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Bonus Tea for April 2021: Bananas! Black Tea

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Bananas! Black Tea

Tea Description: Yum! I love banana teas & based upon the response that I get from my customers - most of you do too! Yeah, I know that there are some of you out there that aren't fond of bananas & my apologies go out to those of you who do not. To be completely honest, I'm not wild about the fruit. If I'm in my local produce market & I'm going to buy my favorite fresh fruit, I wouldn't be buying banana. If I'm to put my top 3 favorite types of fruit in my cart, or even my top 5, banana wouldn't be one of the fruits in my cart. 

But, when it comes to freeze-dried fruit - banana is at the top of my list. I absolutely love freeze-dried bananas. The same is true of other banana things: I love banana cakes, banana bread, banana taffy ... you get the idea, right? (Just one exception - I don't like the banana runts!) AND - I absolutely LOVE banana flavored teas! 

This tea is a Frank's era tea - he originally blended it back in 2015 (which is the year we took over 52Teas - so he blended it shortly before June 2015). We reblended it in 2018 (because as I mentioned above, I love banana teas!). This is my description from back in 2018:

I was inspired to reblend this one because I kept reading one of my Steepster friend's comments about wanting "MOAR Banana" in her banana flavored teas. (I don't think I need to name names, I think she knows who I'm talking about!) So I decided to do this reblend because this is one of the more memorable teas that Frank put out in his last months doing the 52Teas thing. At least, for me it was very memorable because like my Steepster friend, I'm a little bananas about banana teas! (Psst! Wanna read my review of this tea? Click here!)

Frank's description of this tea went like this:

Lots of people have commented on our banana tea blends in the past. We’ve used banana in a few blends inspired by banana pudding, bananas foster and even banana bread, but I thought this week we would really go bananas and just go with an all out banana tea. We’ve blended our Pettaiagala Extra Long Leaf OP black tea from Sri Lanka with real freeze-dried bananas and organic banana flavors, and this, my friends, is bananatacular! It’s bananaramic! It’s enough to leave you humming the Batman theme– “Nana nana nana nana nana nana… Batman!”

I managed to locate a Pettigala estate Ceylon similar to what was used in the original blend - it's a fairly mild black tea that works well with the banana which is a mellow flavor. A more robust tea would have obscured the sweet yet authentic banana notes - but this smooth Pettigala Ceylon allows the banana to do its thing while still offering a smooth black tea flavor in the background.

If you're bananas about banana flavored tea - you gotta try this one! 

The recipe here is super simple: OP Pettiagala Ceylon black tea base blended with lots & lots of freeze-dried bananas. Lots of them. I even used ground up freeze-dried banana bits - so don't be alarmed if you happen to notice some weird residue after you steep this - that's just pure banana that's been crushed finely - into a powder - and rehydrated in tea as it's steeping. It looks a little funky, but trust me when I say that it does amazing things to the flavor of the beverage. The tiny bits of banana mean more surface area to infuse into the liquid - which means, quite simply MOAR banana!

This delightful tea is also organic, VEGAN, gluten-free & allergen-free!

organic ingredients: single estate black tea, bananas & natural flavor

Yes! The month of April 2021 has been a spectacular year as far as tea goes. Some of my all-time favorites have been reblended & this tea definitely falls into that category. 

This is super delicious and oh-so-banana-y! The Pettiagala base is a mellow Ceylon - a perfectly compatible base for the banana which is a bit on the mild side as far as fruit goes. The flavor of the tea is not so strong that it overwhelms the banana - but it's still not so mellow that you can't taste it. Like I said - the perfect base for the banana.

There really isn't much for me to say about this tea that I haven't said above. If you like banana teas, this is one you really should try. You'll be glad you did!

to brew: give the blend a gentle shake before you measure. as I mentioned in the above description, the pieces of banana here range in size - so you want to get some of those tiny, powder-y bits of banana to enhance the banana level! 

measure out 2 1/2 grams of tea & fruit to 12 ounces of nearly boiling water (205°F) & allow to steep for 2 1/2 - 3 minutes. strain & allow to cool for at least 10 minutes. enjoy!

I went with 3 minutes steep time for my first taste test of this tea & I found that the cup was loaded with banana flavor. I also noticed just a hint of dryness to the cup. It didn't bother me - but if you're one who tends to be sensitive to the dryness of black tea, I recommend going with the 2 1/2 minute steep time. This will cut back on the dryness. There's still a good amount of banana flavor, but not quite as much as the 3 minute steep. I recommend trying it first at 3 minutes & see how you like it. If you want a little less dryness, go with the 2 1/2 minute steep. The tea has a strong banana flavor - no sugar is necessary here - I find that the addition of sugar gives the banana a bit more sweetness than I want from my banana (as it's already a pretty sweet fruit, you know?) But if sweet teas are your thing - go for it!