This is intriguing! Bancha usually refers to Japanese tea, specifically the second harvest from the same tea bushes that produce sencha. Bancha is considered to be an every day tea grade rather than something to reserve for special occasions, so I am drinking this as my after brunch cup.
This tea is harvested in China but is processed like Japanese bancha. The leaves are not terribly long – not like Hou Kui – but they are similar in that they are pressed flat. They are quite dark green in color.
The steeped tea is a rich gold color, not pale at all. It looks a lot like apple juice! My first sip gave the impression of mint, but the more I drink, the more I realize it is a very light briskness that builds over time. It is not creamy, buttery, or very vegetal. It is not sour when sipping. There is a bit of mineral flavor. By halfway through the cup, my tongue is feeling rather dry. And dry makes you want to drink more.
As is so often true of brisk tea, the follow up to the sip is a slight rising sweetness. There is only a hint of that here and it seems to come and go, being the most noticeable in the very back of the throat. Once the aftertaste establishes itself, though, it does linger well.
With its palate cleansing tendencies, I think this is a tea I would serve with or immediately after a meal. It is not a favorite for me, as I tend to like highly vegetal or buttery green tea, but is the sort of thing my daughter loves.
Want to Know More About This Tea?
Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Herbie Organic
Green tea produced by combining the best Chinese and Japanese tea making traditions. Grown on the northern side of the River Yangtze at altitudes of up to 250 meters, pressed and long leaves give this green tea light and gentle taste and a mild character.