Kyobancha (Kyoto-bancha) Roasted Green Tea
Kyobancha (京番茶, Kyoto bancha) is a traditional bancha made in the prefecture of Kyoto (mainly Uji city), with a smoky aroma and very low bitterness or astringency. Kyobancha is also known as iribancha (いり番茶) because it undergoes a roasting process or akachan bancha (赤ちゃん番茶, baby bancha) because it has almost no caffeine, hence a baby can drink it.
Kyobancha can be classified as a type of Houjicha. The main difference is that Houjicha is made by roasting an already processed bancha (which involves the rolling process) while Kyobancha is not rolled.The difference can also be seen in the smoky aroma and taste. Furthermore, kyobancha has more of a traditional touch in its processing. Bancha leaves are steamed, sun-dried and then roasted in a porcelain pot over charcoal at a high temperature, altering the leaf colour from green to reddish-brown. The process was first performed in Kyoto, Japan in the 1920s. Our Kyobancha comes from a traditional Kyoto tea store, established in 1803.