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.
Nakai’s family has been farming tea for eight generations. Almost 30 years ago, his father
began farming organically after discovering high levels of pesticides in his blood. This news was the inspiration to grow tea in a safe and natural way. Now Nakai’s teas are certified by the Japanese Agricultural Standard (JAS) and have equivalent USDA and EU organic certification.