Thursday, February 9, 2012

Den's Tea, Bancha Suruga

Bancha is a grade of Japanese tea harvested later in the season. The early harvest is called Sencha. Bancha is considered the lowest grade of green tea. Don’t let that fool you this tea is quite good.

The dry leaf looks like tiny grass clippings and it has a faint grassy aroma. I steeped 1 ½ tsp for 1 ½ minutes at about 180d. The liquor is clear with a faint yellow/green tint. The wet leaf unfolded to reveal shredded pieces. To me the wet leaf smells like stew beef. My description may not sound appealing to you but it’s making me hungry. Poured into the cup this takes on a faint grassy aroma.

The sip is vegetal – like broccoli and spinach maybe, becoming grassier as it cools, but never a heavy grassiness. There is the tiniest bit of bitterness which is common to Bancha and not a bad thing. The aftertaste has some fruitiness in it. Cups 2 and 3 were equally tasty.

If green is your thing, this is an easy one to love. Interesting, complex, and you don’t have to work at enjoying it. A wonderful tea. It is a winner.

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