Review: Yanagi Bancha
Obubu’s Yanagi Bancha mild and refreshing, with a creamy body and honey aftertaste. The taste is vegetal and at some points almost reminiscent of seaweed, with a natural sweetness to the taste. The finish is lingering and sweet, and leaves a refreshing dryness on the tongue.
Obubu Tea’s Description:
About a month after harvesting the leaves to make our premium Kabuse Sencha or shaded tea, we do a second cropping of the same plants in June to produce our Yanagi Bancha or やなぎ番茶 leaves. Bancha is usually classified as the lowest grade tea leaves, and this allows us to offer you something a bit better.
By June, the leaves have matured, and we do a deep cropping to increase volume as well as to get slender pieces of twigs (which contain sugars that offset the bitterness of the more mature leaves). Low in caffeine, this tea is great for drinking regularly throughout the day and before bed.
For the first infusion, steep with hot water at 100C / 212F for 30 seconds. The tea amount is approximately 1 tbsp of the tea for every 6 oz. water. For the second infusion, steep for only 10 seconds.
The dry leaves of the Yanagi Bancha seem to hold every variety of green from yellow lemongrass to darker pine greens interrupted occasionally with a bit of brown twigs. They are a mix of long, skinny leaves and fine leaf powder compressed into thin, flat strips. The leaves smell of fresh spring grass.
After the first infusion of 30 seconds, the liqueur after steeping is a deep cloudy gold.
The steeped leaves have brightened and expanded, showing some chunks of larger more mature leaves. The smell is strongly vegetal and almost bitter (although the bitterness isn’t reflected in the flavor of the tea).
The taste of the first infusion is mild and refreshing, with a creamy body and honey aftertaste. The taste is vegetal and at some points almost reminiscent of seaweed, with a natural sweetness to the taste. The finish is lingering and sweet, and leaves a refreshing dryness on the tongue.
After the second infusion at 10 seconds, the tea is sweeter and lighter in flavor. As the tea cools, the sweetness grows more pronounced in taste. This is definitely a great everyday tea to enjoy.
This tea is from Wazuka, Kyoto in Japan.
Pricing & Where to Buy
Pack Size: 3.5 oz. (100g pack)
Price per unit: $11.99
This tea can be purchased on Obubu Tea’s website here.