78

Experience buying from @Ashley: I bought this tea from Ashley when she was selling all of her tea. I received the tea quickly through the mail and my package was filled with many surprises. Thank you Ashley!

Age of leaf: bought sometime in October, brewed up mid-November.

Packaging: 52Teas packaging is very professional: small silver zip locked bags with a clear front that has a 3” X 3” label on it which has the name of the tea, an ingredient list, and an expertly created picture of the food item that the tea replicates.

Appearance and aroma of dry leaf: CTC leaf with bits of banana; smells just like banana bread, incredible!

_Brewing guidelines: two tsp. dry tea for 16 ounces of water. I used a metal basket strainer inside a ceramic 16 oz. cup, such that I put a lid over the top to keep the heat in. Cup was warmed before steeping. Stevia added.
…………….1st: slightly off the boil, 2’
…………….2nd: near boiling, 4’
…………….3rd: boiling, 6’
…………….4th: boiling, 10’

Aroma of tea liquor: Spot on banana bread!

Flavor of tea liquor: hard to get the HBBB flavor on the first steeping when still hot, but when cooled I could totally taste it. Good flavor up through three steepings.

Aroma of wet leaf: I believe the aroma here was the same as with the liquor itself: spot on!

Overall: I do have to admit that I am not a big banana flavored person, and that is why I didn’t rate this tea as high I have a few other teas of Franks. Having said that, this one’s still a keeper, especially if you love banana bread as there is clearly banana bread flavor swimming around all over in this cup! Next time I will have to search for the butter, and I wouldn’t be surprised at all it I can find it doing the breaststroke right next to the banana bread. Right as I was in the middle of writing this up, I went to Steepster to verify something about the description of the tea, and I glanced at the number of ratings and at the overall rating of the tea itself (which I try not to do before I review and rate a tea); I noticed that there are lots of reviews, and the tea has a high rating. Wow. I may be a little tough on my ratings, but I am certainly with the crowd on the reviews on this one. You rock, Frank!

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

People who liked this

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Profile

Bio

(Updated 6-3-2014)

After about three years I changed my avatar from the picture of a green teacup with steam rising (one I created using Paint) to this dragon gaiwan. This is one of my favorite gaiwans, although I haven’t brewed any tea in it as of yet.

You can call me, Joe.

What, How and Why I steep:

I typically expect, and shoot for, at least three flavorful steepings out of (just about) any tea I brew up.

I generally start at the times and temps below ( = minute(s), " = second(s) ), then add 5F and 30" for each successive steeping:
Chinese Green - 175F, 1’ ;
Japanese Green - 160F, 1’add 15F, then decrease by 15";
White - 160F, 2’;
Oolong - This varies;
Indian Black/Chinese Red and Herbals - a little off the boil, 2’; why do I start with such low temps & short steep times? So as to ‘spread out’ the flavor over multiple steepings. I have found this to work with every tea I have tried so far. Also, I am not looking for intense flavor in that first cup (i.e. Western style), I would prefer to taste it—and savor—it over many steepings.
Pu-erh - Beginning in 2014, I finally chose to dive into pu-erh! Standard parameters when I brew ripened pu-erh in my 150 ml gaiwan (I also own an 11 oz Yixing):
First I do a 15" rinse with near boiling water. Then for each successive steeping I add Stevia.
……….1st: Near boiling, 0.5’
……….2nd: Boiling , 1’
……….3rd: Boiling , 1.5’
etc. Until there is no flavor, or I ran out of time and energy.

I hope to ‘streamline’ my reviews going forward, so, hopefully, they are a little less technical and dry (and perhaps even stilted), and a little more organic and experiential (and hopefully, flowing); this somewhat new approach to reviews is a kind of metaphor for where my life is headed right now, and is one reason why I write reviews: as a kind of time-capsule of where I was in my life at that time.

Tea Rating scale:

1 – 29: There is no reason to even think about drinking this stuff again.
30-49: I may drink it if someone else brewed it up, but I would not bother brewing it up myself let alone bother buying any.
50 – 59: I like something about it, and I may brew it up if I already have some, but I would not buy any more of it.
60 – 69: I like a few things about it, and I may buy it if the price is right.
70 – 79: This is a tea I enjoy and would drink fairly regularly as long as it is reasonably priced.
80 – 89: A tea I will drink as often as I can, and will likely try to buy some when I run out (as long as it’s affordable).
90 – 99: This has everything I look for in the best of teas: beauty in appearance, a delightful aroma, and most importantly, depth and yummy-ness in its flavor.
100: Perfect.

My primary interest is in artisan loose-leaf Chinese green, red and ripe pu-erh tea, although I enjoy a white and an oolong tea every now and then as well. Here and there I brew a few of the other true teas and an occasional herbal.

Since I choose to live on a very limited income (‘Voluntary Simplicity’), I have to be very conscience about how much I pay for tea. In reading their Tea Enthusiast’s books, Mary Lou and Robert J. Heiss sold me on the wonders of artisan teas. Thankfully I have found that there is affordable, artisan tea out there; it’s just like anything else that has true value: it takes hard work, dedication and at least a little persistence to find it.

I came to tea out of a desire to find something to help calm and focus my mind as naturally as possible. My mind is very active, so to speak, and at times I find it very difficult to focus and keep myself centered. For years now I have been practicing Yoga daily along with others things to help me to stay relaxed and present, but I found I wanted a little something extra to help me start the day; the theanine in green tea seems to help me in this.

I have been enjoying loose-leaf tea since November of 2010.

I enjoy connecting with others about tea.

I drink Stevia with just about all of my tea (no sugar or artificial sweeteners).

I drink a pot of green tea every day in the AM (usually steeped three times over the course of the day), sharing it with my wife.

Each tea in my cupboard is carefully and colorfully labeled in a tin or in a jar that used to hold something else (I love to reuse things!) .

I have three teapots: a glass Bodum – I don’t use the metal infuser/press anymore (greens), a 16 oz glass Victorian (to brew greens and whites, and to use as a pot to decant other teas into), and an 11 oz Yixing (ripe Pu-erh only). (New in 2014) I also one a number of gaiwans ranging in volume from from 125 ml to 250ml.

I tend to be direct, straightforward and honest when I post anything to the discussion boards. I take the approach that everything I say is stated with the implied disclaimer: In My Humble Opinion (i.e. IMHO). I may occasionally emphasize this point, where appropriate. I view your comments in the same way. You are in no way obligated to read what I have posted. And I am in no way similarly obligated to you.

Sitting with my cup of tea I greet the day in anticipation of new discoveries along the way.

Location

Midwest, USA

Following These People