What is Bancha?
Bancha (番茶) means ‘common tea’ or and is a type of Japanese tea that is popular for daily use. Depending on the specific kind of Bancha, the leaves for its production may originate from a spring, summer or autumn harvest. Bancha can be made from the leaves left-over from the first crop or from late summer growth. Taken from the lower part of the plant the leaves are slightly bigger and have a firmer structure than the ones used for Sencha. After the harvest and steaming, the whole leaves, including stems, go through the same rolling process as Sencha. The end product is slightly flatter needles due to of the different quality of leaves. As it is made from coarser leaves and contains stalks and stems, it is low in caffeine but at the same time it is full of nutrition. As the lower leaves are shielded from the sun by the upper ones fewer bitter compounds are produced, This and the large size of the leaves contributes to the tea’s mild and refreshing taste.
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.