I received a tin of 20 pyramid sachets of Harney & Sons Pan Asia in the attractive four-tin set. The tea is bancha from China, and it has been embellished with chrysanthemums, although I cannot claim to be tasting much of them. Perhaps I do not know what chrysanthemums taste like, but I do know what bancha tastes like, and this is that.
I brewed my sachet in two cups of water (as directed on the can), and I used my two-cup cast-iron tea pot so that the temperature of the water would be immediately cooled (since I usually overheat my water for green teas), and I specifically timed the brewing for three minutes.
The result is a light yellowish-brown, completely limpid liquid with the toasty flavor characteristic of bancha in my experience. All of the bancha which I drank in the past was Japanese, as I frequented a Japanese specialty grocery store where many varieties of loose tea were available. Unfortunately the store closed a while back, and another one which opened in the area was shuttered after about a year or so. Perhaps most people these days buy their Japanese specialty items online?
Anyway, it’s nice to taste bancha again, and I’ll enjoy drinking this as an alternative to sencha after my first meal of the day, as is my habit—at least whenever I have these teas around!
This tea would probably appeal to people who like genmaicha, but the tea is more dominant than the toastiness in this case. To me, bancha tastes slightly cooked, relative to sencha, but it offers a similar palate-cleansing effect and is perfect after a meal.
I love how the smokey-yellow color of the tin matches the color of the brewed tea!