Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Tealet
After the long cold winter tea growers in Kyoto Prefecture harvest tea leaves and twigs to produce Kyobancha. It has a deep woodsy flavor that is sure to warm you up on a cold holiday night. Many tea-growing regions refer to Kyobancha as ‘bancha for babies’ because it is so low in caffeine because of its late harvest date. It is very difficult to find this tea in stores because tea-growing families usually just drink it themselves.
Learn more about this tea here.
I don’t think I’ve ever had a Kyobancha before, so I was excited to try this tea from Tealet. The leaves are large and remind me a bit of a white tea, actually, like a darker white tea such as a Shou Mei … a really high quality one, where great care was taken to preserve the whole leaf.
The aroma reminds me of a Houjicha tea – its got a toasty kind of scent to it. The flavor is also kind of roasty-toasty like a Houjicha. In fact, if I were served this “blindly” … I would guess it was a Houjicha, although there are noticeable differences in the overall flavor. This Kyobancha tastes lighter, and seems to have a little less body and texture to it than a typical Houjicha. It’s a lighter roasted taste, and just overall a lighter tasting tea.
In this video from Tealet, Elyse from Tealet discusses the differences between Kyobancha and Houjicha. It’s a short but informative video, check it out!
I love the sweetness of this tea! It tastes a bit sweeter to me than a Houjicha, with very little vegetative taste. It kind of tastes like raw sugar cane, with some nutty notes and hints of a hay-like vegetal note.
The best way I can describe this is this: Imagine Houjicha and White Tea had a love child. That child would be named Kyobancha!
I really enjoyed this new experience. Thank you, Tealet, for making it happen!