Bancha Supreme from the Jasmine Pearl

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Bancha Supreme dry leaves
I have to say; I'm very encouraged.  In certain of my other blogging incarnations, posting was something I had to force; something I would squeeze, wheedle, or bludgeon out of myself.  Today, however, it occurs to me that I'm writing a new entry to cheer myself up.  Will wonders never cease?
Bancha Supreme steeping
One of the most cheering parts of blogging about tea is drinking tea.  And one of the few ways a person can improve upon drinking tea, is to drink the particular tea that is particularly well matched to its particular day: the mood, the weather, the season, the meal...  Today is beautiful, with the early springtime sun out again; but it's a two-sided thing, reminding a person how long the winter has been, at the same moment it's warming you out of it.
Bancha Supreme
In any case, there's something about a good Japanese green that makes more sense on a shimmering, mid-April day than it does just about any other time of year.  Maybe it's because so many of these teas are picked around now, and they find a sort of poignant kinship in the bright air and tentative warmth of their season.
Bancha Supreme in the cup
What I made for myself today was the Jasmine Pearl's Bancha* Supreme, and it hit the proverbial spot.  This tea is a rich (in a Japanese-green-tea sort of way), nutty, mouthful of umami.  The aroma is umami-ful, too, and beyond oceanic — it's straight-up salty.  I didn't do the best job steeping it, so it was more bitter than I usually like my tea, but the other qualities are hearty enough to balance even a less-than-ideal preparation.
Bancha Supreme damp
One of the qualities of a Japanese green that strikes me as so appropriate for vernal consumption is the way it leaves me feeling after I've drunk it.  When I'm done with a tea such as this — especially if I've had one cup too many — my insides feel sort of drenched, almost blasted, clean; like a meltwater-swollen stream just flash-flooded my guts, flushing the body-warm dirt and debris out of every nook and cranny in its path, and leaving me not quite raw, but a little shivery.  You might not read that as a positive, and I can understand where you're coming from.  But to me, it's only as uncomfortable, and every bit as refreshing, as any other spring cleaning.

* Actually, bancha is picked between summer and autumn, but none the less; it still tastes good in spring...  This particular bancha is not listed on the Jasmine Pearl's site.

1 Comment

Well, I have to admit that your description of your body-feeling after drinking too much of this sounds horrendous to me. On the other hand, the initial evaluation of the flavors and springiness is very appealing. I'll just remember to stop at one steeping. :-)

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