You know who made the best banana bread? Grandma, of course! She could make it so moist and fresh and banana-y… mmm… I’m drooling just thinking about it! She gave me the recipe, and I used to make it all the time. Here’s my funny story about banana bread: Grandma taught me to keep the slightly rotten, brown bananas in my freezer for the next time I want to bake banana bread. One night, several years ago, I had a group of international ESL students over to my apartment for a dinner party. After dinner, a lovely Brazilian student was looking in the freezer for ice-cubes, and stumbled across a single frozen, brown banana. She came running out of the kitchen, banana held high in the air, screaming “Look at this!! What is this??!! Is this… Is this… THIS?!?!?! (making rather rude, suggestive motions at crotch level), as everyone in the room burst into howls of laughter, and wondered what I was doing with frozen bananas in my freezer!! Apparently, banana bread is unheard of in some countries, and it took a bit of explaining and reassuring that “No… frozen rotten bananas are not my sex-toy of preference.” Sheesh!! I NEVER thought my tea-blog would talk about crotches and sex-toys, but there you go! It’s done! Of course, I used that frozen banana to bake banana bread which I took into my class the next week and shared with the still chuckling students. A good time was had by all.
So, I was passing by the health-food store window this morning, and I heard this “Banana Cinnamon Spice” tea calling my name. It sounded so yummy, I couldn’t leave it there! Four o’Clock has other blended and flavoured teas that I really love, so I had to bring it home. The ingredients listed are: black tea leaves, cinnamon bark, cacao shells, banana, natural flavour, ginger root, cardamon seeds, cloves, black pepper. Sounds like a banana chai!
I steep the teabag for about 2 minutes (although the package says 4-5), and it smells like HEAVEN!! It really smells like intensely fresh, ripe bananas and cinnamon and caramel! Wow!
The tea is just as yummy as it smells. There is the sweet, lush flavour of ripe bananas… not overpowering, or artificial… and the warm, cinnamon, cardamon, and cloves which just give a nice, gentle warmth in the background. This is really nicely balanced. The cinnamon isn’t too overpowering, which is often the case in ‘spiced’ teas. It’s really surprising how pleasantly present the banana flavour is. I was afraid it would face into the background, but it’s just perfectly placed in the centre of the tea. The black tea itself is also quite delicious, with the same sweet freshness, lightness, and clarity that I appreciate in Four o’Clock’s “Earl Grey”. It tastes very clean, with no bitterness, or astringency at all. The whole thing is just delicious!
I’m feeling inspired now to go and bake some banana bread… I even have a banana in the freezer!