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!


 

Easy as Pie: Black Cherries and Sweet Cream from A Quarter to Tea

It’s getting to be summertime and cherries are in season.  You can see them in a glorious, burgundy bundle at the grocery store or the farmer’s market.  With summertime cherries on my mind, it seemed like the perfect time to try Black Cherries and Sweet Cream tea from A Quarter to Tea.  

The dry tea leaves and the first minute of steeping was all about the cream, wafting sweet waves of vanilla out of my mug.  As the tea cooled and I got my first taste, the cherries started to shine.  This tea is named for black cherries specifically, and you can taste the dark, full, fruit flavor in the tea.  This is certainly not the red cherry flavor of chewy candy or medicine, nor the syrupy maraschino cherry that goes on top of your sundae.  This blend truly tastes like fresh black cherries and a dollop of cream.  Even without milk and sugar, this blend is smooth and decadent, though it never gets too sweet.  

There is a distinct tartness in this brew, both from the natural fruit notes and from a tanginess to the cream. This tartness goes well with the astringent black tea base, matching the bright and sharp tone of the tea leaves.  This blend reminds me of the taste of fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt, with vanilla yogurt and burst of black cherries.  The vanilla is creamy, but has enough complexity to remind me of true frozen yogurt, or even a slice of cherry cheesecake.  

This is a great dessert blend to go with a cherry pie at that summer barbecue!  


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: A Quarter to Tea
Description:

Luscious black cherries with a medium body darjeeling base, paired with heavy notes of cream and vanilla. Decadent enough to make a magister proud.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Treat Yourself to #SmoothSensualitea from #CupOfLove

Having a hard day?  The hours at work getting too long?  Did you get doused by a car passing through the rain puddle?  Just need something to make you relax?  It’s hard to go wrong with a tea named Smooth Sensualitea from Cup of Love.  That’s a tea blend that you know will treat you right.

So kick off your shoes, hang up your coat, and breathe a sigh of relief: it’s tea-time.  This rooibos blend is naturally caffeine-free, good for when you need to keep your cool or if you want to brew a cup at bedtime.  This blend is all creamy vanilla bean coupled with sweet herbal marshmallow.  The mallow flowers do bring a certain tone of sweetness to this tea, not to mention they look good with the cornflower blue-purple petals, a lovely contrast to the orange-brown dry leaf of the rooibos.

There’s a hint of orange in this blend, but it is mild, just a kiss of sunny citrus to go with all the easy-going creaminess.  Overall it’s a winning vanilla blend, smooth, and creamy, and comforting.

Treat yourself to a Cup of Love tea.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Rooibos
Where to Buy: Cup of Love
Description:

A naturally decaffeinated tea, African Rooibos, has a distinctive and plentiful-tasting red leaf.  Blended and infused with the sweet allure of orange crème and a heartwarming vanilla, this tea is highlighted by the magnificent color of Mallow and Cornflower petals, that steeps a smooth and delicious flavor.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Perfectly Pink #LadyMendl blend from #SunshineCottage

Another lovely tea from the crafty world of Etsy, this time it’s Lady Mendl blend from Sunshine Cottage.  The Lady Mendl tea blend is based on a cocktail of the same name.  The alcoholic beverage was all pink pizzazz, served in a martini with grapefruit juice, cointreau, and gin.

With so much pink citrus in the mix, this tea is surprisingly creamy, with delicious, juicy grapefruit at the forefront, and sweet, candied orange in the undertone.  There are even passion fruit pieces in the dry leaf, adding to the popping, tropical flair of these flavors.

The black tea base is nutty and rich, nicely balancing the strong citrus tones.  There’s even a hint of black pepper in the smell of the leaf, and it comes through in the brew the longer it is steeped.  I find the hint of something savory and spicy to be an appealing counterpoint to the luscious fruit.

This would be a great blend for fans of earl grey who want to get outside their usual bergamot flavor but still want a citrus-inspired drink, fit for a lady.  Look no further than Lady Mendl from Sunshine Cottage and start brewing up something perfectly pink.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Sunshine Cottage (Etsy Shop)
Description:

This blend is based on my mother’s favorite cocktail – the Lady Mendl. A delightful blend of orange and grapefruit, this black tea is perfect for an afternoon tea while listening to the legendary Cole Porter – who sang the praises of Lady Mendl in ‘Anything Goes’.

Just as an aside, Lady Mendl (or Elsie DeWolfe) was a fascinating woman and well worth reading about – perhaps while sipping a cuppa of this blend. I enjoy mine with milk (it smooths out the citrus) and a dash of maple syrup (another of my mother’s favorites).

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Kick Back and Relax with Hammock Blend from Plum Deluxe

Brewed hot, this tea is smooth and bright, with the fullness of black tea and crisp orange, and just enough vanilla to smooth out any astringency.  The tea is creamy even without milk and sugar, but not so sweet or over-flavored to come off as artificial orange-creamsicle.  In many ways this is definitely still a classic black tea.  

With a name like Hammock Blend, this tea is meant to be a cold summer beverage, so I brewed a batch hot with sugar and let it chill.  Iced and sweetened, I will say that the sugar complements the orange and cream flavors, though they weren’t any bolder after the iced brewing style.  Maybe I’m just a bit out of season for this tea and I’ll have to give it another go when I’m sweltering in July.     
Overall the flavors of this tea were a little subtle for my tastes, but would be a great choice for someone looking for a traditional black tea with just a little non-traditional twist.  It’s hard to go wrong with a splash of orange and cream.  


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Black
Where to Buy: Plum Deluxe
Description:

When we set out to make the perfect loose leaf iced tea blend, we knew one of our favorite flavors was orange. With a hint of “creme” vanilla flavor, it makes the most delicious iced tea, the perfect thirst quencher on a sunny day.  As the name implies, grab a cool glass of this tea and relax. Reminds you of an orangesicle without all the calories!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!