The healing power of Macrobiotic tea: There is an old saying that people who drink tea made from tea leaves that are harvested on the eighty-eighth day after the first day of spring will have perfect health and live longer. The tea leaves gathered on this day are of the best quality, usually mature and contain a rich aroma and flavor.
Tea leaves are harvested several times a year. The first harvest tea is the best, known as Ichi-ban-cha (No. 1 tea), then followed by second-harvest or Ni-ban-cha (No. 2 tea), and third-harvest or San-ban-cha (No. 3 tea). Tea harvested in the later part of the season is called Aki-Bancha (Autumn-Bancha in Japanese). Those tea leaves are usually roasted.
The Macrobiotic 3-year Bancha tea (Sannen Hira Bancha tea or 3-年有机平番茶) is a famous Japanese medicinal tea and it is made from second-harvest Ni-ban-cha tea that has undergone a fermentation and maturing process of 3 years.
Effective for: Blood purification, stomach detox, skin problems, diabetes, metabolic problems, heart disease, radioactive contamination.
Sannen Hira Bancha has a high proportion of stems and is roasted then fermented. Thus, compared to most other Japanese Green Teas, the process is considerably longer and more complex. The tea has a dark brown color. It is considered a rarity in Japan and the best quality ones are highly sought after and always sold out. As such, this tea is almost unknown outside of Japan.
Sannen Hira Bancha is a type of Japanese green tea and derived from the tea plant Camellia sinensis and var. Sinensis. However, due to its special preparation, it yields a fermented tea with very specific health benefits and a particularly soft, earthy flavor.
The tea has been extremely popular in Japan for centuries and is considered the main macrobiotic with many citations from doctors, tea farmers and patients about the positive effects. However, so far there are no scientific studies done on Sannen Hira Bancha, neither locally in Japan, nor internationally in America, UK, Germany or France. The following information was therefore researched first hand in Japan and is based on our opinions and personal experience with this green tea.
Who should take Sannen Hira Bancha
The tea is especially recommended for people who consume a lot of sugar, sweets, alcohol, drugs, oils, and dairy products. It is also very valuable for vegans / vegetarians who consume a lot of Yin-heavy foods.
Sannen Hira Bancha is one of the big three combined healing teas for the treatment of hang-overs after excessive alcohol consumption and blood cleansing after substance abuse (cocaine, heroin, ecstasy / MDMA, amphetamines and marijuana), especially on the day following consumption.
In regard to taste, it is smooth, soft, earthy and warm and is characterized by a pleasant toasty aroma. When cold, it tastes particularly refreshing, especially in summer. With longer steeping times at higher temperatures, it is even stronger and more round-bodied. It is perfect for everyday enjoyment as well as being a therapeutic support as part of a health “cure”.
Sannen Hira Bancha has nearly no caffeine content due to the high proportion of stems and the long fermentation. The same applies to the otherwise abundant tannins found in green tea, which in some cases may have an irritant effect on the intestine and the mucous membranes. The strong positive effects as a general health tea can be improved even further when taken in combination with various other traditional teas.
How to prepare Sannen Hira Bancha tea
Take one to two tablespoonfuls of the bancha tea leaves, pour in one liter of boiling water that measures above 80 degrees Celsius, and steep for 3-5 minutes. Strain before use. Bancha tea leaves can also be boiled with water over a medium flame on gas stove.
Benefits of Sannen Hira Bancha tea
Sannen Hira Bancha originates from Shizuoka, Japan and is available as grocery at Lapan Wellness Café.