Wikipedia: Bancha 
Updated: Mar. 14, 2014 

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About Bancha | Best (Top-Rated) Bancha

About Bancha

Loose leaf bancha, showing large, coarse green tea leaves
Typical loose-leaf bancha, showing large, coarse leaves, and some stem.
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.

Cup of Green Tea, Green Tea Leaves, and a Japanese Character
Sakae Standard Bancha from
GreenTea Japan
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.


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

Best Bancha

The notion of the "best" Bancha is subjective, because different people have different tastes. We present the most often-rated and highest-rated teas in this category, and allow you to draw your own conclusions.

Most Often-Rated Teas

Picture of Yanagi Bancha

Yanagi Bancha

Brand:Obubu Tea
Region:Kyoto, Japan
1 Rating
Picture of Japan Bancha Organic

Japan Bancha Organic

1 Rating
Picture of Bancha Suruga

Bancha Suruga

Brand:Den's Tea
Region:Shizuoka, Japan
1 Rating
Picture of Bancha Tea

Bancha Tea

1 Rating
Picture of Bancha Green Tea

Bancha Green Tea

1 Rating

Top-Rated Teas

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