Try a specialty of Kyoto! Kyô-bancha is a large-leaf, roasted tea that is rarely found outside the Kyoto region of Japan. Our Kyô-bancha exhibits a warm, satisfyingly roasted aroma and flavor — it is delicious hot, and is also especially superb as cold-brewed tea. Feel free to enjoy it all day long: this tea is a perfect daily drinker due to its low caffeine content. Kyô-bancha is also known as 入り番茶 (iribancha).
Kyô-bancha (also known as iribancha), which originated in the Uji region, is what we'd call a more "rustic" tea. Comprised of unrefined harvest (called aracha) the tea showcases large leaves of varying sizes and stems collected from pruning the tea plants (zero waste!). Kyô-bancha's defining characteristic is in its roast! The tea is roasted for varying times and to different temperatures depending on the producer to extract different flavor characteristics (much like how different artisans roast coffee to showcase different flavors). Tea leaves grown for Kyô-bancha or houjicha are grown in full sunlight, which results in a high concentration of the super-antioxidant Catechin. Our producer's kyô-bancha is exquisitely chocolatey in aroma and exhibits a warm, satisfying earthy flavor similar to roasted chicory or cocoa nibs.
A favorite of our office as an all-day, everyday sipper due to its naturally low-caffeine content. We enjoy this tea both hot and iced.
Aroma: This tea exhibits a rich, pleasing cocoa-like aroma and reminds us of a relaxing dry sauna.
Flavor: Nutty, light caramel, smokey, malty, light-bodied, cocoa nib. Very low bitterness. Goes down easy.
Harvest Season: Late March
Cultivar: Yabukita, mixed
Process: Late-harvest, over-wintered leaves are steamed for an hour to halt oxidation. Then the leaves are dried for another hour (often by simply drying in the sun), and in a less-common step for Japanese teas, gently roasted for 10-15 minutes. The leaves are not rolled.
Amount: 5g (2tbsp) Kyô-bancha
Water: Very hot water is preferred here. You may use 200ºF water, or water just off the boil. Our recommendation is 225ml (8oz) of water at 195ºF.
Time: 5 minutes. You may try steeping this tea up to two times.
Make Iced Tea: Kyô-bancha is our *favorite* for cold brewing! On repeat all summer, baby.
Learn 3 different methodologies to make iced tea here.
Food Pairing: Pretty much anything, but this is a favorite after-dinner drink, and we love it as a nightcap after eating.
Sold in 100g bags. Store in a cool, dark location. Best consumed within 3 months.
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