Bancha 番茶 is tea that has been made from leaves that are more mature. The more mature leaves are larger and thicker than the first flush leaves that are used to make sencha. As such it is usually tea from summer, autumn or even winter harvest in Kyoto (kyobancha)
Bancha is an everyday tea and as such it is often used to make teas such as hohicha and genmaicha.
As bancha leaves have been exposed to the sun for much longer they contain lower levels of theanine (umami notes) and are more astringent than higher grade teas. This longer exposure to sun also means there is a higher level of calcium and potassium in the leaf. As the leaves are larger there is also a lower level of caffeine.
Bancha is processed in the same way as other green teas. Steaming, rolling and drying
Bancha has many known heath benefits including having positive effects on free radicals in the body, helping mental alertness, blood pressure and kidney health.