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!

Strawberry Shortcake from The NecessiTeas . . . .

There’s something about strawberry shortcake that makes me think of summer, or at least makes me think of flowery tea parties.  Maybe it’s just the fact that strawberries are at their height in the summer, or the fact that strawberry shortcake is often served with everyone getting their own little cake on a doily or saucer.  Either way, drinking Strawberry Shortcake tea from the Necessiteas felt like the right thing to do on a beautiful summer day.

This tea smells decadent even in the dry leaf, with lots of strawberry and vanilla fragrance.  The scent is supremely sweet, almost like strawberry Starburst candies.  The blend brews up gold in color, and continues to be berry-sweet and incredibly fragrant.

In taste, the most forward tastes are strawberries and cream, with a bit of the earthy white tea to balance all the dessert-flavors.  There are yellow cake notes at the back of each sip, reminding me of birthday cake ice cream.  These cake flavors combine with the white tea, bringing an almost buttery, savory feel to the tea that gets creamier as the brew cools.

Three things go into strawberry shortcake: berries, cake, and cream, and this blend has all three essential elements in tea form.  This is a must-try blend for any dessert-tea fans, or for any fun summery, strawberry occasions in your schedule.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: White
Where to Buy: The NecessiTeas
Description: Angel food cake perfectly combines with a light layer of sweet cream and juicy strawberries to create this guilt-free dessert. Enjoy hot or poured over ice.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Sage Wellness from Plum Deluxe

I love brewing up tea with fresh herbs from the garden or from the kitchen.  With all the turkey and holiday meals in the wintertime, I feel like sage is an especially appropriate herb to be brewing this time of year, so I ordered a bag of Sage Wellness tea from Plum Deluxe.

 

This is a tea with a green rooibos base, which provides the perfect, gentle background for the other herbs and flavors.  In the dry leaf, there are plenty of fuzzy, grey-green leaves from the sage, a pleasure to touch and smell.  Rose petals and lemon peel add to the dreamy fragrance.

 

Beyond the rooibos and sage, this blend also features fruit pieces like strawberry and rosehips, and fruit flavoring from strawberries and peaches.  The sage feels like Thanksgiving turkey and stuffing, but the strawberry feels like a summer harvest.  With the two fragrant, flavorful factors of sage and strawberry, the whole blend is reminiscent of a fresh, blooming herb garden.

 

Not too sweet and not too savory, the fruit and herbs come together to make an atypical take on familiar flavors.  With a blend so beautiful to look at and so tasty to brew, I like to pretend that I was wandering in a fantasy garden, plucking bits of sage and picking perfect strawberries to add to my perfect cup of tea.

 


Here’s the scoop!

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

Nourish body + soul with the wisdom and healing of fresh herbs and fruits!  Our sage + green rooibos herbal tea artfully blends lemon and orange with a pinch of strawberry and peach to make a delightfully refreshing, flavorful tonic wonderful for when you have those emotional blues or just want a cup of something calm and restorative.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Forest Friend blend by Leslie Kiesler on Adagio Teas

Adagio Teas is where I credit my loose leaf tea beginnings. They have a variety of teas for both beginners and experts, but their success comes from their lively fandom blend community.  There’s a themed-blend for every movie, book, and video game out there.  I know I’ve had a great time designing my own flavors, and I’m always interested in trying new blends from other tea lovers.

My favorite summer blend of late has been Forest Friend by Leslie Kiesler.  This blend is a homage to the main creature in the film, My Neighbor Totoro, of Studio Ghibli fame.  To me, Forest Friend is tea-blending at its best.  It is mixed from Adagio’s white strawberry, white pear, and rooibos jasmine flavors.  On their own, none of these teas are really my favorite: I found the strawberry to be a bit too sweet, the pear to be a bit too earthy, and the rooibos jasmine to be overwhelming floral.  But when mixed together in these proportions, I can’t seem to get enough of this tea.  It’s magical, like finding out you have a big fuzzy, forest friend as your neighbor.

I prefer this blend iced, with our without sugar depending on my mood.  This is a blend mainly made up of white tea leaves, so keep your water temperatures a little cooler than usual to avoid any harsh notes.  The strawberry makes this a delectable summer blend, almost like sugary kool-aid, but the pear and white tea gives the sweetness just enough grounding that it doesn’t become too much like candy.  The rooibos jasmine is amazing when added to a blend in smaller quantities.  It adds some tart, herbal rooibos flavors, and relaxing floral overtones.  There are even blue cornflowers and golden marigold flowers in the dry leaf to make the blend look vibrant in my pitcher as it brews.

Top off the great taste with Leslie’s cute label on the tin and you’ll realize why it is so hard to resist this blend.  Forest Friend is always in my wish list for when summertime comes around and I need a sweet, magical way to cool down and brighten my day.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: White/Rooibos
Where to Buy: Adagio Teas
Description: There’s a friend waiting for you in the forest, but he’s snoring the day away. Wake him up with a cup of tea so you can begin a magical adventure!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Sensiblyscript’s Tasting Notes on Passion Berry Jolt by Tiesta Tea. . . .

I steeped 1tsp tea for 4 min. in one cup of water at 200-205 degrees, which  produced a cup of tea with a nice dark amber color. Though there’s no berry coloring, there’s plenty of berrylike fragrance. The tea leaves themselves are attractive, with marigold and cornflower petals providing some nice color contrasts.

The berry smell blends with the black tea fragrance surprisingly well. (On a side note, I’m glad they used a high-quality black tea for this blend, as I tend to tire easily of “black tea” bases that have no actual tea flavor so that all you can taste is the flavoring.)

First sip: Not too astringent or acidic, which is nice. There is a bit of astringency, though. The berry flavor I’m finding in this tea is a bit friendlier, somehow, than most berry flavored teas I’ve tried. Perhaps a bit smoother? I’m sensing a rich, strawberry-like flavor here, and maybe a bit of raspberry as well. Maybe that’s why it’s less astringent and acidic than other berry-flavored teas that are heavy on the raspberry and blueberry. (It turns out that the strawberry-like flavor must have been from the “natural passion fruit flavors” in this tea. I guess I’m just not that familiar with passion fruit.)

It’s also not bitter at all, which I appreciate.

While the black tea flavor is present and isn’t overwhelmed by the berry flavor, it’s not super prominent either and doesn’t overwhelm the berry flavor. They exist side-by-side rather elegantly.

When I add a little sugar, it enhances the berry flavor and makes me want cream to complete the berries-and-cream effect.

When I add milk, it tastes like berries and cream just as I’d hoped. MMMMmmmm! I like it best this way. (Okay, that’s not really a surprise.)

This is a friendly, approachable berry/fruit tea, and it’s great for delivering that berries-and-cream dessert sensation without too many calories. I didn’t find it to be at all violent as suggested by the name (“Jolt”), but that’s okay because I really prefer nonviolent teas in most instances.

Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black Tea
Where to Buy:  Tiesta Tea
Description

Ingredients: black tea + natural passion fruit flavors + cornflowers + marigold petals + raspberry bits

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!