(番茶, "tea for the watch") is a Japanese green tea
. It is harvested from the second flush of sencha
between summer and autumn. (The first flush is harvested for shincha
is the common green tea in Japan. It is harvested from the same tree as sencha
grade, but it is plucked later than sencha
is, giving it a lower market grade. It is considered to be the lowest grade of green tea. There are 22 grades of bancha
. Its flavour is unique, it has a stronger organic straw smell.
Pour boiling water on leaves and let steep for 30 seconds to 2 minutes. If steeped too long, there seems to be an odd metallic flavour to it.
[I knew 4 to 5 minutes and water around 80 Celsius degrees, as most green teas.]
It is believed to have beneficial effects on cholesterol,lowering blood sugar levels (glycemia) and preventing tooth caries. It has diuretic effects.
List of Japanese teas