Yanagi Bancha

Tea type
Green Tea
Ingredients
Not available
Flavors
Grass, Hay, Nutty, Seaweed, Sweet, Sweet, warm grass, Toasted Rice
Sold in
Not available
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Shinobi_cha
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 0 sec 6 g 10 oz / 301 ml

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10 Tasting Notes View all

  • “I received my sampler from Obubu Tea and what a beautiful sampler it is. The packaging is artistically done, and all text is in Japanese, so if you may have to do a bit of detective work matching...” Read full tasting note
    83
    ealexandergerster 108 tasting notes
  • “This was part of my December Obubu CSA Club shipment, along with a sample of Gokou matcha (which smells fantastic). This is a lovely everyday green, the flavor is much sweeter than I was expecting...” Read full tasting note
    87
    latteteadah 53 tasting notes
  • “While I enjoyed this cup, the wet leaf smelled like pickled peppers. Now, I liked pickled things (be it peppers, kim chee, or cucumber), but that was a strange smell to get from tea. Stranger...” Read full tasting note
    62
    Shinobi_cha 280 tasting notes
  • “This is a nice, cheap, everyday tea. The flavor is really good for bancha, and the leaves are big and whole. I deviate from Obubu's "standard" steeping method a little, I use 3 oz of boiling...” Read full tasting note
    90
    mbishop 27 tasting notes

From Obubu Tea

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.

Product name: Yanagi Bancha
Ingredients: 100% aracha from Wazuka, Kyoto
Tea plant: Yabukita plants, about 25 years old
Cultivation notes: Open air (uncovered)
Harvest period: June
Processing notes: light steaming (about 30 seconds)
Product size: 1 bag (24.5 x11.5 x2.0 cm / 9.65 x4.53 x0.79 in)
Weight of contents: 100 g / 3.53 oz
Producer: Akihiro Kita
Expiration: Good for 6 months from shipment
Storage: Seal tightly and refrigerate

About Obubu Tea View company

Company description not available.

10 Tasting Notes

83
108 tasting notes

I received my sampler from Obubu Tea and what a beautiful sampler it is. The packaging is artistically done, and all text is in Japanese, so if you may have to do a bit of detective work matching the inscriptions to translations provided on the guide provided. It is filled with different versions of Sencha, Genmaicha, and several different roasts of Houjicha. All great temptations, but I chose to start by brewing up this Bancha and am very happy I did!

Time to load up the sample into my kyusu, and take a few deep breaths of the lovely aroma of the dry leaves and stems. A bit like alfalfa hay, and a real sweetness that is hard to explain, but nice to experience.

1st steep: 30 seconds at about 190 degrees F
2nd steep: 15 seconds at about 190 degrees F
3rd steep: 30 seconds at about 190 degrees F

Now this is real aracha (http://www.obubutea.com/tea-info/aracha/), in the best way possible. It is nicely refreshing in being both mildly sweet and mildly savory. I found myself chewing on a couple of the twigs/stems just to verify this is where that fascinating sweet flavor is coming from. This may not have the refined complexities of the higher grade teas, but for me it is a really pleasant connection to the tea plantation, and I look forward to the other samples to follow!

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 30 sec
Spoonvonstup

I’m intrigued! I have such little experience with Japanese teas, and I’ve been on the look-out for good vendors. I haven’t heard of Obubu until now, so I think some of their tea may be in my future.

E Alexander Gerster

My favorite Japanese tea vendors at the moment are Den’s Tea and Obubu — but I know there are other really good ones out there. I found Obubu because of their involvement with the International Tea Farms Alliance (http://www.teafarms.org/about/) that empowers worldwide tea artisans by connecting them to tea loving consumers… You have to keep us updated on your new experiences with Japanese teas. They can take you on a really amazing journey! :)

ScottTeaMan

You may also want to try Hibiki-an. I bought tea from them a couple times and it was the freshest Japanese tea I’ve ever drank.They have varying degrees of leaf, from House Sencha to Sencha Super Premium, etc. Free Shipping over $36, last time I checked. A very honest, fair company with great quality teas!

E Alexander Gerster

Great suggestion Scott! I have heard lots of good things about Hibiki-an, and they have some great teaware that I have been lusting over. :)

ScottTeaMan

Yeah, thats for sure. I ony wish I’d bought one of their Tokoname teapots, the Meteor Stream. Anyway, in 2008 it was $79, now it’s $93. I’m still consideing it, esp if I order tea from there as well. What do I mean IF I order tea from there?!

ScottTeaMan

Also I believe their tea is of higher quality, so it has increased in $$ as well (of course). It is still a bargain. Have you noticed International shipping costs from Japan?!

Years ago, I tried Genmaicha and couldn’t drink it. My tastes in tea and preparation have changed since then. So I’d like to try the Genmaicha Matcha-iri from Hibiki-an too. Going to drink some tea :)………….

CHAroma

This tasting note really makes me want to buy a sampler from Obubu! Thanks for sharing!

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87
53 tasting notes

This was part of my December Obubu CSA Club shipment, along with a sample of Gokou matcha (which smells fantastic). This is a lovely everyday green, the flavor is much sweeter than I was expecting from a tea grade described as being “low” – not as buttery as the other grades of sencha, but still that vegetal “hearty” green tea flavor that steeps into a pleasing bright yellow. I got two great steeps out of my first pot.

The dry leaf is also fun, light greens and dark greens and twigs here and there – a sign that it’s fresh. Reminds me of childhood when my grandfather farmed hay and made handmade brooms. Will hopefully get a pic on my blog up soon.

Once again, a well-crafted tea, even if it’s just a ‘lowly’ bancha. Very grateful that Obubu has made their teas available via the CSA club.

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62
280 tasting notes

While I enjoyed this cup, the wet leaf smelled like pickled peppers. Now, I liked pickled things (be it peppers, kim chee, or cucumber), but that was a strange smell to get from tea.

Stranger still was that this was actually present as a flavor. I did like the tea, but it was strange. I don’t remember what else it tasted like, but I don’t think there was a lot there. I’m rating it this high simply because I enjoyed it, but in terms of good quality bancha, I’m sure there’s better out there.

Also interesting was the fact that this had really long twigs present (1" – 1.5"!) that really looked like twigs from a tree, rather than the very small, reed-like kuki in a regular kukicha.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

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90
27 tasting notes

This is a nice, cheap, everyday tea. The flavor is really good for bancha, and the leaves are big and whole.

I deviate from Obubu’s “standard” steeping method a little, I use 3 oz of boiling water to about 4g of tea for 30 seconds for the first infusion, then 3oz boiling water for 15 seconds for the other infusions. The brew is tasty. A bit tart, with a good mix of bitter and sweet. For the price, a really nice tea!

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

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56
264 tasting notes

I tried to rebrew, but I just couldn’t like this tea. It tasted one dimensional to me. Mostly twigs, like a kukicha, which I am not the biggest fan of either. To each their own.

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46
282 tasting notes

This is slight sweet with a somewhat hay-like flavor. It’s moderately dark and has a short finish. It’s a light tea, not strongly flavored but pleasant.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

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75
12 tasting notes

A nice everyday tea.
The dried leaves smelled grassy and were a mix of broken large tea leaves and stems.
I used 250ml of boiling water to 3g of tea for 30 sec for the first two infusions. 4 infusions were possible.
The liquor was a pale greenish yellow with a subtle flavor of hay-like sweetness.
It´s a mild tea with a short finish.

Flavors: Grass, Hay

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

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65
152 tasting notes

This is my first time having bancha. The leaves are all wiry and long and unkempt, pretty fun to look at.

The flavor is subtle and sweet, with a mostly buttery, nutty taste and a grassy smell. The smell of the wet leaves reminds me of wild prairie grasses in the late spring or early summer when they’re still wet and green.

This tea is very mild. I think I could have brewed it a lot stronger than I usually brew sencha and it would have tasted just fine. I can see why this is considered an everday tea. Everything about the flavor is agreeable but not remarkable. It’s the kind of tea you can appreciate without having to give your full attention to, a casual tea-drinker’s tea. I could see myself loading up a tea thermos with this to drink at work, but at home my time is usually filled with higher grade teas that are more of a centerpiece and a dedicated moment of the day.

For an everyday tea though, this has a really nice taste and quality to it. It’s charming and relaxing. As it’s cooling, I’m catching a little bit of seaweed/fish kind of taste, but I’m also alternating this with eating some food now. Otherwise until this point it was mostly just sweet.

Flavors: Grass, Nutty, Seaweed, Sweet

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 0 sec 5 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

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80
1155 tasting notes

My husband chose this tea after our recent Japanese tea binge over the last few days.

This tea is rather finely chopped with some largish stem pieces present amongst the dark/medium green shiny leaves. It has a sweet grass scent with a dry, perfume finish.

Yellow tea liquid is produced with a toasted grass scent, mild but still with some sweetness.

Strength is mild with toasted rice and grass flavours. There is a slight bitterness but nothing major. Also a dominant grassy after taste which sweetens and becomes dry.

A further steep reveals more grass notes with bitterness though it remains mild. Still plenty of flavour for a second steep.

Overall it’s a nice Bancha, the sort that would suit every day drinking. Yes it’s considered low grade in terms of quality but it doesn’t taste nor feel that way at all.

Flavors: Sweet, warm grass, Toasted Rice

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec 10 g 7 OZ / 220 ML
Kittenna

Sometimes I prefer the “lower quality” tea – it has a different flavour profile to the high-grade stuff, and sometimes that’s what you want! (Also, often less bitterness, and easier to brew. Win.)

Kittenna

I meant, of course, lower GRADE. Lower quality tea is… not usually as good, consisting of broken leaf, etc.

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77
2578 tasting notes

Good morning Steepster… I drank a lot of tea yesterday but didn’t post tasting notes because a lot of what I drank were things I have posted notes for multiple times.

Anyway, here’s another sample from the Obubu tea sampler pack. Bancha is a lesser grade of tea than sencha, but it’s still drinkable in my opinion. This has sort of a vegetaly-seaweed taste with a definite bitterness in the finish. It isn’t my favorite from Obubu by far but I will definitely finish off the pot I made this morning. Compared to their senchas it isn’t as light and sweet, but still far better than most if the mass market green teas you find on the market.

I feel like my tasting notes are getting shorter but that’s because I’m trying to limit the time I spend on social media sites… so please forgive me :)

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 18 OZ / 532 ML

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