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Bancha

Wikipedia: Bancha 
Last Updated: Jul. 19, 2017 

About Bancha

Loose-leaf green tea with large, intact, somewhat wrinkly leaves, dark gray-green with yellow-green huesLoose-leaf bancha, showing the large leaf size. Photo © Borya (Flickr), CC BY-SA 2.0.
Bancha(番茶), sometimes improperly called bancha tea, is a common type of Japanese green tea. It is often considered the "basic" or "default" green tea in Japan, although in the West, sencha is more widely available.

Bancha is produced similarly to sencha, but is harvested later in the season. It tends to be made of larger, more mature leaves; it often contains stem or twigs, although it is not made predominately from twigs like kukicha or twig tea. For these reasons bancha is sometimes described as a coarse tea, and tends to have a lower caffeine content.

Like most Japanese green teas, bancha is steamed rather than pan-fired as most Chinese green teas are. Bancha is a lower grade of tea than sencha, and tends to be less expensive. However, it is hard to generalize about the quality or price of bancha; some bancha exceeds some sencha in both price and quality.

Bancha is sold plain, and is also frequently roasted to produce hojicha, and is also often combined with toasted brown rice to make genmaicha. Although bancha is ubiquitous in Japan, it is not as well-known in the west, possibly owing to the commercial focus on varieties of tea that are perceived as higher-quality.

References:

1. Shizuo Tsuji, M.F.K. Fisher, Japanese Cooking: A Simple Art, Kodansha International, 2007.

Recent Bancha Reviews — RSS rss icon

55 / 100
Picture of Bancha First Grade Organic

Bancha First Grade Organic from Upton Tea Imports

Style: Bancha – Region: Japan
Apr. 13th, 2018

I have purchased this a number of times, and the quality varies from year to year. This 2018 batch is not the best, but it is still a pleasant green tea, with a light vegetal flavor. The price has steadily increased over the years.

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90 / 100
Picture of Furyu: Awa Bancha

Furyu: Awa Bancha from Yunomi

Style: Bancha – Region: Tokushima, Japan
Jul. 13th, 2017

This is a very curious tea. It is not aged or fermented in the typical manner in which teas are aged or fermented. Instead, the leaves are pickled. (Yes, you read that right.) You can actually smell this right away when opening a package of the tea leaves. They smell a lot like stuffed grape leaves, and the scent is in...

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82 / 100
Picture of Bancha

Bancha from Harney and Sons

Style: Bancha – Region: Japan
Mar. 29th, 2017

This may be the best bancha I've ever tried. It's better than a number of lower-end sencha's I've bought in the U.S.

The dry leaf is green for bancha and has the most delightful aroma, the best yet of any bancha I've tried. It smells a lot like coffee cake, a sort of sweet, baked good smell with hints of cinnamon,...

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77 / 100
Picture of Bancha Suruga

Bancha Suruga from Den's Tea

Style: Bancha – Region: Shizuoka, Japan
Aug. 9th, 2013

This is truly an "upgraded" Bancha, picked just after first flush from the larger, thicker base of the leaves. More astringent than sencha, but well balanced in flavor and aroma. I love the grassy flavor and feel it leaves in your mouth.

Den's Bancha Suruga is wonderfully refreshing when brewed as per their instruct...

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63 / 100
Picture of Bancha Tea

Bancha Tea from Frontier

Style: Bancha – Region: ?????
Apr. 11th, 2013

A drinkable and inexpensive green tea with a mild flavor. I tried this shortly after Wegmans' bancha; the leaf of this tea is more intact, but the dry leaf is not particularly aromatic. I prefer Wegmans' offering even though it is more broken.

Brews a golden color cup with a lot of dust at the bottom. Mild aroma....

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Most-Rated Bancha

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Bancha

Brand:Rishi Tea
Style:Bancha
Region:Kagoshima, Japan
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
1 Rating
No image of this tea

Bancha

Brand:McNulty's Tea & Coffee
Style:Bancha
Region:Japan
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
1 Rating
No image of this tea

Ban Cha Green Tea

Brand:Hime
Style:Bancha
Region:Japan
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
1 Rating
Picture of Bancha

Bancha

Brand:Harney and Sons
Style:Bancha
Region:Japan
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
1 Rating
No image of this tea

Yanagi Bancha

Brand:Obubu Tea
Style:Bancha
Region:Kyoto, Japan
Caffeine:Caffeinated
Leaf:Loose
1 Rating

Top-Rated Bancha

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