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.

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

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

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.

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

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Aroma: Dried apricots. Cocoa.

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.

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

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Aroma: Hay. A faint whiff of peat.

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.

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

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I like to know which teas I should (or shouldn’t) buy next or buy again. To that end, I keep track of my thoughts and feelings of the teas I’ve had so far.

For me, experiencing a cup of tea— from dry leaf to the final infusion —cannot be quantified. For this reason, I do not include a rating with my tasting notes.



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