A subtle tea, and a cerebral one.
I’ve been telling a lot of people lately that there are often two poles for culinary interest for me – there’s the delicious and pleasant, and then there’s the interesting. I started in a lot of green tea stuff that I think is entirely delicious and pleasant and wonderful, but it’s also quite static – the pleasures are very similar over time in one tea, and very similar across many such teas.
Not so with puerh. Some puerhs are also delicious, but some are for more fascinating than they are, like, you know, tasty. And Bana Tea – and especially this one – is a poster child for that.
There is nothing yummy to this. It reminds me of certain Strauss symphonies – it starts out slow, cold, and precise, and unfolds into something more complicated cold and fascinating.
It’s dry. It’s a very sculpted, exacting dryness. It’s the feel of late summer in SoCal, where all the grass is dead and the air is empty and a little bit smoky. The dryness kicks off aftertastes, very complicated ones, but not necessarily, you know, sweet. Shadows of dried fruits. Odd quiet earths. Ghosts of long-dead limbs blowing through dead branches in the hot late summer wind.
It layers on the mouth, builds… I wouldn’t call it drama, exactly, but lots of layers of new notes, all dry and earthy and quiet, shifting.
Sculptural, precise, fascinating. I love it, But, as I’ve said before, I’m a tea pervert, and sometimes fresh tasty yummy stuff palls.