Japan is the land of tea and it is precisely from the Far East that some of the most refined blends come. This is the case, for example, of Gyokuro which we have already talked about and which is perfect also prepared cold using the Japanese method. Even more well-known is Matcha tea, which has really taken off throughout Europe and the United States, so much so that all the trendy bars and cafés are now offering at least one Matcha tea-based drink. Today, though, we are going to talk about Bancha Tea, another type of Japanese tea with many different properties and benefits. Let’s take a look at them together…
Bancha Tea, properties and benefits
Bancha Tea means “ordinary tea” since it is served as an everyday variety of tea and, in the Orient, is generally considered to be not so refined. This is a green tea with a low theine content available in two varieties: Hojicha or Kukicha. In both cases, this drink is obtained from the leaves and twigs of the Camellia Japonica (in the case of Kukicha Bancha tea, the twigs are picked from a plant which is at least three years old and then smoked). To taste, this creates a tea rich in flavors with hints of wood and an unmistakable scent.
This tea has quite a low theine content and, for this reason, it can also be drunk by children, pregnant women and, in general, until late in the evening without creating problems of insomnia. It has many benefits, of which the main one is that it can contribute to detoxifying your body. Indeed, it is rich in antioxidant substances, precious allies in combating free radicals and, thus, cell aging.
It has a strong diuretic effect and the ability to alkalize the blood, re-balancing its pH value, which can often become too acid due to certain foods we consume on a daily basis, such as, for example, desserts and products made with refined flour.
Bancha Tea is also rich in calcium, vitamin A and iron: elements which make it good for those who suffer from mild anemia. It is also often recommended for digestive problems and cystitis: helping to reduce fluid retention and bloating, and it also balances the urinary tract. It is no coincidence that it is listed as one of the foods recommended as part of a macrobiotic diet which is also inspired by ancient Eastern Taoist medicine.
How to prepare Bancha Tea
Bancha tea can also be found in the online Filicori Zecchini shop where it is highlighted how this product is different from the other Japanese green teas because “it is made from larger, more mature leaves”. It is picked between late summer and late autumn and is delicately cooked to create a pleasant sweetness.
The preparation varies according to the type of Bancha Tea used. In fact, the Hojicha variety, should be left to infuse in hot water at around 85°C (as always for green tea, the water should never reach boiling point) for 5 minutes before filtering and serving.
To preparare the Kukicha, on the other hand, you need to boil the twigs for around 10 minutes. Then you need to leave the tea to rest for another 10 minutes before filtering and serving it. Filicori Zecchini recommends leaving the tea leaves in hot water for around 3 minutes during the first infusion and for about 4-5 minutes during the second.
Did you already know about this “ordinary”, light, green tea, with all its wonderful properties?