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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Kagoshima Standard Bancha

I sort of went out on a limb with this vendor. They are relatively new and found me on Twitter, but I decided I'll give them a shot as I've been on a Japanese Green kick lately. I must say their packaging was impeccable, and very attractive as photographed. Inside the green paper is a foil pouch containing the tea, I assume nitrogen flushed.

I decided to start with their standard Bancha as its price is very appealing on their site, and sometimes I feel you get a good idea of how a company views the tea they sell by what they select as their "low grade" offerings.

Kagoshima Bancha Leaves

The big downside to this tea was its color, at times it reminded me of a fukamushi (deep steamed) in the sense that it was a solid persistent color. But The real downside to the color is there was always a slight hint of brown in the brew, but I do not have enough experience with Bancha to know if it is normal.

But the Aroma of the tea was great, and the flavor somewhat complex. I thought long and hard on how I was going to write up the flavor, as it was a multitude of raw vegetables most prominent was radish. Which is where the contention came into play I'm not a fan of the bitter taste of radish and that was what often came out front in this tea. But while the bitter radish like flavor is not my favorite flavor it was not unpleasant, and I could see someone who really likes that flavor enjoy this tea immensely.

Kagoshima Bancha in Hagi

* Edit: When I first made this I made the mistake of treating it like Sencha. But by increasing the Water temperature and shortening the infusion time by about half the color issue is fixed. And the flavor is much more balanced, and more enjoyable for everyone. We are always learning with tea, especially when branching out to a new area.
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