I was excited to see that Bana Tea Company recently released some new teas. One of the teas was 2017 Little BingDao. Every BingDao tea I’ve had I’ve enjoyed a lot, so I swooped in and did a quick order at Bana Tea Company.
2017 Little BingDao is a 200 gram cake. The fine print is this tea isn’t a BingDao, but in adjacent to but also in Lincang.
The cake came packaged in a box. Not sure if the boxes come standard as this is the first time I’ve ordered online from Bana Tea Company. I do miss going to the LA Tea Festival just to see Bana Tea Company and drop $200+ in a tea haze.
Tea Leaf and Steeping Method
2017 Little BingDao cake is moderately compressed, so I had no issues prying off a piece, but it wasn’t too loose that I could only use my fingers.
I used 1 gram of leaf to 15ml of vessel size, steeping aggressively in boiling water.
The hot leaf smells fruity with a side of itchy nose floral.
Tasting of Bana Tea Company’s 2017 Little BingDao Sheng Puer
First, Second, and Third Infusion: Little BingDao is floral heavy. It has an awesome aroma with each sip, with sharp notes of orchid and bit of a savory sandalwood finish. There is a slight bite of bitterness, but it only adds to the experience. The aftertaste lingers with orchid and stone fruits. When you breathe in there is a cooling sensation with the aftertaste, which is neat if you haven’t experienced it before.
Fourth and Fifth Infusion: Little BingDao likely does not like this boiling water as it is a bitter tea right now. It is still drinkable, it has what we call a “good bitter” as it carries aroma and aftertaste. The notes are bitter, stewy leafy green vegetables, then a powerful floral orchid and peach aftertaste finishing with a cool feeling in the throat. Now that I am paying attention to texture, it is slippery feeling like I slapped on a coat of lipstick. The aftertaste lingers for awhile, causing me to slow down for this session to enjoy the orchids and cool breeze.
Sixth, Seventh, and Eighth Infusion: Best infusions right here. I’d like to thank brewing skill as I pushed these steepings a touch longer at the risk of bitter death, but dodged. It is strongly floral and has a touch of honey nectar to it. It has a bitter finish, but still in the good bitter range and hasn’t gotten more bitter than previous infusions. The aftertaste is very cooling and floral peach.
Ninth and Tenth Infusion: I thought Little BingDao should be a bitter nightmare right now, but it is pleasantly nectar sweet and still holding onto the floral aftertaste making my breath be like perfume. I think it is less bitter as it isn’t in the flavor as much. The bitterness was a concentration of stewy leaf and floral overload from earlier, but now that the tea’s flavor has slipped, it likely faded away. I am getting astringency with some dry cheeks.
The final infusion was sugary sweet, but my mouth filled with bitterness and gritty dry cheeks. No more floral left.
Around the eighth steeping, I got an angry stomach, similar to last time I had a young Bingdao. I was prepared and ate a snack after the session.
Bana Tea Company’s 2017 Little BingDao is a great little tea. It is aroma and floral heavy, nice slick texture, potent flavor, and an interesting cooling sensation I taste in general with BingDao. It is on the moderately potent side of flavor. Little BingDao is certainly not for someone who is new-ish to puer due to the bitterness level and it being a touch complex to brew. I think dropping to 200F would tame the bitterness some, but it did fine at boiling water temperature for my tastes as I rather pay the price of admission for texture.
I quite like this tea. It checks many boxes for me on high aroma, texture, and complexity. It is quite affordable for what it is and what you get, at this time $56 for a 200 gram cake. I am happy with my purchase of Bana Tea Company‘s 2017 Little BingDao and will drink it all.