The Benefits of Bancha Tea

Green tea is a popular beverage that has been enjoyed for centuries for its taste and health benefits. Bancha and Sencha are two types of Japanese green teas that differ in taste, harvest season, and caffeine content. In this article, we explore the unique qualities of Bancha tea and compare it with Sencha tea.

Aracha (荒茶); Bancha (番茶); yokuro (玉露); Kabusecha (かぶせ茶); Kukicha (茎茶); Shincha (新茶)

What is Bancha Green Tea?

Bancha tea is a green tea that is harvested in late autumn, making it the last tea harvest of the year. This late harvest influences the size of the leaves, which are larger and darker, resulting in a woody, herbaceous, and organic straw smell. Unlike prestigious teas like Gyokuro and Matcha, which are reserved for special ceremonies, Bancha is an ordinary, everyday tea that is widely consumed in Japan. In fact, Bancha means “common” or “ordinary” in Japanese.

Bancha tea is not only consumed as a beverage but is also used to prepare broths, cook rice, and enhance the flavor of certain vegetable and fish dishes.

How is Bancha Different from Sencha Tea?

While both Bancha and Sencha tea come from the same tea plant, they differ in their harvest seasons. Sencha tea is harvested during optimal periods, from early spring to late summer, depending on the Japanese islands. In contrast, Bancha tea leaves come from the last harvest of the year, in October, making it of lower quality and cheaper.

Another key difference between the two is their caffeine content. Bancha tea has a low theine/caffeine content, making it easier to drink in the evening and late afternoon. It is also a good alternative for people who want to reduce their caffeine intake. With half the caffeine content of Gyokuro or Sencha, it is accessible to young people and those sensitive to caffeine.

What are the Health Benefits of Bancha Green Tea?

Bancha tea is rich in antioxidants, minerals, and vitamin C. Its high content of polyphenols, or catechins, is said to help strengthen the immune system, fight against aging and the action of free radicals, while facilitating weight loss. It is also known to have beneficial effects on digestion due to its high tannin content, which facilitates transit and is an excellent ally after a rich meal.

How to Prepare Bancha Tea for Optimal Benefits?

To get the most out of its benefits, Bancha tea should be brewed for 30 seconds to 2 minutes in water at a temperature of 70°C. It is important not to let the tea steep too long as it can take on a metallic or bitter taste. In the summer, Bancha tea can be prepared as an iced tea. Simply brew three teaspoons of Bancha tea in half a liter of simmering water heated to 70°C. After brewing for two minutes, strain the tea and put the infusion into a jug filled with ice cubes. Add slices of lemon, peach, or mint leaves, as desired, before serving.

In conclusion, Bancha tea is a delicious and healthy beverage that is unique in its taste, harvest season, and caffeine content. It offers a host of health benefits and is an excellent choice for those looking to reduce their caffeine intake or improve their digestion. So why not give it a try and discover its unsuspected benefits and virtues for yourself?

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