Japan Mimasaka Bancha Dark Tea

Tea type
Tea
Ingredients
Not available
Flavors
Broth, Caramel, Floral, Licorice Root, Mushrooms, Nuts, Roasted Barley, Smooth, Soy Sauce, Spring Water, Wood, Smoke, Sour, Sweet
Sold in
Loose Leaf
Caffeine
Not available
Certification
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by eastkyteaguy
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 30 sec 3 g 11 oz / 318 ml

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2 Tasting Notes View all

  • “The air was thick with humidity today. The marine layer that deposited a fine mist in the air this morning decided to stick around, leaving the day overcast and balmy. In an introverted mood,...” Read full tasting note
    80
  • “I bought some of this tea on a whim since I read it was a cross between a shou puerh and a houjicha. I love a good houjicha and have been meaning to dip in to the “aged wine” class of tea for a...” Read full tasting note
    77

From What-Cha

Another unique Dark tea from Japan, it has a light sour roasted taste with mushroom and earth hints, perhaps best described as a cross between Shou Pu’erh and Houjicha.

The tea is produced by first simmering the Bancha tea leaves in an iron pot, followed by drying in the Sun with moisture periodically added from the ‘tea’ produced by the initial simmering. The tea is then finished with a light roast.

It is said to be the favourite tea of Miyamoto Musashi author of the The Book of Five Rings who lived locally to Mimasaka.

Tasting Notes:
- Completely unique
- Sour roasted taste with lingering mushroom and earth notes

Production: July-August 2020
Origin: North Okoyama prefecture, Japan
Sourced: Specialist Japanese tea wholesaler

Brewing Advice:
- Heat water to roughly 95°C/203°F
- Use 3-4 heaped teaspoons
- Brew for 4-5 minutes

Packaging: Resealable aluminium ziplock bag

About What-Cha View company

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2 Tasting Notes

80
1573 tasting notes

The air was thick with humidity today. The marine layer that deposited a fine mist in the air this morning decided to stick around, leaving the day overcast and balmy. In an introverted mood, this evening I finally treated myself to a solo sushi dinner as congratulations for promotion. The booth I sat in gives an unobstructed view to the mountains in the east which were shrouded in fog to a low elevation. I could feel the possibility of rain approaching. I checked the forecast, and sure enough, it called for showers tonight. At home, as I now sit, I can hear the sound of passing cars on wet pavement.

I’ve been drinking the four Japanese teas in my cupboard this week, as the change of the angle of the sun has signaled that autumn is approaching. Nevermind that we don’t get much of an autumn here compared to my home state. If we are lucky to get rain, the transition from dry season to wet can be rather abrupt around November. The rain this evening marks the second out of season precipitation we’ve had in a few weeks. I pray for more rain.

This makes a very pleasant bowl tea for my mood and the weather. The leaf is in great shape, lots of whole leaf and it’s all very shiny. Shiny, somehow both pliable and brittle leaves various shades of roasted brown that sink within several minutes, leaving only the stems to float. Mellow taste. A broth of sweet mushroom and roasted barley, dry florals, a little bit of soy sauce. The florality is the same as what I get from What-Cha’s Okinawa sencha and from Totem Tea’s Kuwacha mulberry leaf processed like sencha.

This is an interesting tea. I think it is considered fermented. I will have to do some reading to learn more.

Flavors: Broth, Caramel, Floral, Licorice Root, Mushrooms, Nuts, Roasted Barley, Smooth, Soy Sauce, Spring Water, Wood

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 g 10 OZ / 300 ML
gmathis

If I haven’t told you how much I love reading your reviews, I am now. Your quiet evening sounds absolutely delicious.

derk

The reverence is mutual.

Lexie Aleah

Your writing gives me chills here!

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77
5 tasting notes

I bought some of this tea on a whim since I read it was a cross between a shou puerh and a houjicha. I love a good houjicha and have been meaning to dip in to the “aged wine” class of tea for a while now. My first impression of the leaf was intrigue, as the leaves were completely unfurled and had a nice sheen about them; they smelled lightly roasted and sour. The instructions said to use 4-5 heaping tsp. per cup and steep for 4-5 minutes so I did just that with a mug, tea basket, and silicone cover. What I found most interesting about this tea, is that with each steep, I felt I could pick up/taste different notes in the brew. I got 3-4 steeps out of this but I enjoyed the first 2 steeps the most. The steeps represented in minutes/steep was 5-6-10-12.

The first steep was very reminiscent of a regular sweet, caramel-like houjicha with a light roast. The roast smelled and tasted more smoky, other than what I usually deem a “toasty” flavor I get from a houjicha.

The second steep is where the notes start transforming from sweet to sour: in which it still tastes like a houjicha, but leaves a subtle sour, earthy/mushroom-y aftertaste.

The third steep required to be twice as long as usual to get the brew to the same tone as the last two. The result was a brew where the suble sour, mushroom-y aftertaste became the predominant notes with the houjicha flavor becoming much more subtle. The sourness lingers after drinking which turns in to an aftertaste taste of smoky mushrooms.

The third steep is where I stop for this tea in particular, but for the sake of logging, I tried the fourth steep a second time around. The brew is lighter than the past three, but it is still amber with a tinge of brown, albeit a weaker aroma. The body of the tea is also less smooth. As for the tasting notes, it tastes like watered down houjicha (go figure) mixed with rice & meaty mushrooms. The sourness is still present but much weaker as well.

Overall, this tea has grown on me and I do enjoy that it is like a more complex houjicha. It also holds up like an houjicha, but this one can get an extra steep in with hotter temperature and a longer steeping time, whereas an actual houjicha is much less forgiving in that aspect. I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone who dislikes fermented foods and drinks, as per the astringent notes that come out in the later brews, but I would recommend it to others looking for a thought-provoking tea experience.

Flavors: Caramel, Mushrooms, Smoke, Sour, Sweet

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec 8 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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