Den's Tea Bancha Suruga


Made from leaves that have not been oxidized.

Den's Tea Bancha Suruga

Postby MEversbergII » Jun 6th, '13, 14:13

I have tried some of this Bancha, and I now have questions. Let me share the description:

This "Bancha Suruga" is produced from the bottom part of tea leaves that are big and thick. Compared to Sencha, Bancha is somewhat more stringent. Nevertheless, it is appreciated in Japan for its robust flavor. Den's Bancha Suruga is an upgraded variation, using fresh green leaves picked right after the first flush tea.

The packaging suggests I use 2 grams per 4oz of Boiling water and steep 30 seconds.

1) Does it usually taste so close to the sencha? I'm not finding it more astringent or hearty. It's still good, though.

2) How unusual is the call for boiling? I expected it to taste bitter based on those perams, because everything else calls for 80c instead of 100c. I've found no bitterness, so maybe that is a factor of the leaf quantity and short infusion.

3) Is this even technically bancha? References to "First flush" throw me off. Bancha is, to my knowing, the last tea picked for the year - at the end of summer early autumn. First flush is early spring - and that's shincha. The stuff between is just sencha. Thus, it sounds like this is actually a form of sencha.

4) The reference "produced from the bottom part of tea leaves that are big and thick" - does this mean that, leaf per leaf, this is the lower half (closer to the stalk) or is it a reference to being made from leaves further down on the branch/stalk than the bud? That would prevent it from being categorized as Sencha.

EDIT:

5) What does Suruga mean?

Thanks,

M.
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Re: Den's Tea Bancha Suruga

Postby shinobicha » Jun 6th, '13, 15:01

1) Does it usually taste so close to the sencha? I'm not finding it more astringent or hearty. It's still good, though.


Bancha is good! It will be similar to sencha, most likely with less depth of flavors (meaning, it might be sweet+bitter, or umami+bitter, but it won't have all of the various flavors that a good sencha will have).

2) How unusual is the call for boiling? I expected it to taste bitter based on those perams, because everything else calls for 80c instead of 100c. I've found no bitterness, so maybe that is a factor of the leaf quantity and short infusion.


Not unusual to use boiling water. Because it is a short infusion, the boiling water shouldn't bring out extra bitterness. Boiling water is often used for Bancha and other non-senchas like Konacha (or 2nd flush teas). I think the perspective is, a casual tea, a casual brewing method.

3) Is this even technically bancha? References to "First flush" throw me off. Bancha is, to my knowing, the last tea picked for the year - at the end of summer early autumn. First flush is early spring - and that's shincha. The stuff between is just sencha. Thus, it sounds like this is actually a form of sencha.


I think bancha refers not to flush, but to where the leaves come from. Instead of the bud and two or three leaves (as for sencha), the leaves are harvested from lower down on the branch (which are thicker, less young, therefore less sweet, etc). You can therefore have 1st or 2nd (or later) bancha. So, sencha is the whole 2-3 leaves next to the end of the branch (including the bud) and bancha are the leaves below that closer to the trunk of the bush/tree.

Does that answer question #4, too?

5) What does Suruga mean?


It's a region in Japan near Shizuoka. Suruga Bay - Google it.
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Re: Den's Tea Bancha Suruga

Postby rdl » Jun 7th, '13, 00:20

MEversbergII,
you may also want to search "bancha" on TeaChat.
obubutea.com has a nice simple description.
http://obubutea.com/shop/bancha-green-t ... gi-bancha/

What is Bancha
Bancha is a term that has differing meanings in different parts of Japan. Most people outside of Japan think of it as autumn harvested coarse leaves. In actuality, this is the definition from the Eastern Japan (Tokyo) where bancha refers to akibancha (autumn harvested bancha 秋番茶). In the Western Japan (where Kyoto is located), bancha is actually a kind of roasted tea (houjicha) made from leaves beneath the leaves of the first flush harvest. We let them grow a bit more and harvest them in June. Before it is roasted to create bancha, it is called Yanagi Bancha.

with such different styles of bancha come very different tastes.
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Re: Den's Tea Bancha Suruga

Postby MEversbergII » Jun 10th, '13, 09:21

Well, that sums it all up neatly; cheers!

M.
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