Bana Tea Company

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Recent Tasting Notes

This is the best pu’erh I have ever tasted.
210f and 15s/20s steeps
Why is it the best? Well, I decided after paying such a high cost for the BANA teas that I purchased that I would be rude and give them unfair test such as leaving a steeping sit for 30 minutes so I could taste it when it reaches room temperature. This tea though… this tea… just, the steeps are dark and strong but I am finding something new that I’ve never had from a pu’erh: After each sip, my entire mouth has a sweetness to it as I lick around. The mouth feel is bold and warm, but the aftertaste just lingers with this sweetness that I absolutely love.
Highly recommended. It seems that 100g is $33 which is like $9 an ounce … such a great deal. I’ll be looking at buying one of these within a month so let me know if you’re interested in taking 20-30g off of me :)
p.s. I enjoyed this so much that I hit the 8th steep before an hour passed…

Liquid Proust

I just can’t get over this after taste… my entire mouth taste sweet. LOVE IT!


Sounds wonderful!

Liquid Proust

It’s absolutely amazing… I am honestly leaving brews aside for them to chill while I drink hot ones as well. This tea makes me smile :)
The sweet after taste is all I needed for it to be high on my list, but once you add the fact that I can steep this over 15 times (not sure how many total as I am still going) it just makes it stay on the top as far as pu’erh goes.

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Eight cups later… TEA SLOSHED
(Someone said it in Chatzy before)

Anyways, I’m going to go drink 10 more cups of this.
I’m not really in a good mood so I decided to drink some good tea and pulled this one out. Great choice.
Oh yeah: 8g and water at 210f

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Wonderful night session!
15 second steeps x 8
I will be continuing tomorrow morning with this tea.
Dark, yet smooth, taste guaranteeing the flavor of ripe pu’erh.

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From the Sheng and Shou TTB.

This is a fairly aged shou, which means musty-ness; however, after a couple of rinses/steeps, that went away, and I was left with a fruity sweet and spicy shou. Pretty good!

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I love this pu’er! It is super clean, clear and smooth. The flavor is strong but not overly rich and thick. The flavor starts savory with walnuts and earth with a hint of camphor. Later infusion this pu’er gets really camphor minty adding a great refreshing, cooling and awakening feeling, along with a bit of sweetness.

Full review on Oolong Owl

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec

Bana Tea is good!


Interesting. Will need to check them out, have never heard of them,

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The scent of the dry leaves in a warm gaiwan is just lovely, a mix of old books or old board game boxes mixed with petrichor and some tiny hints of apricot.

After a rinse, an intense plum fragrance exudes from the leaves, with a light vanilla note and still some of the aged books or old house kind of smell.

I tasted the rinse infusion. It smelled a bit of sweet dough and it had a slight dusty taste and a light overall flavor with a gentle sweetness. The flavor reminds me of the white stick you get in a Fun Dip candy. YUM! This is a rinse I enjoy drinking and will not be tossing out!

After the first infusion, the wet leaves have a more bright and sweet aroma like wet grass and soil during rain. The tea liquid smells like sweet dough with a hint of cinnamon, like cinnamon roll dough. The taste is complex, light, and sweet, with powdered sugar and subtle fruit qualities.

The second infusion has a deeper dried fruit flavor, is a bit less sweet, but is really mellow and rich. There’s a nice enjoyable quality to it. I taste faint notes of dandelion and burdock. If I swish the tea around in my mouth there’s even a bit of a wet fur taste that comes through.

The third infusion has just the most rich and delicious scent. I’m reminded again of sweet pastry dough with a hint of cinnamon, or perhaps horchata. As flavor goes, it is still rather light and mellow. I am having an interesting experiment tonight, as I just brewed a gaiwan of the loose Moonlight White from Jingmai (also from Bana Tea) a while ago. I purchased that tea on my own and this brick tea is a sample from a friend. I’m trying to decide which one I’d like to purchase on an upcoming order soon.

Having the two back-to-back is odd. They have similarities, but are very distinct. The loose tea is from 2012 and much younger. It has sweet and bright qualities, and a little more honey like sweetness. It almost tastes more like a white tea than a Puer. On the other hand, the brick tea is from 2007 and has a more complex nature with the aged earthy-musty notes blending with the sweet notes. The result is more a dulling down of the sweet tones than an enhancement of them, or perhaps this harvest itself is not as sweet as the one from Jingmai, as the cake tea is from a different source. The cake certainly has a mellower and perhaps weaker flavor, but the additional element of the aged taste creates more complexity and richness. Moonlight white is a tea you must brew more deeply than most other raw puer. It simply doesn’t give a bold flavor with very quick infusions unless you pack your gaiwan really full with it. I’m brewing 5g per 100ml right now and am having to add 10-15 seconds to each infusion. It has no bitterness or bite that you may expect from a raw Puer, even when young.

With both versions of this tea, if the flavor intensity and quality were mapped, they’d form a basin. The first few infusions are rich and flavorful, then the next several seem weaker, but the later infusions, pushing toward 6-8, become more rich and flavorful.

I’m on the fifth infusion of this tea, and I can tell that it would benefit from being brewed in a thicker gaiwan with higher heat retention, as the one I am using has very thin walls. I just didn’t want to bust out a larger one when drinking this tea alone. The flavor is subtle still, a bit unremarkable. I will raise the temperature for the next few.

These later infusions are mostly tasting of a light mustiness and a subtle fruit-like flavor.

I really love the aroma and flavor early on, but feel like it is tough to push much flavor out of it after the first few infusions, even if infusing it for a couple minutes or more. It’s definitely subtle. I’m curious how it will age, however.


I’ve had a chance to revisit this tea in my thick-walled larger gaiwan and I can say a few things now with certainty. Firstly, I prefer the loose version from Jingmai that Bana sells over this one quite a bit. At first, I think I was appreciating this tea a lot more because it was given to me by a friend and it’s of a varietal that I really like, but if I am to be totally as objective and unbiased as I can be, I feel this cake has a subdued flavor compared to the loose Moonlight White from Jingmai. I felt the cake was more complex at first, but I don’t feel that way now. It just had some more flavors I wasn’t used to, but those flavors have overridden and hidden some of the more subtle complexities that made me really fall in love with the loose version. This cake version, after a few sessions, hasn’t had the lasting appeal of that version. It’s a unique tea, but compared to other compressed raw Puer, I don’t feel it really competes for a place in my collection.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Musty, Pastries, petrichor, Plums

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 tsp 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Wow. This is delicious. Rich deep dark flavors. When I drink this I am reminded of an old book. And I like that.

Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 7 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

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I’m back from being away in the woods camping this weekend with my Sweetie. We did have a good time although I feel like I did a little too much birthday celebrating with food and drinks! It’s good to be back home again.

I’ve had this sheng for a long time, it came as part of a sample set I got with Bana a few years ago. I’m amazed that I never reviewed it… anyway this is the last of it and it looks like it’s also sold out on Bana’s site.

This is a very pungent sheng with interesting flavors. It’s fairly overpowering when you steep it for 1 minute or so, but at shorter temperatures it’s not bad. I get a slight smoke with a woodsy element and a bit of bitterness in the finish. I’m no sheng expert but it isn’t my favorite by far. It is kind of bracing and energizing, but I think I prefer something more mellow. Maybe it’s a matter of personal preference.

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

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Digging into some old Bana tea samples. Their stuff is typically quite expensive, but they offer a nice sampler pack. This tea has very strong qi. It is a light color and has a crisp and refreshing flavor. It’s nice, kind of soft so to speak, with bitterness coming through in later steepings. It’s hard for me to tell how a tea like this will age, but it is good.

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This Moonlight White is listed by Bana as a raw pu-erh, but if you were to just walk up to this sitting on a counter unlabeled, you might easily mistake it for a white tea. Some further research has led me to find that this tea is classified by some as a white tea and others as pu-erh. I’m intrigued. Bana’s steeping suggestions are to brew it like a pu-erh rather than a white tea, so that is what I did.

I filled my gaiwan half full with the leaf, which took about 3.5 g per 100 ml of water. After an initial quick rinse (I tasted the rinse just to be sure I wasn’t missing anything, and I wasn’t) the first steep was for 5 seconds. I’m brewing at 203F with the gaiwan lid off. This yielded a very light almost clear brew that smelled like cinnamon, tasted creamy and buttery as hell and if I had to compare it to another drink I’d say it was like drinking horchata. Wild!

Increasing 5 more seconds each time, a couple more steeps in the cinnamon sugar scent is still there, the creamy, buttery flavors are still there and there are subtle notes of fruit, perhaps honeydew or nectarine. The tea has a cooling feeling on my tongue and leaves it coated with a very silky mouthfeel that lingers long after I’ve finished a sip. As the steeps get later, I begin to increase by 30 seconds. The liquor becomes more yellow and with every new cup the light flavor of this tea greets me again offering generously buttery flavor with a hint of spice. The aroma of fruit and spice is intoxicating. The silky mouthfeel becomes a bit more of a dry mouthfeel after more steepings, but it doesn’t feel unpleasant.

By the 5th infusion the fruity aroma is much more prominent and I’m tasting it more too. It’s definitely more on the side of honeydew than it was before. There’s a faint maltiness that is so gentle and the cream and butter are still churning out generously. What reminded me of cinnamon and spice is gone now. The flavor seems to reached somewhat of a plateau by the 6th steeping and onward, as I add a minute to each steep to ensure I am milking the leaves enough for a full brew, but it never comes off as weak, lacking, or anything but rich and full (yet impossibly light for such a full taste).

By steeping 8, I’m surprised again! The brew is darker and the aroma and flavor are very obviously of amaretto! “What in the world!?” I’m thinking. It’s still buttery, too!

Steeping 9 and on seem to be getting more astringent and not quite as drinkable, so I think I’m done with this tea here, but what a great journey that was!

This tea’s flavor is delicate, yet full-bodied. It’s got a nice consistent creamy quality to it, for the most part, so you’ve got to listen hard if you want to note the changes from one steep to the next. For the most part, the changes are not as obvious as with an oolong or some other pu-ehrs, but if you give this tea the quiet space it deserves (perhaps enjoy it under moonlight), the spirit it shows you is just sublime.

Flavors: Butter, Cinnamon, Cream, Melon, Nuts

200 °F / 93 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 3 OZ / 100 ML
Alexsia 'SoggyEnderman' Wilson

Well, looks like I will be adding this to the endless shopping list :)

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This is a really neat raw pu’er! It’s got lots of body and very creamy texture. The flavor is like nectar sweet and malt. Very clean tasting as well. Interestingly, no earthy, floral or grassy flavor, just really smooth. The colour of this tea is just a hint of yellow that gets more colour in later steepings.
Moonlight White also resteeps very well with very consistent flavor. Later steepings developed some dryness, but was still loaded in flavor.

Full review on my blog The Oolong Owl

200 °F / 93 °C 4 g 5 OZ / 147 ML

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This is a lovely ripe pu-erh still available on and direct from bana teas in Feb. 2014. Tea brews a beautiful dark mahogany color with hints of orange, taste is extremely mellow/gentle with a touch of woodsy and earthy taste highlighted by citrus notes. I has an overall sense of balance and is what I would consider to be “lovely”. I just ordered a cake after tasting this sample.

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec 7 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

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So a few months ago, I moved it from the zi-sha tea caddy and placed it in one of cardboard, one of those tubes. Wow, significantly improved! Much sweeter and rounder, very pleasant and nice to drink yielding many infusions without any blah, metallic taste or bitterness. So after two years and much fiddling, it’s finally an enjoyable cake. I mean really enjoyable.

180 °F / 82 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 5 OZ / 147 ML

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Ok, so I placed it in the zi-sha tea storage unit (guan) for two weeks and decided to try it out again since the weather has warmed up again. I don’t drink greens/raw unless the weather permits… all that cold not good for the stomach qi. Here goes…

Underwhelming. That’s my basic impression. I got 9 infusions before I just got bored. 15s/15s/15s/30s/30s/1m/1m/3m/3m, all at 195.

There was a world of difference in the taste since going into the zi-sha tea caddy (yeah that’s the word). All of the harshness of the tannins had essentially vanished. There were some, but they decreased by about 90%, becoming only evident after about fifth round.

Round #1: slight smoke, marshmallows, silvery liquor, vanilla, wee bit sweet, whispers of a certain metallic taste that I’m not too fond of.

Round #2: liquor more yellow, a hint of green, sweet vanilla taste, more metallic notes.

Round #3: liquor same color, itchy eyes.

Round #4: smokiness is really evident now, with slight soapy taste, liquor now quite yellow, more bitter, mellow, smoky, bitter, especially at the blade of the tongue.

Round #5: liquor is now more pale, smoky taste, a little soapy.

Round #6: bitter (finally), vanilla taste returns, smoky aftertaste.

Round #7: bitter but a roundness to the bitterness, no smokiness. liquor is still yellow.

Round # 8 &9: essentially the same. i didn’t note any new flavors.

It was nice to see how much storing the tea can affect its taste. In this case storing in the caddy for only two weeks changed this tea remarkably. It made it more pleasant in terms of tannins and “that metallic taste,” but it also seems that if it were to stay in the zi-sha much longer it will be even more characterless than it already strikes me.

I’d recommend this tea but probably not at this price. I really have only sampled pu-ers imported directly from China and this was the first I just purchased here at a tea event.

Flavors: Vanilla

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 15 sec 4 g 6 OZ / 177 ML

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The thing with really good raw pu’ers is that they taste better with each infusion. This one seems to bottom out fairly quickly, that is in terms of complexity and richness of flavors.

So much depends on storage. I had another raw pu’er which I tasted upon purchase and then once a month after placing it in a proper storage container. After three months, the tannins had mellowed and after 6 months it was a perfect balance of bitter, sweet and smoky.

This Bana cake has some nice smoky note initially but it goes away quickly. I’ve had this now for more than a year and a half and will now place it in a zisha container and see how it develops. It really needs to find its “sweet-spot.”

180 °F / 82 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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This is a quiet, mellow tea to my taste buds with gentle flavors of tobacco, earth, and citrus. It really does go well after a meal as suggested by Bana Tea. I’ve enjoyed the tea through multiple steepings.

Boiling 0 min, 45 sec

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This tea has golden yellow or light amber color. It tastes sweet and fruity with an earthy apricot flavor.

205 °F / 96 °C

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Thanks so much Amy Oh for this sample!
Well this certainly is a delicate tea. Very light, too bad I over-steeped the second infusion a little. Oh well.
Anyhow, after reading Amy’s note, I’ve decided that yes… it’s mushroom that I tasted! yep yep. I’m not sure what white button tastes like(is that the normal store bought kind?), but it was a very specific mushroom flavour that I am thinking of. Something I grew up with? Hmmm.
Anyhow, side by side with the Tamarind Pop, this one was my less favoured cup. I enjoyed it, but the other one drew me in more.
I don’t see myself craving it again for some reason but I’m really not sure why. If I ever figure that out I’ll post it… HMMM!
Thanks again Amy :)
Rating: 80

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I felt this tea was pretty astringent (read: BITTER) and VERY grassy, both in taste and in the nose.

The color is not murky…much.

I found that using a cooler water made it halfway palatable.

This tea is not one I reach for very often. Bana Tea Co. was nice enough to send me a complimentary small sample of a ripe puerh. I liked that.

180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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