So after a pretty uncomfortable experience with my first cup, I read some brewing tips from some book I found in a Teavana store. It said to use 1 3/4 tsp. of tea for every 8 oz, and steep for one minute at 205 degrees. I approached this advise with caution, because it didn’t seem like MORE tea would solve the earlier problem of the tea punching me in the face with the burnt-rice nutty taste on my first sip. The temperature also seemed a bit high for green tea.
I tried it, and steeping it this way made a drastic improvement. The rice-taste, while still present, is much more subtle and blends well with the bancha to create a pleasant, smooth cup.
Kudos to that book.