Our main goal is to get people drinking good tea. There is so much misinformation about tea. For fellow Chajin it can be disheartening knowing that so many people aren’t drinking the good stuff.
So, the Hidden Leaf offers some leaves that are the real deal!
At first, we wanted to be a tea provider and sell tea. We wanted it to be our life’s work. But, with a relationship deepening with tea, its wisdom told us that it is not something you can sell, but something you can give. Whether it be the leaves themselves, education, or service, the leaves are themselves a gift, a perfect harmony of Man and Nature.
Taking Nature’s gift, the plant, and Man’s craftsmanship, tea is born. It is a way to get in touch with not only Nature, but appreciation for craftsmanship. Tea is not born out of just drying leaves after all….it takes a LOT of skill, knowledge, and experience. Anyone can make tea, but it takes a master to create tea.
In honor of this craftsmanship and the beauty of the Leaf, we are dedicating a pack strictly to bancha. Bancha is a green tea from Japan that is very common, just like how Earl Grey is to the West. It’s not really thought about for tea heads, and not really seen or talked about for Chajin (at least in my experience).
It is a lower grade tea, meaning its leaves are from the bottom of the tea plant. Usually, it comes from the same plant that is used to make sencha, which is just a higher grade. It’s only made in Japan, along with many green teas, and like I said, not really thought about….
A dear friend of ours enquired about bancha, wondering if we provided it. We didn’t at the time, but this opened many doors for us! Our curiosity led to us learning a whole lot about bancha, and finding the good stuff!
Not only did we find really good bancha, but multiple different kinds! All with different processing and from different farms. Really beautiful stuff. When trying these teas, we had very different reactions, because of how truly different they are!
We would LOVE for you to try these banchas. Please contact me, or go to thehiddenleaf.org for more information on what we have available.
So at the Leaf this morning we had a session with one of the banchas we have available. This particular one is called kyobancha and is from Kyoto, Japan.
Basically, in March when the tea farmers are preparing for their spring harvest, they trim the hedges and await their fresh new spring leaves. But the leaves that have grown over the winter are not wasted! These are the pickings for kyobancha. These leaves are huge and thick, and are different than the spring harvested leaves because they are grown over the winter.
After harvesting, these leaves are steamed, then dried, not rolled (unique compared to other teas which are typically rolled), and finally roasted. The result is what I call “autumn leaves” because that’s exactly what they look like! I’ve truly never had a tea like it. Not only by taste but the look of it is very unique.
These leaves are really beautiful! Inspiring really…
Its liquor is yellow, and very sweet! A little smoky but not overpowering. When I say its sweet, it’s SWEET! It’s like honeysuckle juice.
It’s called “baby bancha” in Japan because there’s practically zero caffeine, so if that interests you this is a great no caffeine tea!
It’s aroma hits you almost instantly. It’s strong, and both heavy and light. Yin and yang.
Having a session with this tea is rare for me, especially because most of my sessions are with very patient puerhs and oolongs. But this bancha is patient, and perfect for a nighttime session because of the light caffeine.
But it’s also perfect anytime 😉 (Also side tip, if you have this kyobancha, don’t be nervous to add more tea than you normally would. It’s is very light in weight. You want to drink this one a little strong)
This session lifted my spirits. Spirit leaves.
Leaves that come from the land of Japan, which is filled with such wisdom and respect. These leaves are grown over the course of winter, so it has a lot of stillness in its leaves. Quiet and everlasting.