Let’s Go Bananas Again! Recent Tastings of Banana Teas

Check out my first Let’s Go Bananas tea posting.

It’s no secret I love the flavor of bananas. I like the taste in pastries, candy, breakfast, the fruit itself, and of course, the taste of bananas in tea! Here is another round of tasty banana inspired teas I’ve tried lately

Banana Split from The Necessiteas

Leaf type: red rooibos

This red rooibos blend has all three essential components of a banana split, with pieces of strawberries, bananas, and carob bean (“chocolate”).  The strong red rooibos compliments the sweet and tart fruit pieces in the blend. The chocolate is an undertone, taking a backseat to the driving banana and strawberry flavor combination. The blend benefits from sweetener and milk to make it feel more like a dessert and bring out more of the bananas.

 

Perles de Antilles Rooibos Blend from Camellia Sinensis distributed by Amoda Tea

Leaf type: green rooibos

This tropical green rooibos blend has pieces of dried banana, pineapple, and coconut. All three fruits are prominent, and no one ingredient takes the lead. Banana and coconut are the sweet components, bringing creaminess and body to the blend. The pineapple adds a much-needed pop of tartness to balance the blend. This tea is the most refreshing as an iced tea, and drinking it iced helps support its summertime tropical vibe.

 

Banana Marshmallow Treat Genmaicha from 52Teas

Leaf type: green

52Teas has a whole host of delicious flavored genmaicha teas. Being the sucker for banana that I am, this was one of my favorites. The sweet cream of the marshmallow pairs well with the banana, almost like a banana cream pie. The toasty flavors of the puffed rice help this blend from being too sweet, and if keeping with the pie analogy, the rice makes up the crust-like component of the blend. All the warm, roasted flavors of puffed rice and gentle green taste of genmaicha with creamy marshmallow fluff and banana.

 

I know there are still banana teas out there that I haven’t tried, so I’ll need to fill up my mug and go bananas for banana tea all over again!

Let’s Go Bananas! Banana-Themed Teas

Tea with bananas?  That’s crazy, right?  Or maybe it’s just crazy delicious.  Let’s take a look at five banana teas I’ve tasted lately.

Grilled Spiced Banana from A Quarter to Tea – Let’s get started with the weirdest banana tea I’ve come across.  Not only does this blend feature bananas, but it also uses smokey flavors to convey the “grilled” part of Grilled Banana.  Brewed, this tea is shockingly creamy, much more like banana creme brule than any overpowering smoky lapsang souchong.  The hint of smoky adds a nice savory note to the sweet banana, like the tasting the sweet-salty shell of fried ice cream.  This is a total underdog combination of flavors, and they really come together.

Banana Peach Green from 52Teas – This green tea is smooth and sweet, with some very forward peach flavors on the smell and taste. The creamy, tropical banana comes through on the aftertaste, rich with real-fruit flavors.  No banana-candy flavors here.  The nuttiness of the tea makes the aftertaste of this blend feel smooth and comforting, like banana bread.

Bananas and Custard from Bluebird Tea – This tea can seem mild at first, with little fragrance in the dry leaf, but when this green tea is brewed at the right temperature, something magical happens.  When brewed this tea truly smells and tastes like banana cream pie.  It nails the fruity, starchy banana flavor, and the creamy-yet-tart vanilla custard.  The gentle nuttiness from the green tea helps keep this centered, but there are plenty of banana-crazy dessert flavors to go around.

Banana Split from A Quarter to Tea – There’s a lot going on in a banana split, there’s vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry ice cream, and sauces like marshmallow or pineapple, and the bananas and whipped cream of course.  This white tea is sweet with strawberries but creamy with bananas and has a touch of the starchy, real-fruit banana flavor.  This blend is sweeter than the others thanks to all the strawberry, but who wouldn’t want to taste an ice-cream-themed tea?

Monkey Chops from Bluebird Tea – Wow, what a name!  Monkey Chops has a tart ceylon black tea base with added vanilla flavoring and banana pieces.  Even without milk this brew has plenty of creamy notes and smooth banana flavor, strong enough to compete with the bold black tea base.  This would be amazing with a splash of milk or a dash of cinnamon sugar.

Love them or hate them, banana teas don’t come along every day so it’s worth getting a little crazy and giving them a try!


 

Banana Nut Pancakes from A Quarter to Tea

bananapancake2_grandeTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: A Quarter to Tea

Tea Description:

What could possibly be better than having pancakes for breakfast?

Drinking them of course. Ceylon is used as the base here and is paired with the flavors of banana nut pancakes drizzled in vanilla butter.

Makes an excellent latte.

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

 

I know I’m so late to trying this company’s teas. I remember when A Quarter to Tea popped up on the internet and for some reason, I think I was distracted by other teas at the time. I decided it was finally time for me to see what these teas are all about! I love all of the original blend ideas that this company has in stock and it seems like they are always developing new ones, too.

Banana Nut Pancakes was one of the first blends I was most excited to try. I love the idea of a buttery pancake in the form of a tea. I already have a favorite pancake tea, Pancake Breakfast from 52Teas.. so I knew before trying this one that I have high expectations for a pancake tea.

Sipping… I’m a bit disappointed as I only taste a light banana flavor and the ceylon tea base. I don’t taste any pancakes or butter. The banana flavor is natural and light which is a nice touch.. but I wish there was something more. I’m also not crazy about the ceylon used.. it’s tolerable, but nothing special and a bit bland. I think this tea might benefit from a name change so people don’t make this cup expecting a plate of banana pancakes.

I’d recommend this tea for those who like rather tame banana blends… maybe for those who are just dipping their feet into flavored teas as well. Even though I’m not wild about this tea, it’s certainly not the last one from A Quarter to Tea that I’ll be trying.

Hot, Buttered Banana Bread from 52Teas

BananaBread2Tea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: 52Teas

Tea Description:

The original blend was a black tea base with freeze-dried bananas, walnuts and natural flavors.  Because walnuts are a tree nut and there are some people out there who are allergic, we’ve decided to take the walnuts out of the equation.  The actual nut didn’t add anything to the flavor, it just made the tea look pretty.  We’re all for pretty teas but not at the expense of an allergic reaction.  Because the flavorings we use contain no actual nuts, we were able to keep the delicious nutty flavor of banana bread without the allergens of the tree nuts.  You get the best of both worlds with our tea!  

And because we’re an all-new team heading up 52Teas now and the tea bases are all new too!  For more information about that, click here.

So we started with our all-new, go-to all-organic black tea base, added all-natural, organic flavors and tossed in some freeze dried bananas.  And since we took out the walnuts, we decided to add a few marigold petals, just to pretty it up.

Learn more about this tea here.

Learn more about the Tea of the Week Program from 52Teas here.

Taster’s Review:

I have to say that I wasn’t the biggest fan of this tea in its original form. I didn’t like the tea base and didn’t think that it was all that much like banana bread. I remember it tasting a bit fake and overwhelmingly like nuts and a bitter black tea. I’m hoping that this reblend will give me the delicious cup I want!

Once I open the pouch I notice the immediate difference of there being much more banana than in the past. I felt like with the old blend that I had to hunt around for the banana slices. There are multiple pieces in this pouch so it looks like I won’t have any trouble getting some banana into my cup.

Sipping… hmm.. it seems like this is a little bit on the weak side for me. I find that if I take larger sips that the banana bread comes out. There is a soft banana note, a hint of nuts and something that reminds me of a crumbly bread. While the tea base is a bit more tame, there is still a bit of astringency that reminds me of walnut skins. I’m disappointed to not taste that buttery element of the buttered banana bread, but it doesn’t ruin the cup for me.

I do enjoy this tea even though it’s not my favorite from the new 52Teas. I think I might experiment with future cups to see if I can get a stronger banana bread flavor.

Coconut Cream Banana Black Tea from Murchie’s Tea & Coffee

coconut-cream-bananaTea Information:

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy: Murchie’s Tea & Coffee

Tea Description:

Murchie’s Coconut Cream Banana Tea combines fine black teas with coconut and bananas. This cup of tea is ripe with the flavour of the islands and is as decadent as banana cream pie!

Learn more about this tea here.

Taster’s Review:

This one comes from a tea friend of mine on Steepster; the store it comes from is located in British Columbia, and not one I’ve had much experience with – just tried different samples in various tea swaps. Their website seems quite nice though, and pretty easy to navigate!

This one definitely has a very banana heavy smell with somewhat of a pudding like quality to it; so I guess that comes from the ‘cream’. I cold brewed this one ‘cause that’s just what I do; it definitely was a lot like I expected it to be but did have a few surprises.

The banana was certainly one of the stronger notes, and very candy like. In addition to having somewhat of a pudding like flavour it reminded me quite a bit of those banana marshmallow candies that you can find in convenience stores for five cents. People tend to have polar opinions on those; you either love or hate them. Personally, I can’t get enough. If you put a big bowl of them in front of me I would lose all self control and eat every last one, and probably get really sick as an added bonus.

The coconut is also very strong, though it tastes a touch off. It has an almost oily or greasy buttery flavour to it, which I find is something I’ve come to associate with shredded coconut that’s just starting to turn bad. Despite not totally meshing, it did sort of work with the tea though; that buttery flavour I dislike tied in a bit with the banana marshmallow vibe to create something that kind felt a little more confectionery instead causing me to feel wary.

I didn’t like the black base a whole lot either; I felt like it was noticeably a lower quality base with a lot of flavourings intended to cover that up – some I kind of observed with another flavoured black from this company, though it wasn’t as noticeable with that blend. And, something about the use of it here reminded me a little bit of ash. Only very lightly; but that’s still not a flavour you necessarily want to be experiencing with a “Banana Cream” tea. As for the all spice, that’s actually one thing about this that I felt pretty neutral about; it was barely present but what I could taste was nice and meshed fairly well with everything else going on. Though, I don’t think an absence of the allspice would have really affected the flavour either.

But I’m honestly probably making this out to seem a lot worse than it was in reality. The truth is I drank the entire 25 oz. cold brew with very little complaint or criticism until after finishing it and it wasn’t all that difficult to just tune into the fun, sweet banana notes. Overall, this probably balances out to be a relatively average tea. Wouldn’t necessarily recommend or serve it, but it’s not like I’d deliberately avoid it either.