In Tokushima, my hometown and where I’m currently living, there’s a tea named ‘Awa Bancha’. 🍵 It’s one of the rare teas in Japan since it’s made using a fermentation technique where you pick the tea leaves in summer and ferment them in barrels. ‘Awa’ is the old name of Tokushima and ‘Bancha’ means coarse tea which was consumed by common people before the modernization.
I went to a town called Kamikatsu that’s known for producing this Awa Bancha. The population of this small town in the middle of mountains is only about 1500. It’s a beautiful place where you can see terraced rice-fields and old traditional Japanese houses dotted here and there.
I stayed at a farm-inn and talked with the owner. It seems like tea farmers are very busy now picking tea leaves and processing them. He also said that in Kamikatsu not just tea farmers are growing tea trees and processing its leaves. They make Awa Bancha to consume by themselves on a daily basis. I was lucky enough to taste their homemade tea! ￼￼￼￼☺️
Like other Japanese tea, ￼￼￼the taste of Awa Bancha varies depending on the place the tea grows or the tea processors. Awa Bancha is known for its refreshing sourness. The one in Kamikatsu is not as sour so it’s easy to drink even if you are not a big fan of sour things. For me, I like drinking it with ice in the summer. 🧊
In Tokushima you can see Awa Bancha in the tea sections of every supermarket, but usually it’s just few kinds. Lots of kinds of Awa Bancha are sold in a local shop in Kamikatsu which is amazing to see!!
There were many things that I had never seen. I bought some of them and I will give you my thoughts in a future post. 😊