Awa Bancha or awabancha from the village of Kamikatsu, Tokushima, is a folk tea, and this micro batch has been made by the Mima family for over a century. Michiko and her daughter Yoshimi (see photo) continue their family tradition by producing just 70 kg this year. Their activity helps to preserve a centuries old tradition that developed largely independent of Japan's main tea industry centered in Kyoto.
- Ingredient: Green tea
- Harvest: Late Summer (New harvest is available from September each year).
- Region: Kamikatsu Village, Tokushima
Awa bancha, a fermented tea tradition
Awa Bancha is made from large, mature leaves harvested in the summer, boiled to soften (and stop oxidization), rolled, the packed into barrels to ferment by lactic acid bacteria (like turning milk into yogurt). Removed from the barrels, they are then sundried for a day.
It has a slightly sour taste, and we recommend steeping about 5 grams worth of tea in boiling water for 3-5 minutes depending on how strong you like it.
While bancha refers to the fact that these leaves are harvested late (in this case using the character for late 晩), the awa 阿波 is the old feudal province name for the region now called Tokushima Prefecture.
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