Tea of the Week for October 12, 2015: Banana Tie Guan Yin
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Tea Description: While scanning some of the reviews appearing on Steepster - as I often do - I came across a review for one of the older Oolong Teas produced by 52Teas and although it wasn't a banana flavored Oolong, they mentioned that they taste banana flavors in the tea. So, I thought, hey, why not a Banana Oolong?
Sounds good to me! I thought it might sound good to you too. So I went ahead and made it - and I'm very pleased with the result - really yummy! The banana is strong but doesn't overpower the sweet, luscious, lightly floral notes and hints of nutty flavor from the TieGuanYin. I love the way the tea and flavor meld - really nice!
All Organic Ingredients: Oolong Tea, Freeze Dried Bananas & Natural Flavors.
I hadn't planned on making this tea for a while but as I was plotting and planning this month's teas, I decided that I really WANTED to a Banana Oolong so ... I went for it. I used an Organic Tie Guan Yin and all natural, organic banana flavoring as well as organic freeze-dried bananas. The freeze-dried bananas arrive to me in humongous slices but I break them into smaller bits because you know, the Tie Guan Yin is neatly rolled into pellets and I felt like the large banana slices just overwhelmed the beautiful little forest green pellets of tea.
I've been looking forward to brewing this tea for a couple of weeks now - I was really excited about a Banana Oolong. I love banana teas as it is and I felt like the naturally sweet, buttery notes of the Tie Guan Yin would pair beautifully with the flavor of banana.
And it is really good. The banana flavor is well-defined but doesn't overwhelm the Oolong. Instead, it complements it - the buttery notes seem even creamier, the sweetness of the tea seems sweeter and the smooth, rich flavor of the Oolong seems even nicer. As I sip on this tea, I find myself wondering how long this tea will stay in stock - I have a feeling that this one's going to be popular with my customers.
To Brew: I used my Kati (although you could also use a gaiwan for this!) and measured a little less than a level bamboo scoop of tea into the basket. Because the Oolong will more than triple its size when it unfurls, you want to leave enough room in that basket for the tea to do its thing. I heated the water to 180°F and let it steep for 4 minutes. Then I let it cool for 5 minutes.
Delicious! Oh, and don't forget to resteep the leaves! This one offers a really nice second infusion!