I’ve been neglecting my pu-erh a bit lately but I had a big meal in Chinatown and a nice shu just seems like the perfect thing to have afterwards. This is the last of this sample, sadly. Earthy and smoky, see my previous tasting notes. I hope this one does not keep me awake too long tonight. I may have to stop after 2 or 3 steeps.
Bana Tea Company
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I have to admit it was kind of a shock for my palette to go from Almond Sugar Cookie to this… lol. But see, I don’t discriminate, I drink almost anything. :)
First steep – this is very nice for a shu, smooth rich flavor with a bit of sweetness in the finish, but a little dark for this much time. More coffee like than anything. And I probably oversteeped this just a tad for my tastes… it was at least 2 minutes at 208 F but I also lost track of what I was doing.
Then the second steep I did for around 45 seconds and that seemed better. It definitely has a bit of a roasted quality as well as some fruitiness coming through. This one makes me feel kind of mellow and happy – I take that to be a good sign.
Third steep – about the same as the second. This definitely has the quality and richness I have come to expect from a Bana tea but I don’t think there’s anything overly exceptional about it that would make me want to buy an entire cake.
I am having a bit of this now… hope it does not keep me awake for too long. :)
I read that the Yunnan + wild arbor/big leaf trees is a good sign of quality and I believe it. This is delicious whether steeped for 30 seconds or 2 minutes. Very rich, woodsy and grounding. No camphor and personally I am glad of that. See my previous tasting notes.
I thought this one was delicious. Very smooth and sweet for a pu-erh tea, I steeped mine in the gaiwan for 30 – 60 seconds each time.
The flavors are fruity, I definitely get the date flavor and aroma, or maybe raisin. The wet leaves are dark and smell of cocoa and the forest. A very rich and earthy cup. Bana gets my vote for some of the best pu-erhs I have ever had the pleasure of experiencing. I was surprised this one did not do higher in the other ratings. I think maybe pu-erh is an acquired taste…
I needed something to revive me today and this is helping, very uplifting!
I’m coming near to the end of my sheng samples from Bana Tea Company. I would have tried them all before now but sheng is something you need to sit down and pay attention to.
I steeped this in boiling water for one minute after a quick rinse of the leaves. I am getting something like a slight apple cider sourness along with a bit of malt. Can a tea be “tangy”? Well this one seems to be, sort of.
For the second steep I decided to go for 30 seconds only. This seems to have been a good decision since the tea is mellowing out a bit. I am still getting apples with a bit of burnt toast and now some sweetness. It seems very fresh and aromatic.
Third steep, I used water that was less hot. More sweetness and mushroomy-ness, it’s very mild and pleasant. This seems like one that would only improve with age although it is quite ready to drink now.
If you want to go on a sheng adventure you certainly can’t go wrong with this sampler pack from Bana, I’d highly recommend it. Not a bad one in the bunch so far…
Okay…I am official sold in buying pu-erh cakes now! I just love how this tea imparts the usual flavors of pu-erh but it gives of notes of dates and camphor that adds a bit of sweetness and kick. The first brews were light and lively that gave off notes of camphor, then it slowly introduces itself after the longer brews as pu-erh being all earthy, a bit leathery, just with a slight sweetness of dates. Amazing! Just a simple trip to a whole foods in SoCal and a kind lady who I recognized now as the proprietor of Bana served who me this tea herself! I glad to say i bought a box or two knowing I"ll buy a cake of her Pu-Erh soon!
mmm. I’m a sucker for such nifty packaging! I had to get this to try it out! It’s all even enviro friendly because there is no plastic anywhere… luckily pu-erh likes to breathe so you don’t have to mummify it in a plastic bag!
These Pu-erh “coins” are stored on top of each other in a beautiful cardboard tube that provides DETAILED information about when and where it was produced, how to store it and steeping instructions. I love the beautiful box, for one thing… these coins are bigger than I thought they would be, 1/2 a coin is plenty for a small pot of tea and 1/4 of a coin is perfect for gaiwan.
I brewed this in the gaiwan, they recommend very short steeps so I’ve been going with these 20-30 seconds jobs. This brews up to a lovely dark orange color.
It’s no surprise that I would like this since the leaves come from wild trees up to 500 years old. This has the depth and beauty of an old forest with a bit of stone fruit, charcoal and smoke. VERY smooth and nice, slightly creamy… with a lingering aftertaste of cocoa. yum yum. I like it! These coins are great for convenience and they are also better than most tuo chas I have had. I’m glad I have a lot of them so I can do a bit of experiments with flavoring them. Oh Mini Cha-an Lucky Coins, you are adorable and tasty!
One last tea for NYD.
I decided to steep this in the gaiwan after rinsing the leaves quickly with boiling water.
Man, oh man, They are not kidding about this tea being fragrant! It is lemony! And a little bit like asparagus. It’s very refreshing but the first steep had a tiny bit of “bite” to it which made me wonder if it was kind of young (it is from 2010). I did this one for 30 seconds with boiling water. I see now they recommended 10 seconds with not hot water for the first steep.
The second steep I did for less time and with not such hot water. Now I am getting more floral notes in addition to the zesty ones.
Third steep is definitely getting softer. Some clover types notes which are very gentle. I can see this would be a good after dinner tea or good for nausea. Somehow it is settling my stomach.
Fourth steep: I decided I would go back to using boiling water and would steep it for 2 minutes an an experiment. The first steep was actually my favorite here but this one is pretty good too. We are back to slighty lemony and flowery with a bit more “bite” again. This really has a kind of fizzy quality in my opinion. a tiny bit drying perhaps due to the age… this would get bitter if steeped too long I think. I really like it though!
Really an interesting sheng from Bana!
Happy New Year, Steepies. :)
After a quick rinse I have decided to steep this up in the gaiwan and used about 1 tsp of leaf. my water was not quite boiling for the first two steeps.
I am very happy with this shu and it is for sure going on my shopping list. It is very mild with a slightly sweet flavor that is indeed reminiscent of pecans with some cinnamon-spice in the finish. After 3 steeps there is no noticeable loss in flavor. A soothing cup of tea to the mind and the body. I would just like to keep this around for those moments when I want a gentle cup.
Quite a delicious shu. I think my big problem is going to be trying to figure out which one of these Bana pu-erhs is my favorite! :)
I brewed this up in the gaiwan after giving the leaves a quick rinse in boiling water. Very small and fine leaves. A loose leaf variety of shu (not from a cake or a brick, etc).
First infusion: 30 seconds. The leaves have a very woody, earthy and camphor smell. This is a very rich and full tea. I am not too fond of camphor in pu-erh a lot of times but it does seem to work for me here. I am reminded a bit of shiitake mushrooms but there is also a lingering sweetness here like that of sweet potatoes. Big camphor finish.
Second infusion: 20 seconds. I am getting some smoke and reminded a bit of burnt caramel. It is a very uplighting and energizing brew.
Third infusion: 30 seconds. Very similar to infusion #2. Really sweet and pleasant with that redwood forest aroma that I like so much. I am getting a lingering aftertaste like that of cocoa. Very rich and smooth – it’s really a treat!
Evidently you can infuse this 8 times but I do not have time for that this morning…
I checked the price – $20 for 100 grams which seems very reasonable for this aged elegant tea. I am not a complete nut but it does seem to be activating the energy meridians on the back of my neck. Quite an activator of ch’i here.
ooh, this is very nice! A delicate and subtle raw pu-erh. I have steeped this in the gaiwan with short infusions with around 180 F water per the instruction notes.
Leaves were rinsed and the first infusion was discarded. The leaves smell faintly earthy and floral. The tea itself is very mild and relaxing! I am surprised and very pleased so far with these shengs from the Bana Tea Company. I am picking up a slight apple taste with white button mushroom type flavor. Almost like a white tea in the subtle and sweet flavor with just a hint of malt. Very nice for a relaxing afternoon tea. :)
Time for some shu this morning…. :)
I gave these leaves a quick rinse and am using about 1 tsp. of leaf in the gaiwan. I tossed out the first infusion, a lot of times I don’t drink those.
2nd infusion: This tea has a very intense woodsy aroma, almost smoky like. Very assertive, a bit too strong. Steeped for 30 seconds.
3rd infusion: steeped for 10 seconds. This tea is a beautiful dark orange/brown. Color is like burnt sienna. I am picking up on so many complex flavors. Woodsy, smoky, but also with a tiny hint of plum. Smelling a bit of the camphor here.
4th infusion: 20 seconds – getting a bit more mellow. Smoke is leaning into mustiness. Some chestnut and caramel notes are starting to surface here and the camphor is retreating. This may be my favorite infusion so far. This tea is very meditative, almost spiritual.
5th infusion: 30 seconds. Here I am starting to pick up on the lychee flavor. This is turning into a delicate mouthfeel.
Wow, this really is a great tea! I think I would have rated it a little bit higher if not for all the camphor but it is really an intense and wonderful tasting experience. I do recommend checking it out! It is quite fun!
I am so excited – I ordered a raw pu-erh sampler and a cooked pu-erh sampler from the Bana Tea Company and picked them up at the post office today!
These are really very nicely packaged. Each tea comes in a glassine envelope with a label and then they are stored together in a sheer organza bag. Also included are little brochures about the company and the tea. You know I will have fun drinking these! :)
I first picked this one to try. For a sheng of this age I was very surprised at how mellow it was. Steeped in the gaiwian – first infusion for two minutes and subsequent infusions for 30 seconds.
First infusion is very intense – leaves have a honey like aroma after being brewed. It is a sweet, mellow taste with hints of peach and a bit of maltiness. You get that pu-erh aged flavor on the back of your tongue.
Second and third infusions – the leaves are smelling a bit like a clean mountain lake. Fruitiness is giving way to a mineral like quality which tingles on the back of my tongue.
Fourth infusion – I believe I am picking up on the flavor that others have described as adzuki bean. A bit sweet and caramely.
Overall this has been a really great raw pu-erh experience with lots of flavors and tastes. I am getting a relaxing buzz from this. It is very sweet and soulful. I wonder how it will get different with age? Might have to consider picking up the entire cake but will wait until I try the others! Very yummmy.
First steep: very green with a sweetness
Secod steep: a muddiness is coming out now. It tales like a muddy grass yard smells.
Third: it’s become lighter. A barely-there “generic tea” taste as the finish and sthe muddiness has turned to gravel dust.
So far I’d say this is a good tea but not a favorite in pu-erhs, for me.
First infusion: pretty muddy tasting. Really, it tasted like muddy creeks smell like. It wasn’t horrible, though -just weird to taste that so strong in a tea. It smelled and lightly tasted of fish. Got no sweetness from it.
Second infusion: Still smells and tastes a bit fishy/muddy. But this steep is much milder, with a bit of a pleasant but not quite sweet finish. I’m liking this more, we’ll see how the other steepings go.
This is light for a pu-erh, though still flavorful. Smooth and pleasantly complex… apricot and smoke, with just a touch of astringency on the finish. It has a faint undertone of the typical earthiness, but even with that and the smokiness, it’s not at all dark. Because of its natural sweetness, this is also nice chilled.
Loved this tea. Inhaling the first steam from the rinse elicited a rare, spontaneous “wow” that pretty much held through to the final sip. The brew doesn’t have the dark intensity of other puerhs I’ve tried — it’s more silky than velvety yet somehow equally satisfying in its subtlety. A little smoky but very clean. I’d agree with the company’s “malty” description, but in an understated, well-balanced way; it’s a great full-mouth flavor that’s reminiscent of the gentle, rich scent of leaves walking through the woods in autumn. There is mild astringency after a long brew, but that wouldn’t deter me from drinking it frequently, because it is delicious.
I’m pretty useless at describing tastes but I love this puerh – it has a really full mouth feel and very balanced taste.
This tea gave a very unexpected experience, as far as puerhs go.
The leaves are a nice teal-green with white flakes throughout. I detected a sweet malty peach aroma from the leaves and expected a typical sheng pu: peachy and a little harsh but pleasant; however there was none of that. Instead, after the first rinse, the aroma was malty and creamy like that of milk tea. I was totally blown away by how different this puerh tasted. The flavor was very complex from the first infusion: tastes of grains, honey, anise, beans, and licorice. A very savory tea with a lot for the tongue to ponder. The mouth-feel was very smooth and creamy, full-bodied and not a hint of dryness.
Even though the tea had some very good qualities, I have to say in the end I did not enjoy it very much. The red-tea, ceylon taste was just a bit too weird for me. Just not my ‘cup of tea,’ if you will. However, definitely worth a try.
No notes yet.
So been going pretty strong with this pu-erh kick, and here is another one. After reading Ricky a few weeks ago, I decided to order this sampler (7 different pu-erh teas) to give it a shot. The presentation is fantastic, individual sealed wax paper bags all housed in a silky drawstring bag, along with some pu-erh newsletters ad information sheets, lovely.
The tea itself looked actually purple, I am not sure if that is why this is named or there is another reason, but they were dark, very dark, practically purple. I used less tea than normal as I have been trying to get a few brews out of this, but a quick rinse (5 seconds) then two quick brews (1 for 20 seconds, 1 for 30 seconds).
The liquor is light in color, has a slightly earthy note to it, but barely any aroma at all. The aroma and then taste and mouthfeel is very light and pleasant, not what I have come to expect from pu-erh, at all. This one was definitely sweeter than others I have tried, did not have the overpowering natural smell, in fact I feel like either I could have used more tea or a longer infuse time.
Honestly, if this was my first pu-erh (Numi Chocolate aside) I would have never had any trepidations as this was sweet and light and gentle, with a slightly pu-erh-esqueness that I am familiar with but does not scream “pu-erh”.
Will brew up the rest and see if I can add more.
No notes yet.