Renegade Tea Estate

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Recent Tasting Notes


This is a tough one to review. With a name like “Banana Rama”, it’s tough to get into tasting this without smelling and tasting bananas everywhere.

The dry leaves just…smell like dried bananas to me!

I hit the tea with boiling water.

The wet leaves are completely out there, so different than the dry leaves. I get this minty, strong, mineral aroma, typical of assam-style tea.

But when I take a sip of the 1st steep, there’s none of that. It’s a pretty sweet, smooth tea, which tastes…like dried bananas. But! It’s also surprisingly juicy, with a hint of acidity in the back, which makes the finish more like fermented bananas.

The 2nd steep is, again, smooth and juicy. I get some fragrant wood out of it. Like the tree bark of a pine tree.

The 3rd steep shines with a beautiful dark amber colour. The acidity really kicks in (something which I’ve started to notice always happens around the 3rd steep, with a lot of Renegades tea), which reminds me of Nordic forest berries, shining through the foresty woody aromas.

The tea goes on for 2-3 steeps more, before becoming a bit acrid.

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Lots of the dry leaves are quite dark, mixed with green. The contrast shows even more on the wet leaves, where dark emerald leaves are mixed with leathery colors.

The wet leaves are sweet, fruity, slightly roasted.

The first steep (75 degrees) is a bit weak, due to too short steeping I’d assume. I get some wood, quite a smooth/juicy feel, and some pleasant baked sweet dough aftertaste.

I’m excited for steep 2!

Not such an exciting steep 2.

It falls a bit flat in aromas. It’s still a pretty pleasant tea though, to be fair. Light, nice texture, barely any astringency, juicy, maybe even a bit of a pineapple aftertaste, very very far back ? I don’t think this tea is like a tasty adventure that will bring you places, but it’s a good tea.

Well, the 3rd steep was a surprise! Somehow, a pinch of acidity just appeared in there, giving the tea much more personality. To me, this reinforces the whole pineapple thing, and I like the tart feeling that it gives, mixed with the slight astringency that just joined the party.

Now for the 4th steep, let’s crank up the temperature to 85 and see what happens.

Well, it isn’t bad at all! Nothing special to mention there. Probably getting close to the end of this tea, but still giving a pleasant, full taste.

170 °F / 76 °C 0 min, 45 sec 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Dry leaves: Sweet, dry hay. Cookie dough.

The wet leaves smell out-of-this-world good. Fresh, snow peas, cut grass, fruity melon-like smell. Their color is dark emerald.

Liquor color: Greenish yellow.

The first steep is a bit weak, steeped at about 80 degrees. Hard to tell exactly what’s happening there…Bits of astringency. The tea doesn’t have an immediate strong aroma, but already seems to leave a pleasing aftertaste.

The second steep, is pretty good! 75 degrees water, for a longer time, brings out all the aromas felt in the wet leaves. Again, very sweet, pleasing aftertaste.

The third steep lost a bit freshness, but still holds itself in body and aromas! The cut grass, the sweetness, maybe a bit of apple seeds? Hard to pinpoint.

The fourth steep is starting to lose in aroma, feels kinda watery, but still reinforces the lingering aftertaste.

170 °F / 76 °C 0 min, 30 sec 3 OZ / 100 ML

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An “Almost Oolong” definitely on the greener side.

The dry leaves remind me of sweet hay, greener tones. The sweetness reminds me of butter cookies.

It recommends 70 degrees, but I went with 80 on the first steep, with a normal amount of leaves, in a small gaiwan.

The liquor is of a light yellow/orange

The wet leaves are dark green, with bits of oxydation showing through.

The wet leaves smell amazing, reminding me of flowery oolongs, with some thick grape juice tones.

The tea has aromas of fresh flowers. Melon. After a few sips, some savory cooked green vegetable (aspargus) hit me, possibly cause of the higher temperature. Bits of astringence.

The 2nd steep is at 75 degrees. The tea doesn’t give much fine aromas as it did before, but keeps a nice texture.

After a 3rd steep at about 75 degrees, not much sweet aromas again, but a lingering sweetness sticks around in my mouth, reminding me of young shengs.

I re-heat the water at 80 degrees for the 4th and 5th steep. The tea has more character again, but getting a bit acrid after the 5th.

15 minutes after my last sip, sweetness still lingers in my mouth.

175 °F / 79 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Lots of leaves, small gaiwan.

The dry leaves are really exciting. Strong aromas of baked cookies, ripe bananas.

The wet leaves display quite a different aroma profile. I get dark tones reminiscent of black tea: wood, malt. No sweetness.

First steep. Quite mellow in flavours. The tea is juicy, I get some wood, the fruity banana hits me more in the aftertaste.

Second steep. Lower temperature, longer steep time. Still juicy, I lose most of the wood, I get more of the fruit. A bit more pleasant acidity as well. Overall quite light.

Third steep still pleasant, but definitely losing in strength.

Fourth steep, the tea is almost dead.

190 °F / 87 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 OZ / 100 ML

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Small gaiwan, lots of leaves, boiling water.

Dry leaves: sweet, cookie like.

Wet leaves: wood, chestnuts, slight sweetness. Gaiwan lid is really sweet. Leaves are mid sized, tender but slightly thick, dark leather colour, really nice quality. Barely any sings of breaking.

Liquor colour: dark amber

Liquor scent: very sweet, honey,

Taste: Smooth, warming black tea. Sweet, light in aromas, with hints of tannin, dry wooden notes at the back, giving some character to the tea. Nothing unpleasant.

Second steep bring out more character. A slight hint of pleasant bitterness rounds the tea. More wood, darker flavours. Not sweet, but juicy. Drying on the throat. Heavy on the tongue.

Third steep is smoother in texture, less intense. But more wood. Thick bark.

Fourth steep is still very generous in flavours. Even more balanced I’d say. Tannin leaves space to more sweetness coming back through.

Fifth steep start to show signs of dying, but still pleasant.

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

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