Japan Bancha is a classic Green tea not unlike sencha in many respects. Although Bancha is the same cultivar as sencha, it is harvested after the monsoons (between summer and autumn). Bancha is the considered the lowest grade of Japanese Green tea (think an OP), but then there are supposedly 22 grades of Bancha. Bancha literally means “numerous tea” or more loosely “common tea”, though obviously results vary in texture and refinement. TeaGschwendner’s Japan Bancha (likely a Shizuoka) is one organic example of this classic, if lesser-known Japanese Green tea.
With an aroma of wet bamboo leaves and catskills, Japan Bancha elicits a certain amount of anticipatory thirst. In coloration, Japan Bancha’s pea-green liquor is reminiscent of a lilypad. Japan Bancha has a flavor somewhere between toasted and roasted (but not quite to the level of a Houjicha, which is often produced from a Bancha) with a slightly acidic astringency (more so than one might expect from an organic homogeneous Japanese Green). In texture Japan Bancha offers a smooth, syrupy moderate tea grit. There’s not a great deal that necessarily distinguishes TG’s Japan Bancha from any other, but it is highly drinkable and will satisfy most Western tea fans.
- Aroma – 93
- Taste – 93
- Texture – 94
- Spunk – 93
- Price – 90
- Availability – 85 (There are at least 150 I can find with a cursory search)
- Appearance – 95
Mean score – 92%
…Put another way: there are definitely better Japanese teas to be found by a discriminating palate. Although available through TeaGschwendner’s webstore, i purchased mine locally from Ann Arbor’s own TeaHaus.