What is the caffeine level of bancha green tea? Can bancha be a good choice for people sensitive to caffeine? How does the caffeine level of bancha affect its flavor and taste? Are there any benefits to drinking bancha? These are great examples of questions we'll be covering this article!
So what is on the agenda for today? We are going to explore why does bancha tea have caffeine, the bancha tea caffeine content as well as some of the benefits of bancha tea. Without further ado, let’s get started.
What is the Bancha Tea Caffeine Content
When discussing the bancha green tea caffeine content, you can end up with as little as 10mg of caffeine per cup.
This makes it one of the lowest caffeine green teas, and the perfect companion for a cold evening or night.
Why Does Bancha Tea Have Caffeine?
To understand why does bancha tea have caffeine, you have to look at the tea plant itself.
The tea plant produces caffeine as a defense mechanism to protect itself from insects. Caffeine is very bitter, and even poisonous to small insects, so as the tea plant builds up caffeine on the outside of the tea leaves, it is able to provide a protective coating.
For this reason, all true teas will have some level of caffeine, but some will be higher than others.
In the next section, we will learn why bancha tea caffeine is much lower compared to other types of green tea.
Why is the Bancha Tea Caffeine Content so low?
If you take a look at the tea plant, you will notice light green sprouts on top, and larger, thicker leaves down below.
The younger sprouts
The younger sprouts of the tea plant are very tender, while the older, more mature leaves are much tougher.
Insects are more attracted to the younger leaves, so these require more caffeine in order to stay protected.
This is why teas produced from younger tea leaves like sencha, gyokuro, matcha and kabusecha are high in caffeine.
The older leaves
The older leaves of the tea plant don’t require quite as much protection and therefore they don’t produce as much caffeine. But teas produced from the older leaves like bancha, genmaicha and hojicha are lower in caffeine.
If you want to see how a tea like bancha compares to a tea made from the younger leaves like sencha, you can read this comparison of 👉 Bancha vs Sencha!
How picking affects the Bancha Tea Caffeine Level
In addition to being made from older tea leaves, bancha can also be made from later tea harvests, as late as October. After the fall, the tea plant has all winter long to build up nutrients, and these are released all at once into the fresh sprouts in the spring time.
The tea plant can then be harvested up to 3 more times but the nutrients and caffeine will be diminished, as the tea plant has less time to replenish. This is why the later harvest teas are less sought after.
What Factors influence Bancha Tea Caffeine Level
The amount of bancha tea caffeine depends on how the tea is brewed. As we discussed before, the caffeine is concentrated on the outside of the leaf as a protective coating. During the first brewing, much of this is stripped away, which leaves little caffeine left in the later brewings of the tea.
So you may be asking does bancha green tea have caffeine in the second and third brewing? The answer is yes but very little. You should be able to drink these later brewings of the tea into the evening if you want.
The temperature you use to brew the tea will also determine how much caffeine you extract. Caffeine requires a higher temperature to be extracted, so if you’re looking for an even lower caffeine brewing, you can try using lower temperature water or cold water.
What is Bancha green tea?
The name either translates to simple tea or everyday tea. While teas like gyokuro and sencha are considered to be more special teas, bancha is much more affordable, making it suitable for daily drinking.
A Japanese Green Tea made out of the older leaves
Bancha is made out of the older, more mature leaves of the tea plant. The youngest leaves on the top of the tea plant are the most sought after. These are the highest in nutrients and the smoothest and sweetest in flavor. As a result, these younger leaves are reserved for premium sencha, gyokuro and matcha, and the older leaves or later harvests of the tea plant are used to make bancha.
Mineral and earthy flavor
The older tea leaves are higher in minerals, and they have a more subtle, almost earthy flavor. While the young leaves provide these fresh, tart and sweet notes, the flavor of bancha is much stronger on the notes of warm wood, cereal and citrus. As we discussed earlier, these older leaves will also play a part in explaining the bancha green tea caffeine content.
Final Thoughts on Bancha Green Tea Caffeine
Bancha is more than simply a low caffeine tea. It’s a great afternoon or evening treat that can help soothe the stomach and calm the mind. If you are interested in trying some bancha tea for yourself, you can try our Bancha Masudaen.
This tea is produced by Mr. Masuda, a talented farmer in Shizuoka that is committed to growing green tea without the use of pesticides or chemicals. This tea is inexpensive and it has a very pleasant flavor that makes the perfect pairing for an afternoon snack. Try it out and let us know what you think!
For a complete list of teas ranked by caffeine, you can read this ranking of the 👉 8 Lowest Caffeine Tea
If you are interested in learning about sencha caffeine, you can read this article on the 👉 Sencha Caffeine Content