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.
The Kabuse Sencha field where Yanagi Bancha is also harvested.
What is Bancha
Bancha is a term that has differing meanings in different parts of Japan. Most people outside of Japan think of it as autumn harvested coarse leaves. In actuality, this is the definition from the Eastern Japan (Tokyo) where bancha refers to akibancha (autumn harvested bancha 秋番茶). In the Western Japan (where Kyoto is located), bancha is actually a kind of roasted tea (houjicha) made from leaves beneath the leaves of the first flush harvest. We let them grow a bit more and harvest them in June. Before it is roasted to create bancha, it is called Yanagi Bancha, or the product you are buying right now.