the use of bancha is not the same as ichibancha or nibancha. i know different regions of japan use different words, but bancha tends to signify the "ordinary" teas of later or bigger, more coarse leaves.
for example, hibiki-an offers karigane, which i thought is the kyoto region word for stem tea, but hibiki-does not say they carry any bancha tea.
a lot of the naming is very fluid in my understanding, but if you know your teas and know the particulars of what you're purchasing i don't think it is a question of marketing but rather just descriptive labels.
to correct myself, hibiki-an sells a houjicha which they call bancha but use ichiban tea for it. since houjicha falls under the bancha family they do sell a bancha tea, but a premium grade. but that's an example of the fluidity of these descriptions.
Last edited by rdl
on Oct 9th, '10, 14:51, edited 1 time in total.