Furyu: Awa Bancha

Picture of Furyu: Awa Bancha
Region:Tokushima, Japan
Product page:Furyu: Awa Bancha

This tea's info last updated: Jul. 13, 2017

Commercial Description

The leaves used for awa bancha tea are harvested in summer, July and August usually, by striping the leaves off a branch by hand...

Ratings & Reviews

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Reviewer pic90 Aroma: 10/10 Flavor: 5/5 Value: 3/5
(24 reviews) on

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 incredibly strong. They had a nice dark green and greenish-brown color and were almost intact (there were small bits of leaves missing here and there, but they were all almost whole).

Following the suggestion on the package, I used boiling water. I didn't boil the leaves in water over the stove. Rather, I heated water to 100C and then poured it right over the leaves and let them steep for about five minutes. I did not rinse them. I filled my 4 oz gaiwan about 1/3 of the way up with leaves. In the end, the leaves were very forgiving. There was no bitterness.

The taste was incredibly unique and very refreshing. There was a sourness like from stuffed grape leaves which was much more present in the aftertaste. There was barely any sourness while drinking, but what was present was reminiscent of the tartness of young raw pu-erh. There was also a sweetness and no bitterness, which reminded me more of an aged raw pu-erh. So, this tea was really all over the place with its notes! It was very good, though. It also left me feeling cooled, calmed, and refreshed in a way that teas typically don't. I think this will be going on my favorite teas list!

The only unfortunate thing is that this is a bit expensive. I didn't use that many tea leaves to brew a cup, but I don't know how many times these leaves last. There was also nothing on the package about steeping the leaves multiple times. So I'll have to investigate it further. For the time being, it seems expensive. But, if I get a lot of use out of these leaves, I'll adjust the rating accordingly.

Update: I did try steeping multiple times, but most of the flavor was gone after the first steeping — particularly the enjoyable sourness. It still had a similarly refreshing effect, but I'd still say that this is really only a single-brew tea. So, I'm keeping the value rating as-is.
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