Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: BigTeaHouse
A traditional loose leaf green tea with a hint of sweetness and a medium astringency. Bancha is known for its earthy tones and scents.
Learn more about this tea here.
This is the second tea from my “Around the Clock” Steepster Select box, and it is one with which I was pleasantly surprised. I would not have thought of including a Bancha in this box, but, when I really think about it, it makes perfect sense, since Bancha is considered an “every day” type of tea in Japan.
However, if I were to make a list of Japanese green teas with which I’m familiar, Bancha would not be at the top of the list. I’d immediately list Sencha, of course, and Matcha, followed by Genmaicha and Gyokuro. Then I’d probably add Houjicha and Kukicha to the list. At that point, somewhere down toward the bottom of the list, I might add “Bancha.” I just haven’t tried all that many Bancha teas, so I’m just not all that familiar with them.
But, I am really glad that I’m getting to know this Garden Bancha from BigTeaHouse. It’s really quite lovely. It starts out very mild. Almost too mild. It took a few sips for me to really get much out of the cup, but, once the flavor started to build upon my palate, I found this to be a very enjoyable cup of tea.
The tea is quite vegetal, as you might imagine. I’d call this an “earthy vegetative” taste, it doesn’t taste real grassy, nor does it taste strongly of vegetables, but, it has more of what I’d think of as a forest-y vegetative taste, a taste that I might get from the air while hiking in the woods here in the Pacific Northwest, where it is thick and green and wet. From that note you should draw upon the word “air” because even though it does have a strong herbaceous note, it has an airy quality to it too, giving it a fresh character… like a breath of fresh air!
It has a sweetness to it, but I don’t find it to be incredibly sweet or buttery the way I’d usually classify a Sencha. It is more mellow and relaxed, with a gentle sweetness and a pleasant savoriness. A bit brothy … soup-like! Yes, that is what this reminds me of, a delicious cup of soup! Very comforting and soothing.
Very nice, indeed!