I was given a box of Tazo Zen teabags from a friend who knew I enjoyed tea and while I typically avoid teabags this one is pretty good. While the presence of the lemongrass and spearmint partially masks the taste of the likely cheaper base green tea, it produces a nice overall effect in how the sweetness of the spearmint and lemongrass nicely complement the green tea. Almost good enough to make me consider picking up some more Tazo teabags to try if I can find any variety packs as Zen is one box of teabags that I will not have any problems finishing off from how enjoyable it is to drink.
181 Tasting Notes
While it has improved from the last time I had it when it first came out, this is nowhere near being a good example of a fine puerh. While age has caused it to loose its unusually strong sour taste for a ripe puerh, it has mellowed out to be a fairly plain and boring tea with remaining but much softer lingering sour notes. It goes to show how there is limits to how much age can help a ripened puerh that was not the best to start, not to mention if after 4 years it is still not the best one would be better off buying green puerh to age than a ripe tuocha like this one which has very little to show for itself after 4 years.
This tea has a very smooth almost creamy and sweet richness to it with the classic “Menghai scent” notes as one would expect for any Menghai ripe puerh. A very wonderful example quality ripe puerh at its best with a light silky texture in a sweet mellow taste. Just be careful about using too little leaves the first time I brewed it I did and it came out a bit plain tasting and disappointing but the fault was mine and not the tea.
I bought this 5th grade dark oolong with the plans of using it as an ice tea tea only to find that it is almost too good to use for iced tea. I’m blown away at how this $12.50 a pound oolong can hold its own against other dark rolled oolongs that I have on hand that were double to triple the price or more. It has a medium roasted body with nutty notes with a lingering sweetness. The later infusions became sweeter overall while maintaining enough of the roasted notes in the background to remain interesting.
Brewed gongfu this is not the best Oriental Beauty out there as it has a light and sweet dark oolong taste that comes off as plain and almost borderline black tea as their is no roast taste to make it more interesting like wuyi. Although it is a cheap oolong it makes a great ice tea in the ice tea maker which is one of my summer staples.
I found Scarlet Robe to be a really enjoyable Wuyi oolong tea. The roast is subtle but strong enough to be present in the tea while not being overpowering. I am not sure if I would agree with the vendor’s claims of floral undertones but I would say it is an enjoyable lighter roast with a lighter than most smooth sweet taste that is enjoyable. When brewed gongfu I got 6 wonderful infusions out of it and probably could have gotten out a few more if I wanted to but I didn’t bother because the taste was starting to decline, still it is significant as I was able to get more infusions out of this one than I do from most of the other Wuyi oolongs that I’ve had before.
This one has a stronger black tea base than I’m normally drink given my bias toward Chinese blacks over Indian. But that black tea base is made up for my the enjoyable Icewine flavor which comes off as a mix between grape and wine flavored, which I’m guessing is what Icewine tastes like. I normally have a bias against most flavored teas but I have to admit this one is really good and I might have to also pick up a bottle of Icewine sometime to experience how realistic this tea tastes. Regardless it is a good one. I personally only like Icewine tea hot but my grandmother also loves this one as an iced tea so it is worth trying at different temperatures.
This is a very good example of fine ripe puerh at its best. Mengku like Menghai puerh is described as having its own unique scent taste so it is a more unique taste to it among puerh, both are different but very good. This one has brewed up a dark ruby red with an enjoyable smooth mellow richness with a bit of sweet taste with expected Mengku scent taste. If you’ve had Mengku ripe puerh before and enjoyed it I’d strongly recommend this cake to you but if you never had Mengku puerh before I’d recommend buying a sample first as while it is good it is not a typical ripe puerh.
This is one of the more unique Wuyi teas that I’ve yet to have had. It has a light to medium roast which is hard to distinguish as the taste of the roast blends so well into the overall base mellow sweetness of the tea itself which has a very wonderful taste that I do not know how to put into words.
Personally I was a tad disappointed with Adagio Wuyi Da Hong Pao and personally enjoyed their cheaper Wuyi Ensemble more. Da Hong Pao is the lighter of the 2 wuyi oolongs offered by Adagio and it has a slightly fruity taste to it. The brew is still light and sweet but there is none of the rich earthy taste that goes along with a good roast to be found in this tea.
A stronger wuyi oolong than the others that I’ve had before. It has a nice medium roast with a bit of a slightly smoky nutty notes to the overall earthy sweetness.
A very enjoyable lighter ripe puerh without without any traces of off flavors. The mellow richness is indeed smooth and sweet and is a safe bet for most puerh drinkers so I can see why a lot of people choose to stockpile this as their everyday drinking puerh.
The 2006 Aromatic Bamboo Roasted Puerh has a light sweet taste with wooden notes to the tea. The taste of bamboo is hard to describe but I think Jim got it down well as being like a hint of rice mixed in with the wooden taste. As it comes to most puerh stuffed into unusual packages it is not the best around but still an acceptable quality. Not to mention the bonus fun of getting to open up the bamboo to get the puerh out.
One’s impression of Liu Bao is a matter of perspective in how it compares to ripe puerh. Personally I love ripe puerh so Liu Bao comes off as a more plain puerh like tea without as much flavor. I have friends who like Liu Bao more than ripe puerh who say that it has a much cleaner taste. Regardless this is a tea worth trying at least once.
Never realized that Darjeeling could be so light with a fresh smooth taste to it and not the sharp taste to it that turned me off very early on in my tea days. The leaves appear to be a bit on the green side and honestly this Darjeeling seems a bit more like an oolong than a black tea in many ways. I was able to get a second infusion out of the leaves but the second infusion was not as smooth and more astringent so I’d recommend against doing so.
The first thing about this tea that struck me was its bring almost light lime green hue to the brew. The taste is very light, fresh and sweet, without any of the overwhelming grassy taste that is common with Sencha. I’ll have to say that this is the best Japanese green teas that I’ve had to date. If it wasn’t so expensive I’d consider buying more beyond the free sample I got with my order.
Brewed gongfu style in my oolong pot. This pouchong is light and sweet but unlike the charcoal roasted pouchong that I’ve had before it is a bit more floral and less smooth. Still an enjoyable tea but personally I lean a bit more toward the charcoal roasted variety.
Gaiwan brewed. I found this one impressive at how the light smoothness of the pouchong and coconut seemed to blend together very nicely at first. By the second infusion the tea seemed to pick up some slight off taste to it that was hard to place. After drinking around half of the second infusion I felt the need to dump it and throw out the rest of the leaves from how it was starting to turn my stomach in an undesirable way.
For the most part even people who hate teabags have to admit that they are a necessary evil at times when on the go when bad tea is better than no tea. With that being said while the Ten Ren puerh teabags are by no means the best ripe puerh tea around, it is made of a surprisingly high quality and much better than any other puerh teabag and even some cheap bricks and cakes that I’ve had. The taste is mellow and not earthy although it is a bit on the weak side so I always brew it with double teabags and for a really long time in my efforts to get it stronger. Would likely make a good safe first puerh for somebody that wants to try it as if you do not like this one it is very unlikely that you will like the higher quality ones either.
Brewed gongfu style in my oolong yixing pot which yielded lots of yummy infusions of tea. Finally a nice traditional style darker oolong that is more brown than green. Has a nice smooth richness that is sweet with a medium roasted taste that is not at all overpowering with lingering fruity notes. This is the best “Ti Kwan Yin style” oolong that I’ve come across in some time and one that I highly recommend if you like darker oolongs.
Gongfu brewed in my oolong yixing pot. This tea has has a strong sweet floral taste that seems a bit overwhelming to me but personally I do not lean toward strong floral teas myself. It is also a fairly forgiving tea as when I lost track of time brewing one of the infusions it did not get bitter on me, and does multiple infusions fairly well.
Golden Monkey is and has been my favorite black tea for a while, although the frequency that I drink blacks has gone down a lot. The brew has a light sweetness with a few light citrus notes to it and a nice lingering aftertaste for a second or two after each sip. As others have mentioned it also makes a great ice tea the times that I’ve made it iced although I mainly drink it hot.
Brewed using 2 pearls in a basket infuser with a 6oz teacup. The vendor’s description was dead on as it was a surprisingly sweet and smooth brew, with a lingering sweetness upon the lips after each sip. While I would not call it as being earthy, I would agree with the subtle cocoa notes but quite honestly they are light enough that I doubt I would have noticed them without looking for them without it being in the official tasting description. I was also impressed that I was able to get a second good cup of tea on a the compressed pearl limiting the exposure of the leaves to the water during the first brew. An excellent black tea that I can wholeheartedly recommend to anyone who enjoys black tea and one that if I drank more black teas would order in a size larger than a sample size.
This was the darker of the two Ti Kwan Yin teas offered by Indigo, which I would have to call more medium as the color of the tea is still more yellow than brown. The brew is sweet with a faint mix of both a floral taste and the smoother richness of roasting, which comes off as a more unusual combination. Not a bad tea overall but not a good enough tea for me to be reordering either.