Bancha is generally perceived as a low grade and low cost tea, and is thus considered of lesser quality and flavor. Due to this conception, bancha has lost a lot of it’s charm as a potential high-standard tea. I believe that bancha, when considered as a tea family in itself, has just as much potential, flavor and variation as any class of sencha, gyokuro or any other tea. I believe that bancha makes the perfect tea for your everyday enjoyment. Here’s why.
WHAT IS BANCHA.
Bancha employs that more fully-grown tea-leaf which is too mature, and has therefore become too bitter, for use in producing high-quality sencha, and is harvested later; such leaf is first processed just as for sencha – by means of a combination of steaming, rolling and drying – but is then stored until it is required, whereupon, in the case of The Tea Crane’s Organic Roasted Bancha, it is roasted immediately before packaging and shipping.
#1 BANCHA CAN BE MADE IN LARGE VOLUMES AT ONCE.
Unlike with other tea, bancha is better suited for brewing one or two litres at once. As the leaf is larger and coarser than any standard type of tea, it releases most of it’s flavour instantly during the first steeping. Therefore, it also requires to be infused in a larger amount of water and is thus most commonly applied as the everyday, all-day tea in regular households.
#2 BANCHA IS ECONOMICAL.
Bancha can be acquired in larger volumes at lower cost, compared to a standard sencha or other type of tea. Other tea variations are more often drunk to enjoy its flavour in lesser amounts, and thus apply leaf that has been produced with greater care. Bancha instead uses more fully grown leaf, that in a sense is less diversified in flavour. Therefore, it can be harvested in larger volume and is in result, available at a more economical value.
#3 BANCHA IS THE PERFECT QUENCHER FOR YOUR THIRST.
As addressed in point #1, bancha lends itself better to brewing a large volume at once, and as indicated in point #2, it can be acquired at lower cost in comparison to other types of tea. This makes that bancha is better suited for consumption in larger volumes when thirsty, and in this sense, is thus a great drink to quench your thirst after for example an intense sports session or during work. It also lends itself better to be carried in a large thermos flask for consumption anywhere a tea pot and hot water are not readily available.
#4 ROASTING LOWERS THE CAFFEINE AMOUNT IN BANCHA.
By exposing the tea leaf to a source of heat, a chemical reaction within the leaf occurs and has to effect that a great amount of caffeine is decomposed or released. The small amount of caffeine that remains has close to no effect on the human body and this makes that the tea is well suited for pregnant women, young children or elderly, and that, in addition, the tea may serve as a soothing nightcap before going to bed without distorting your sleep.
#5 BANCHA IS EASY TO BREW.
Brewing bancha is as easy as
1. boiling water;
2. dropping in the necessary amount of tea leaf;
3. filtering out the leaf to drink.
Some bancha may require you to boil the leaf as it would otherwise not release sufficient flavour. With The Tea Crane Organic Roasted Bancha, it is sufficient to bring your water up to boiling point and let it boil for several minutes, insert the necessary amount of tea leaf and let it steep for one to two minutes before consuming. All you need is a large kettle and a strainer, items which are usually readily available at a standard western household.