A popular Japanese tea for daily drinking, Bancha is even used as the base of Genmaicha, and means "common tea" in Japanese (番茶). Depending on the variation, the leaves can be harvested in spring, summer, or autumn, or even made from leftover leaves from the first crop or from late summer growth. They're taken from the lower part of the plan, so the leaves are a bit larger with a firmer structure than Sencha. Once the leaves are harvested and steamed, the entire leaves, including stems, are rolled just like Sencha giving the end product slightly fatter needles. Because it's made from coarser leaves that contains stalks and stems, Bancha is low in caffeine, but full of nutrition. The lower leaves are shielded from the sun, it produces fewer bitter compounds, giving it a lovely mild and refreshing taste.