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4 Tasting Notes

drank Bancha by Rishi Tea
4 tasting notes

I like sencha but I love bancha. I didn’t think much of this one until a particularly hot summer day inspired me to cold-brew it. With no expectations, I took my first sip.

Wow. At low temperatures (8°C / 45°F), this tea is a totally different experience.

No astringency, no bitterness— just the aromas of toasted rice, dried grass and sugarcane, followed by a delayed but pronounced mouth-smacking sweetness that lingers on my gums and tongue for several minutes. Someday I’ll include formal tasting notes but at the moment I’m sipping on a tall glass of this tea and enjoying it too much to bother.

Preparation
Iced 4 min, 0 sec 12 g 17 OZ / 500 ML

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DRY LEAF
Appearance: Moss green with a splintered texture typical of deeper-steamed senchas.
Aroma: Sweet and salty roasted seaweed. Absolutely delicious.

INFUSION
Appearance: A little cloudy. Greenish-yellow reminiscent of lemongrass.
Mouthfeel: Thin with light astringency.
Aroma: Roasted seaweed and brussel sprouts. Light grassiness.
Taste: A mild and balanced fusion of sweet and savory.

That last comment says it all, really— mild and balanced. Sometimes that’s not a bad place to be, at least for a little while.

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 30 sec 3 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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DRY LEAF
Aroma: Dried apricots. Cocoa.

INFUSION
Appearance: Translucent mahogany red.
Mouthfeel: Full with a very mild, pleasant astringency.
Aroma: Stewed fruit. Oranges, cinnamon, and allspice.
Taste: Mildly sweet. A very tiny bit of savoriness.

Not a bad tea by any stretch, but not very exciting either. Tastes remarkably similar to this year’s (2012) Charleston, South Carolina First Flush (which isn’t exactly a compliment, this year’s FF was pretty unbalanced) but with a little more complexity and sweetness. If you’re an insatiably curious black tea fanatic, it’s worth a try.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 5 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

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DRY LEAF
Aroma: Hay. A faint whiff of peat.

INFUSION
Appearance: Clear. Straw yellow.
Aroma: Very faint notes of ham and evergreen.
Taste: Moderately tart and astringent.

No further surprises at higher temperatures (70-75°C)— just more astringency. Not my cup.

Preparation
140 °F / 60 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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Profile

Bio

I review teas for one very practical reason: I want to know which teas I should— or shouldn’t —buy next. I realize that other Steepsters read these reviews for the same reason, so I make every effort to convey my personal tastes and perceptions in a way that’s useful for deciding.

For me, the experience of brewing and enjoying a cup of tea cannot be quantified. For this reason, I do not include a rating with my tasting notes.

Location

USA