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!

Passion Berry Jolt from Tiesta Tea. . . .

With a name like Passion Berry Jolt, I almost expected an electrifying yerba mate tea, but this is a black tea blend from Tiesta Tea.  Don’t worry, it still packs plenty of caffeine to wake you up on those early mornings.

This blend pairs black tea with passion fruit, pineapple, and raspberry.  The juicy raspberry and passionfruit flavors come forward the most, reminiscent of breakfast black tea with breakfast jam on toast.  The pineapple is more noticeable as the tea cools, or on the aftertaste, bright and tropical.

I must applaud this tea for being bold and red-berry without any hibiscus.  There’s a time and a place for that herb, but it gets mixed in to so many tea blends and takes over the flavor, it is refreshing to see a fruity tea without dominant hibiscus.

While there are tropical fruits in this blend, the raspberry keeps the flavor naturally sweet and grounded.  The passionfruit can offer its more subtle tartness, and the pineapple its golden deliciousness. This would make a great tea to experiment blending with sangria or lemonade to compliment or enhance its juicy flavors.

Passion Berry Jolt is one of those super-drinkable all-purpose blends, no need for sugar or milk, and tasty hot or iced.  A great fruity tea to keep in your tea cabinet for any occasion.


Here’s the scoop!

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

Packed with passion fruit and raspberry, this black tea blend gives you a jolt of pineapple energy to keep you charged.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Golden West from Pacific Tea Company. . . .

Golden West blend from Pacific Tea was “inspired by a golden afternoon” outdoors.  This herbal blend is made up of a variety of fruits and herbs, many of them tropical like coconut and pineapple.

This tea brewed up pink and sweet with little pops of spice between the fruit.  Sweet apple, tart rose hips, and juicy hibiscus are the main flavors of this blend.  There is a much appreciated hint of pear at the end of each sip. With all the fruity ingredients, it is no wonder that this tea tastes to naturally sweet, but is is a miracle that the fruits are able even to counteract the sour flavors that come with brewing hibiscus.

I don’t taste much coconut or pineapple, they seem to get drowned out by the sweet apple and pink hibiscus.  Likewise, there is only a hint of spice from the added ginger, adding just a mild heat and texture.

I don’t know if this is a “golden” blend, with very little pineapple and pear.  Instead of reflecting on a golden afternoon, I think this tea feels much more like a “pink sunset,” still very flavorful and outdoorsy, but more in line with the driving apple and hibiscus combination I tasted.

Golden West would be great as an iced tea when mixed in with sangria or to when mixed in with lemonade to make it fruity and pink.  As long as you go into this this blend expecting a sweet and pink fruity tea, you will definitely be satisfied. This is especially as the weather gets warmer and it is time to reach for more iced teas than ever.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Herbal
Where to Buy: Pacific Tea Company
Description:

Inspired by a golden afternoon in the Solomon western province, the low-acid blend of pear, coconut and ginger, tops any day with notes of pineapple, marigold and hibiscus.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

On the Rebound – Teavana-Styled Rebound Teas from Adagio Teas. . . .

Late last year, Adagio teas offered a free set of “rebound teas” for recent customers of David’s Tea and Teavana.  While David’s Tea isn’t going anywhere as far as I know, Teavana has been closing its doors and sold out of the final stock in its online shop.  Adagio’s rebound teas were blended to be familiar to tea lovers from those other shops in the hopes of encouraging these tea-fanatics to try out more teas from Adagio’s selection.

Now, I am a little biased because I got my loose-leaf start with Adagio, but I feel as though different tea suppliers have different specialities, and I’ve enjoyed tea from both David’s Tea and Teavana.  David’s Tea and Teavana tend to have more specialized themed blends.  They are a great choice when you want a tea that tastes like a peanut butter cup or an over-the-top tropical peach iced tea. Not to mention, they have some very cute tea tins, mugs, and accessories to jazz up your tea shelf.

Adagio’s Rebound Sampler featured 5 teas (though they are adding new rebound blends all the time, see their listing of comparable teas here)

Teavana had a few popular peach teas, so this sampler has two peach teas of its own: Peach Bellini and Peach Serenity.   They are subtly different, with Peach Bellini focusing on more tropical flavors like mango and papaya, and Peach Serenity with more herbal ingredients like lemon verbena and chamomile.  In both blends, the strong peach flavoring drives the smell and taste.  I think these would be best suited for cold brews, where the sweet candy peach flavor can add sweetness without sugar.  These teas are great if you are a fan of peach rings candy.  I’m always in favor of having more herbal blends, but I think I prefer the more subtle peach taste in Adagio’s peach black tea or peach oolong.

Raja Oolong is an oolong blend with lots of delicious inclusions like chicory, ginger, and cocoa nibs.  Likewise, White Ayurvedic Chai  is a white tea with a long list of flavorful spices and fruits, like cloves, pineapple, lemongrass and cinnamon.  Despite the varied ingredient listing for both blends, the strong cinnamon flavoring takes over.  These teas would be great for fans of Adagio’s hot cinnamon spice tea, or for fans of Hot Tamales candies.  I’m all for a spicy tea, but I wish there was more variety in the spice.  It would be great to have some sweet ginger heat or herbal black pepper spice share the spotlight. I would recommend trying Adagio’s original White Chai blend as another take on the white tea and spice combination.

Samurai Mate is a sweet and tropical mate blend, with lots of sweet papaya flavoring.  The fruit pairs well with the green yerba mate, but it is a little one-note.  This might be more subtle when iced, not to mention a cold brew would suit the tropical fruit theme.  Not the blend for me, but a very striking fruity blend.

If you were able to take advantage of the rebound deal, I hope all the Teavana and David’s Tea fans out there enjoyed your first taste of Adagio.  I think Adagio’s strengths lay with their more naturally flavored or unflavored teas. Let’s not forget their lively fandom blends where customers design themed flavors using the tea blender tools.  If there’s a discontinued tea flavor that you’re missing, why not try your hand at creating a signature blend of your own to bring it back?

Here’s to a healthy rebound in your loose leaf tea life!


Here’s the scoop!

Where to Buy: Adgaio Teas

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Orange & Papaya from Tea-Shirt Teas. . . .

I’ve been in a green tea mood lately, tasting all the flavors and mix-ins that go best with those lighter tea leaves.  It was the perfect day to try Orange and Papaya from Tea Shirt Teas.

I was immediately impressed by the delicious scent of the tea in the dry leaf.  It was amazingly fruity, and hard to resist smelling the dry leaves in my mug while I waited for the water to boil.  The leaves themselves are all dressed up for the occasion, with big chunks of dried papaya and orange slices mixed in among the green tea.

Along with the papaya is a hefty dose of lemongrass, but despite all the lemongrass in the dry leaf, the brewed blend tastes most strongly of orange and papaya.  A hint of mango comes out at the back of each sip.  It all makes for a vibrant cup of citrus and green that can’t help but jazz up your afternoon.

This blend is sweet and fruity enough to love it hot or iced, and either way the luscious fruit flavors were super satisfying and thirst-quenching.  Though I tried the blend both hot and iced, with all these tropical flavors, this blend is absolutely calling out to be the next pitcher of iced tea in your fridge.  Drinking it cold, the fruit makes the tea almost candy-sweet, like a more mature fruit punch.

This is a great blend for when you need to brighten your day and imagine yourself in a sunny grove of tropical fruit.


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Tea Shirt

Description:

Ingredients: green tea (60%), lemon grass, apple pieces, freeze-dried apple pieces, orange slices, mango flakes, papaya flakes, flavouring.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!