What is Kyobancha?
The name Kyobancha (京番茶) can be a bit misleading as the word ‘bancha’ reminds us of regular Bancha. A kind of tea that is steamed, rolled and dried after harvesting. Kyobancha is a speciality of Kyoto Prefecture, where ‘Kyo’ in its name refers to the tea’s origin while ‘bancha’ simply means ‘common tea’.
The leaves for producing Kyobancha are harvested in late March. Despite this early harvest it is not part of the first flush, which begins at the start of May. After being picked, the leaves are steamed in order to stop the oxidation process and then dried and roasted. There is no rolling process involved in the production. The brewed tea is light and nutty with a slightly smokey flavour. Its low caffeine content makes it a perfect every-day beverage that can be enjoyed throughout the entire day.
Akihiro “Akky” Kita is our president and lead farmer here at Obubu. His desire to make this tea available to the general public is the foundation of Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms. In college, Akky took up a part-time job as a farmhand in Wazuka, and fell in love with the tea of this region. He made the decision then to leave college and devote his time to mastering the art of tea farming. Recognizing the need for independent farmers like himself to spread the joy of drinking Japanese tea, he travels each year during the winter off-season to bring Japanese tea to people all over the world.