Organic Autumn Bancha from NaturalTea

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Green Tea
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Grass, Honey, Peas
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Edit tea info Last updated by Cameron B.
Average preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 5 g 6 oz / 180 ml

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From Yunomi

Grown under the strong summer sun and harvested in autumn, this bancha tea has stronger astringency and less caffeine than sencha.

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3 Tasting Notes

4843 tasting notes


A tasty bancha. A bit more astringent than a typical Sencha, but, I find it to be very similar to a good Japanese Sencha. Sweet, vegetative, and buttery.


Here’s my full-length review:

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921 tasting notes

It is a bit brisk today! I learned this when I woke up this afternoon to both of the cats burrowed into me seeking warmth. Tao got very cross when I decided to leave the blanket pile, even going so far as to dig her claws into me (gently, well, gently for Tao, she is such a beast) when I moved. Espeon just made sad noises in her sleep, which was really quite pitiful. After extracting myself from the bed, tucking in the cats, I finally gave into the evils and opened the heater vent. Looks like autumn is well under way!

Since it is autumn, why not go for a thematically appropriate tea? From Yunomi and NaturaliTea, #11 Autumn Bancha Green Tea, this tea is grown in Shizouka and is harvested in early October, meaning that yes, this is 2014’s harvest since it is just now harvest time. The aroma of these MASSIVE leaves (seriously, the tea frog is very happy to sit on this pile of leaves) is quite sharp, like sniffing a pile of fresh oak leaves, cut grass, a touch of nuttiness, these leaves smell like nature, like being outside, enjoying all the various leaves and grass smells nature can offer. I know people say stop and smell the roses, but don’t forget the leaves, stems, pollen, and all the other parts of the plant, sniffing them is awesome too!

Into my green gaiwan that pretends to be a houhin the jumbo leaves go for a nice hot bath. Bancha does best steeping at hotter temperatures, the more delicate Sencha would burn…pretty sure Gyokuro would just explode. The aroma of the soggy leaves is grassy and leafy, yeah the leaves smell like leaves, specifically oak leaves and fresh tea leaves, freshly plucked right off the plant. There is also a bit of fresh spinach and just a touch of sesame seeds. The liquid is bright and green, I smell colors! Seriously though, the aroma is very fresh and green, like gently steamed spinach and grass, oak leaves, and crushed vegetation. It smells like nature, I keep saying that, but it is very much so a distinct smell of growing things.

Tasting this tea is like tasting a pile of leaves, and I am totally ok with that! It is not really vegetal (there is a tiny hint of spinach) it is straight up vegetation. Bright notes of cut grass and sweetgrass, sharp notes of oak leaves and tea leaves, the green notes of gently crushed vegetation similar to the smell of leaves as you walk through undergrowth. It is very green and very fresh tasting, for all that this is an autumn harvested tea, it tastes like the full growth of summer. I got a couple more steeps off of this tea (but totally derped and forgot to take pictures, sorry about that) and the taste stayed pretty much the same, with an increase in strength at the second steep and the third steep had a toasty note which added a fun bit of depth.

For blog and photos:

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1379 tasting notes

Thank you for this free sample that added as a nice surprise as I opened my order today.

Nice large leaves and lots of sticks in my 5g sample. Beautiful sweet and toasted scent that I liken to a honey cake I used to make in my automatic bread cooker machine. The more I sniff the more grassy and mineral it becomes but it is a very nice scent.

Since there were no instructions on the website for steeping this or any other bancha (that I can find) I will use standard steeping method.

Tea – 5g
Water – 80C
Volume – 180ml
Vessel – Kyusu

First Steep – 30 seconds
Yellow green in colour with virtually no scent despite it’s very apparent colour. Flavour is mild with roasted grass tones and sweet honeysuckle that dissipates quickly and you are left with a touch of smoke in the after taste.

Second Steep – 10 seconds
More roasted and less grassy. Honeysuckle and sweetpea tones with a slight smoky after taste. Also a little sour. For the most part it’s sweet and a perfect strength for me personally.

Third Steep – 30 seconds
More toasted than sweet but it does lighten a lot in the after taste. Tastes like raw pea. No smoke this time, instead the after taste is grassy and mineral.

I enjoyed this Bancha much more than I thought I would, though the first steep was nice it was far from ‘special’ compared to others I have tried. It kicked up a gear after that and steep two and three were delicious, so very natural and sweet with light smoke. Plus now my mouth is coated in a delicious roasted sweet pea flavour that reminds me a little of light pea soup. I may get more of this in the future.

Flavors: Grass, Honey, Peas

175 °F / 79 °C 5 g 6 OZ / 180 ML

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