no... :?:
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Re: Something about Bancha . . .

Postby edkrueger » Dec 5th, '12, 00:02

Even if I could get unlimited amounts of the best sencha, I'd still drink some bancha. Bancha and sencha are different. Thank said, I'd take a good bancha over a crappy sencha every time.
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Re: Something about Bancha . . .

Postby fire_snake » Dec 6th, '12, 12:57

Sorry for the delayed reply.

To answer the question above (Teacup1980), I'll admit that I just picked some up on a lark at the local Chinese supermarket. The writing on the packaging looked to be in hiragana or katagana (not kanji), and it said it was from Japan. There was a label in english with nutrition information stuck over the Japanese version. The bag was well-sealed. The leaves looked big and green. Very inviting, actually.

Seemed legit.

I wasn't expecting much for 250 grams at $7 CDN, but I was pleasantly surprised. Next time I go there (I have to get a clay/ceramic pot in which to cook my Chinese tonic herbs), I'll take a photo of the bag and upload it.
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Re: Something about Bancha . . .

Postby rdl » Dec 6th, '12, 13:03

fire_snake,
i am not sure which bancha you're drinking but i disagree with the idea that bancha is a by-product because there are so many grades and styles of it. i have been drinking the kagoshima bancha from zencha, it is fantastic. like the bancha you posted. i have another that is larger leaves, unrolled, twigs and stems, from tottori. the opposite of your decsription, it's more like a autumn dry leaf taste, but it comes with the traditional saying of the people that drink it...lol, how bancha is the evening drink to relax the spirit.
if you do get a bag of taste-less bancha with dust and all... i would return it. that is the collection of what's swept up from the bottom, that is cheap. but as you just discovered, if you can pay a little more, there is real drinking pleasure to be had.
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Re: Something about Bancha . . .

Postby JRS22 » Dec 6th, '12, 16:56

I began my tea journey at Harney's and I used to buy a flavored bancha. It's made with sesame seeds and a hint of caramel. Just thinking about it makes me want to order a tin.....
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Re: Something about Bancha . . .

Postby Chip » Dec 6th, '12, 17:52

JRS22 wrote:I began my tea journey at Harney's and I used to buy a flavored bancha. It's made with sesame seeds and a hint of caramel. Just thinking about it makes me want to order a tin.....

... but usually when we attempt to go back in time ... the present has surpassed the our memory past. :mrgreen:

My first bancha was Yanagi from H&S when they first offered it. At least I interpretted it as bancha with large flattish leaves. I liked the name which I think translates to willow leaf ... not a great reason to buy a tea albeit, but Michael Harney sent it to me for reasons I cannot recall.
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Re: Something about Bancha . . .

Postby sriracha » Dec 8th, '12, 04:41

Bancha is great! I get cravings sometimes.
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Re: Something about Bancha . . .

Postby riccaicedo » Feb 18th, '13, 14:18

Sometimes people have a negative notion about bancha, and yes, it may be cheaper than other Japanese teas but it's also an everyday tea. Much like you wouldn't drink an expensive wine every time, most Japanese don't drink shincha and gyokuro daily.

Bancha has a high catechin content, that translates into more health benefits due to EGCG. In gyokuro and matcha, what you're paying for is high L-theanine levels.
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Re: Something about Bancha . . .

Postby Chip » Feb 18th, '13, 14:28

riccaicedo wrote:In gyokuro and matcha, what you're paying for is high L-theanine levels.

Not me ...
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Re: Something about Bancha . . .

Postby edkrueger » Feb 18th, '13, 21:48

Yeah, I don't know anyone who buys sencha and gyokuro for that reason.
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