Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Den’s Tea
Bancha is produced from a bottom part of tea leaves that are big and thick. Compared to Sencha, Bancha is somewhat more astringent. 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.
Learn more about this tea here.
When it comes to Japanese green teas, I can think of no tea company that offers better than Den’s Tea. The tea is always fresh and of the highest quality.
This Bancha Suruga is no exception. It tastes so delightfully fresh and has a crispness to it that evokes thoughts of early springtime, when everything in nature is starting out clean and new.
I’m no expert on Japanese culture, but, from what I’ve learned, Bancha is a common tea that is considered a daily tea. Bancha looks quite a bit like Sencha. However, they do not taste alike. There are some similarities, of course, because they’re from the same leaf, but, just as the description above suggests, Bancha tends to be a bit more astringent than Sencha. The flavor is a bit stronger as well.
That said, this particular Bancha (versus the few others that I’ve tried) seems to be a little less astringent that I expected it to be. It is still very flavorful though, with a nice, broth-y kind of taste that reminds me just a little bit of miso broth with a little bit of seaweed. (But I like this WAY better than I like seaweed!) It has that same savory kind of quality to it. It is quite vegetative with hints of salty brine. These savory tones that I pick up on are slight, but they add a nice dimension to the cup.
On Steepster, some of the tasters of this tea have mentioned a buttery note to this, and while I do taste just a hint of butter right at the start, I find that the astringency seems to clean away that taste to make way for a sweet grass aftertaste.
It is a complex and contemplative cup, and it’s incredibly satisfying! This is one that all green tea enthusiasts should have in their cupboard.