Taste Testing: Anne's Gone Bananas ... and maybe a little (Coco)nuts too! (Black Tea)
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Tea Description: Last month, I did something that I don't often do. I went into the tea studio and I just played around with tea. I know that maybe some of you think that's ALL I do - but really, when I usually enter the tea studio, I do so with a plan and a specific recipe in mind. This time, I didn't - although, given how behind I have been over the past few months, I probably SHOULD have been geared with a plan. But I just decided that I needed a 'free day' - it was time to just do something fun.
And this is the tea that resulted from my play day. I combined an array of black teas: Yunnan Gold, Fujian, 2 distinctly different Assamica varieties, as well as some Assam and Ceylon. This combination creates a very rich, smooth cuppa - very flavorful!
After I finished putting these teas into my blending pan, I added bananas. Because - bananas. I love banana teas and I probably could make a banana tea every month and not get tired of it. YOU might get tired of it though, and I do need to consider you in my thought process - but since this was my play day, I reached for one of my favorite flavors - banana! Then I grabbed some coconut because coconut and banana play very nicely together (and because I love coconut almost as much as I love banana).
Then, because I can never leave well enough alone, I added some vanilla bean for an additional creamy element (because you know, bananas and coconut apparently isn't creamy enough)! It wasn't until I was finished blending all of these flavors that I realized that this would probably turn out to be very similar to our Banana Pudding tea except, of course, the black tea base is significantly different - so there is that.
Anyway, now that I'm finished processing subscriptions for November, I decided to go back to my play day pan and see what came of the blend I crafted that day.
YUM! I guess it comes as no surprise that this does remind me quite a bit of the banana pudding tea (as I thought it would). But this is different - and not just from the base. I added more coconut to this (which comes from going into the studio without a recipe in hand and just going freestyle). There's a little less 'vanilla/creamy' and a bit more coconut and banana.
I really like this - and I made enough to share! (But not a whole lot!)
ingredients: black teas
organic ingredients: black teas, bananas, coconut, vanilla bean & natural flavors
OK - so normally here, I write my tasting notes and maybe some other thoughts, but it seems that I expressed most of my thoughts in the description above, so I'll just stick with tasting notes.
The black teas is smooth. I don't get much astringency at all here. Just smooth, rich black tea flavor. Robust but not overly aggressive. Nice.
The bananas and coconut almost seem evenly matched in terms of taste. Sometimes I taste a little bit more banana in the sip and sometimes I taste more coconut. I'm not sure if this has something to do with the fact that I might be focusing more on banana or coconut when I take the sip. The vanilla is there, but it comes across as more of a creamy - almost custardy note. I think the custardy flavor might come from the combination of these three rather creamy-ish flavors combined.
I don't know if I like this more than the Banana Pudding because I do love that tea - but I also love this. Perhaps there's room in my heart for two teas that are so similar!
to brew: this tea is difficult to measure because one of the Assamica varieties is a thin, rather long, twisted sort of leaf that looks almost like a witch's broom bristle. Hey, maybe someday I'll bring back the Witches Brew Chai and I'll use this tea as the base! We shall see.
Anyway, I recommend not going too crazy with the leafing here - in other words, don't overleaf. Get as close to a heaping teaspoon as you can (and it may require some eyeballing skills on your part). Steep that measurement with 12 ounces of almost boiling water (205°F) and let it steep for 2 1/2 minutes. Strain and let cool for at least 10 minutes. Enjoy!