Kyobancha - Obubu

Tea type
Green Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by Elyse Petersen
Average preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 30 sec 8 oz / 236 ml

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From Tealet

After the long cold winter tea growers in Kyoto Prefecture harvest tea leaves and twigs to produce Kyobancha. It has a deep woodsy flavor that is sure to warm you up on a cold holiday night. Many tea-growing regions refer to Kyobancha as ‘bancha for babies’ because it is so low in caffeine because of its late harvest date. It is very difficult to find this tea in stores because tea-growing families usually just drink it themselves.

Obubu’s production of Kyobancha produces a light, refreshing, and easy-to-drink tea. This tea is perfect for coffee drinkers that are newly introduced to tea. If you are sensitive to caffeine this tea may be easier for you to drink.

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3 Tasting Notes

4843 tasting notes

This is my first known experience with a Kyobancha … it is sweet and toasty, reminding me a bit of a cross between a white tea and a Houjicha. It is roasty-toasty like a houjicha, and light and sweet like a white tea.

The sweetness here reminds me a bit of raw sugar cane, it is so sweet and yummy. The roasted flavor is slightly nutty, and there is very little vegetative tone to this tea … it’s slightly vegetal … a hay-like vegetal tone … but it is barely there. This tea is light in body and texture as well as taste … and it is so lovely … relaxing to sip!

I like this a lot!

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189 tasting notes

Appearance: full bancha leaf, natural breaks, olive brown
Aroma when Dry: earthy, slight spice, sweet
After water is first poured: buttery, earthy
At end of first steep: buttery, earthy, leafy
Tea liquor:
At end of steep: faint hints of green
Staple? Type yes, company yes
Preferred time of day: any
At first?: slight spice, mineral notes,buttery, leafy
As it cools?: gets foresty, creamier, full bodied, salty, brothy
Additives used (milk, honey, sugar etc)? No
Lingers? Sweet, buttery, toasty, slight spice
want to try chilled

Second steep (5min)
Aroma: buttery
At first: buttery, earthy, hints of spice
As it cools: spice notes fade, stays buttery, earthy, brothy

Third Steep (5 min):
creamy, brothy, salty

Fourth Steep (6 min)
light creamy salty brothy

190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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348 tasting notes

Major backlogging here

The first thing I noticed about this roasted bancha was…well…how roastly and – uh – bancha-like it smelled. All leaves and burnt nuts – a very autumn smell. The leaves basically looked like cut leaves – brown and oxidized-looking. All pleasantries and no pomp, regardless of circumstance. It reminded me of a San Nen (three-year-aged) bancha I had some three years back. Whoah, how fitting!

The Tealet profile on this bancha recommended bringing water to a boil, letting it cool for up to three minutes, then steeping for about the same time. I cut the “wait” part out and just waited until the water came to almost-a-boil before stopping the kettle. However, I did adhere to the three-minute steep.

The liquor brewed dark amber instead of radioactive green (like other senchas). The aroma was just as autumnal as the dry presentation, all nuts, leaf, and…tartness? Okay, now I had to sip this to make sure that was what I smelled. Oh my, yes it was. This was both roasty and tart, not unlike another bancha I tried – an awabancha (pickled green tea). However, this didn’t taste like pickles – just like a green with a dash of hibiscus on the palate. I first noticed the tartness in the middle, but it continued with the trail-off to the finish. The aftertaste lingered on the roasty notes but still had a bit of zest to it. Very unusual…-ly wonderful.


200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

OK, and triple Golden Slasher Bonus Points for Teacuplets. (I’m not sure where that phrase came from…something my husband made me listen to when we were dating and I pretended to like it, I think :)

Geoffrey Norman

“TeaCuplets” was the name for a segment I just started for the Tumblr I just opened – tea reviews…with a rhyming scheme. There was no better name for it.

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