Tea type
Green Tea
Ingredients
Green Tea
Flavors
Grass, Spinach, Green, Seaweed, Sweet, Hay, Nutty, Sweet, warm grass, Toasted Rice
Sold in
Loose Leaf
Caffeine
Medium
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by Cameron B.
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 1 min, 15 sec 6 g 9 oz / 259 ml

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14 Tasting Notes View all

  • “I received my sampler from Obubu Tea and what a beautiful sampler it is. The packaging is artistically done, and all text is in Japanese, so if you may have to do a bit of detective work matching...” Read full tasting note
    83
  • “This was part of my December Obubu CSA Club shipment, along with a sample of Gokou matcha (which smells fantastic). This is a lovely everyday green, the flavor is much sweeter than I was expecting...” Read full tasting note
    87
  • “While I enjoyed this cup, the wet leaf smelled like pickled peppers. Now, I liked pickled things (be it peppers, kim chee, or cucumber), but that was a strange smell to get from tea. Stranger still...” Read full tasting note
    62
  • “This is a nice, cheap, everyday tea. The flavor is really good for bancha, and the leaves are big and whole. I deviate from Obubu’s “standard” steeping method a little, I use 3 oz of boiling water...” Read full tasting note
    90

From Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms

Yanagi Bancha is light in body but rich in flavor. It has a slightly floral liquor with notes of caramel and birch. Made from more mature leaves, Yanagi Bancha remains one of the most common Japanese teas: very easy to drink and quite affordable.

Taste: Astringent
Body: Light
Texture: Sharp
Length: Short
Harvest: June
Tea Cultivar: Mixed
Origin: Wazuka
Cultivation: Unshaded
Processing: Steamed, Rolled, Dried

About Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms View company

It started with a single cup of tea. As the legend goes, our president Akihiro Kita, or Akky-san, visited Wazuka, Kyoto one fateful day. At the time, Akky-san was still a college student in search for life's calling. After trying the region's famous Ujicha (literally meaning tea from the Uji district), he immediately fell in love and his passion for green tea was born. He had finally found what he was looking for in that one simple cup of tea. After fifteen years of learning to master the art of growing tea from tea farmers in Wazuka, Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms was born and as they say, the rest is history. So what's an Obubu? Obubu is the Kyoto slang for tea. Here in the international department we call ourselves Obubu Tea. That's "Tea Tea" for the bilinguals. We love tea so much, we just had to have it twice in our name. Now Obubu means more than just tea to us. It means, family, friends, passion and the place we call home. More than just tea. Though the roots of Obubu stem from tea, it has become more than that over the years. Obubu is an agricultural social venture, operating with three (1) bring quality Japanese tea to the world (2) contribute to the local and global community through tea (3) revitalize interest in tea and agriculture through education.

14 Tasting Notes

83
134 tasting notes

I received my sampler from Obubu Tea and what a beautiful sampler it is. The packaging is artistically done, and all text is in Japanese, so if you may have to do a bit of detective work matching the inscriptions to translations provided on the guide provided. It is filled with different versions of Sencha, Genmaicha, and several different roasts of Houjicha. All great temptations, but I chose to start by brewing up this Bancha and am very happy I did!

Time to load up the sample into my kyusu, and take a few deep breaths of the lovely aroma of the dry leaves and stems. A bit like alfalfa hay, and a real sweetness that is hard to explain, but nice to experience.

1st steep: 30 seconds at about 190 degrees F
2nd steep: 15 seconds at about 190 degrees F
3rd steep: 30 seconds at about 190 degrees F

Now this is real aracha (http://www.obubutea.com/tea-info/aracha/), in the best way possible. It is nicely refreshing in being both mildly sweet and mildly savory. I found myself chewing on a couple of the twigs/stems just to verify this is where that fascinating sweet flavor is coming from. This may not have the refined complexities of the higher grade teas, but for me it is a really pleasant connection to the tea plantation, and I look forward to the other samples to follow!

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 30 sec
Spoonvonstup

I’m intrigued! I have such little experience with Japanese teas, and I’ve been on the look-out for good vendors. I haven’t heard of Obubu until now, so I think some of their tea may be in my future.

E Alexander Gerster

My favorite Japanese tea vendors at the moment are Den’s Tea and Obubu — but I know there are other really good ones out there. I found Obubu because of their involvement with the International Tea Farms Alliance (http://www.teafarms.org/about/) that empowers worldwide tea artisans by connecting them to tea loving consumers… You have to keep us updated on your new experiences with Japanese teas. They can take you on a really amazing journey! :)

ScottTeaMan

You may also want to try Hibiki-an. I bought tea from them a couple times and it was the freshest Japanese tea I’ve ever drank.They have varying degrees of leaf, from House Sencha to Sencha Super Premium, etc. Free Shipping over $36, last time I checked. A very honest, fair company with great quality teas!

E Alexander Gerster

Great suggestion Scott! I have heard lots of good things about Hibiki-an, and they have some great teaware that I have been lusting over. :)

ScottTeaMan

Yeah, thats for sure. I ony wish I’d bought one of their Tokoname teapots, the Meteor Stream. Anyway, in 2008 it was $79, now it’s $93. I’m still consideing it, esp if I order tea from there as well. What do I mean IF I order tea from there?!

ScottTeaMan

Also I believe their tea is of higher quality, so it has increased in $$ as well (of course). It is still a bargain. Have you noticed International shipping costs from Japan?!

Years ago, I tried Genmaicha and couldn’t drink it. My tastes in tea and preparation have changed since then. So I’d like to try the Genmaicha Matcha-iri from Hibiki-an too. Going to drink some tea :)………….

CHAroma

This tasting note really makes me want to buy a sampler from Obubu! Thanks for sharing!

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87
54 tasting notes

This was part of my December Obubu CSA Club shipment, along with a sample of Gokou matcha (which smells fantastic). This is a lovely everyday green, the flavor is much sweeter than I was expecting from a tea grade described as being “low” – not as buttery as the other grades of sencha, but still that vegetal “hearty” green tea flavor that steeps into a pleasing bright yellow. I got two great steeps out of my first pot.

The dry leaf is also fun, light greens and dark greens and twigs here and there – a sign that it’s fresh. Reminds me of childhood when my grandfather farmed hay and made handmade brooms. Will hopefully get a pic on my blog up soon.

Once again, a well-crafted tea, even if it’s just a ‘lowly’ bancha. Very grateful that Obubu has made their teas available via the CSA club.

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62
280 tasting notes

While I enjoyed this cup, the wet leaf smelled like pickled peppers. Now, I liked pickled things (be it peppers, kim chee, or cucumber), but that was a strange smell to get from tea.

Stranger still was that this was actually present as a flavor. I did like the tea, but it was strange. I don’t remember what else it tasted like, but I don’t think there was a lot there. I’m rating it this high simply because I enjoyed it, but in terms of good quality bancha, I’m sure there’s better out there.

Also interesting was the fact that this had really long twigs present (1" – 1.5"!) that really looked like twigs from a tree, rather than the very small, reed-like kuki in a regular kukicha.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

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90
27 tasting notes

This is a nice, cheap, everyday tea. The flavor is really good for bancha, and the leaves are big and whole.

I deviate from Obubu’s “standard” steeping method a little, I use 3 oz of boiling water to about 4g of tea for 30 seconds for the first infusion, then 3oz boiling water for 15 seconds for the other infusions. The brew is tasty. A bit tart, with a good mix of bitter and sweet. For the price, a really nice tea!

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

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56
335 tasting notes

I tried to rebrew, but I just couldn’t like this tea. It tasted one dimensional to me. Mostly twigs, like a kukicha, which I am not the biggest fan of either. To each their own.

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46
309 tasting notes

This is slight sweet with a somewhat hay-like flavor. It’s moderately dark and has a short finish. It’s a light tea, not strongly flavored but pleasant.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec

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63
485 tasting notes

This tea was pretty meh all around, I would say. Now, I’m not saying that because it compares unfavorably to nicer sencha or even gyokuro, because that wouldn’t make sense. This one didn’t stack up particularly well with a couple other similarly-priced and underprocessed teas I’ve tried from Yunomi.

The leaves were very interesting in appearance – you could say ugly or just “different.” They had a crisp grassy and nutty aroma when dry – after the first steep, they smelled like steamed spinach.

The flavor was pretty weak really. Some crisp grassy notes, along with a bit of a green spinach-y flavor. Getting three steeps out of it was a bit of a stretch, but they were all decent tasting. This tea wasn’t much more than drinkable. I think it might have done better on a warm summer morning, but even then I’d likely prefer even a cheap sencha.

Flavors: Grass, Spinach

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 1 min, 0 sec 5 g 4 OZ / 118 ML
tanluwils

I’ve never had bancha yet, but kind of expected it to be underwhelming. Sounds like it needed more roasting time.

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1113 tasting notes

Tonight I finished packing over 1.2kg of tea to send out to people to discover new teas :)
What a process that was… however, Netflix helps a lot

Anyways, I was packing this tea up and realized I never actually drank it so I decided that I needed to. WOW talk about an instant flashback… drinking this reminded me of the tea that Japanese tea houses in Tokyo provide when you sit down inside. Normally the liquid is very green and has some bitterness to it because they don’t offer their highest tea or gyokuro but free tea is free tea :)
What I really enjoyed most about this is how pure it is. This is nothing but Japanese bancha and that is something to embrace. It isn’t the best and it isn’t bad, it is simply good. Everyday teas are quite a beautiful thing!

curlygc

You are a purveyor of happiness Andrew!

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83
687 tasting notes

My latest sample. Decided to have this while watching anime, and playing Harvest Moon. The tea smells like seaweed, and a little spinach. There is a very seaweed- like flavour as well. It reminds me a little of wakame soup. (Will try again with sushi.)

Thanks for the sample, Yunomius.

Flavors: Green, Seaweed, Spinach

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76
36 tasting notes

I received this as a sample from Yunomi.us. This was admittedly my first taste of a bancha but I was pretty impressed. I always read about how bancha is supposed to be one of the lowest grades of green tea so I wasn’t expecting anything that good.

Honestly I did find this to be an extremely drinkable green tea. It had a much lighter green taste as compared to most green teas. It had a slight sweetness to it with some very slight green hints. I may try to steep a bit more at a time next time and see what that produces. Overall this was a pretty good tea experience.

Flavors: Grass, Sweet

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
DeliriumsFrogs

I really like Bancha… actually, sometimes I like it more than Sencha. I have a tin of Harney and Son’s Bancha that is kind of my go-to green tea… just goes great with everything. I think their “Tokyo” blend uses their Bancha base, too, and that blend is really great.

masked185

It is definitely more of what I would describe as a delicate flavor. I’d probably recommend something like this to a green tea newcomer if they are iffy on the grassy tastes.

DeliriumsFrogs

Yeah, I agree. It’s more subtle in its ‘vegetal’ qualities… :)

masked185

Yes ‘vegetal’ qualities is a good way to put it :D

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