73 Tasting Notes

87
drank Lapsang Souchong by Zen Tea
73 tasting notes

Wow.

Well, I have never had Lapsang Souchong. I’ve been reading descriptions about it lately, and see many don’t like it. I was curious about the smoky and campfire description, so I tossed a sample in with my recent Zen Tea order. I’m digging most of the teas I’ve tried from this company.

I opened the bag and took several big sniffs – they aren’t kidding when they say it smells like smoky campfires and the whiff of bacon that has cooked. I like bacon as much as any person but wasn’t sure how much I’d like drinking anything with it’s flavor!

I steeped at a smidge over four minutes in a five ounce cup, poured over with boiling water from the tea kettle.

I really had no idea if I’d like it – first, I’m picky. Second, I’ve never drank anything like this. I’m delighted to say I actually do like it quite a bit. It’s not something I could drink all the time, but the smoky flavor and uniqueness appeals to me. After it had cooled down a little, I found big gulps tasted good. I like the aftertaste. I added a tiny bit of sugar and I find that helps bring the flavor out more. I almost feel the smokiness slightly in my chest and it’s an enjoyable, almost decongestant feeling. The sugar mixed with the smokiness is a great idea for me.

I can picture this type of tea with the woods, campfires, road trips, old fashioned cowboys on journeys, the moon high in the sky with fog. It would be cool to have a woodsland or moon-centered name with this kind of tea. I’m cheesy like that, ok? And I make no apologies about it by this age in my life. :)

As it cools, it tastes even better still warm. Having a cold drink nearby to sip in between makes this even more enjoyable. That’s a weird thing I do when drinking hot tea a lot of the time.

And for some reason I think an addition of blueberry flavor or other dark berry would taste enticing with a Lapsang Souchong.

Flavors: Smoke

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 5 OZ / 147 ML
Lupiressmoon

I’ve been in the mood to have this again, having cravings. Must have been a closet Lapsong addict.

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78

As it brewed:
http://photos-d.ak.instagram.com/hphotos-ak-xfa1/t51.2885-15/10852961_1551743191710171_550137903_n.jpg

I was hesitant on trying Scottish Breakfast tea since the one time I tried an Irish Breakfast Blend, it almost curled my toes off. I know the Scottish can prefer stronger drinks in general. I brewed at three minutes for fear it would be too strong for me (it wasn’t!)

This turned out to be a tastefully done, pleasant black morning tea. Nothing brisk stands out to me, but there is a definite maltiness that I enjoy the most from the tea. Smooth and very pleasant stuff. No bitterness at all when full heat, a little comes through as it cools

It’s fine without sugar, but I added a little since that’s my thing. I put in a dab of milk after the tasting just to see and I can honestly say it’s not needed as I really don’t find a taste difference. It’s creamy on its own.

I drank while eating a leftover piece of Pumpkin Pie, and they went very well together.

If you are wanting a black tea that’s smooth for the mornings; this is a good one to try.

Flavors: Malt

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 5 OZ / 147 ML

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84

I was very curious about trying this one from the description.

It’s a beautiful color and I steeped three minutes with just under boiling water from the kettle in my 5 ounce cup. Next steep I will try 4 minutes to see if I bring out more flavor and all the way boil, with some cooling.

I don’t get much spice note at the end, but there are glimpses of it sometimes. It is a pleasant, soothing black tea with a nice reddish brown color left behind in the cup. A black tea that makes me feel tranquil and peaceful. Smooth with no astringency or bitterness.

A great black tea when you’re looking for a standard black tea – good with and without sugar. Milk wouldn’t make sense to me in this one, it’s not a breakfast tea. It’s smooth, not brisk, very peaceful.

I drank this with a small piece of Cheesecake. I hadn’t mixed tea and cheescake before but it definitely works. Delicious! This would be one of those soothing black teas that would fit a hot bath and good book perfectly. More of an evening, relaxing blend over a morning wake-up call.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 5 OZ / 147 ML

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75

I think I steeped it in too hot of temperature, wasn’t paying enough attention.

This is a mild, pleasant Darjeeling with a slight astringent bite during the first part of the sip, but this seems to dissipate by the time the sip is done.

Overall a pleasant drink but almost bitter, and frankly a bit dry for my preference. There’s a smudge of sweetness that’s enjoyable but Darjeeling may not be my favorite thing. Will have to do more experimenting.

Will rebrew later at a different temperature.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 4 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 5 OZ / 147 ML

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88
drank Strawberry Cream by Zen Tea
73 tasting notes

Well, I have to say this tea is delightfully, surprisingly delicious.

The tea leaves are pretty with bits of strawberries. Dry, the smell is appealing and natural (not artificial seeming). It definitely holds up to the smell – the tea is surprisingly dark when brewed (did at 2 1/2 minutes, it was recommended as 2-3).

Strong tea but not overpowering at all. What surprises me is how non-artificial and realistic this strawberry tea is. A delightful flavor that stands out, but still somehow manages to stand behind the tea and highlights itself at the same time as just complementing.

Why this is so surprising is because I’m NOT a fruit tea fan. I only tried this sample because of an opportunity when doing another order – glad I did. I finally have a fruit tea I want to keep on the tea keeper shelf. It’s like drinking a nice black morning tea and eating a piece of toast with strawberry jam.

I’m curious about trying this with milk as a form of latte – usually don’t drink milk with tea but may in the future with this one just to test.

Flavors: Strawberry

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 5 OZ / 147 ML
Miss Starfish

Isn’t this one great?! It was the first sample I tried from Zen and I was hooked. Their teas are fantastic!

Lupiressmoon

Yes I really love their Phoenix Pearl too. Thankfully ordered a lot of samples from them, can’t wait

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77

Before Drinking:

Name thought – I love whimsy, fancy names such as this for teas. Windsor’s Castle? Awesome name.

The Tea Table sent me this package in a nifty looking golden package that tears at the top.

After taking a whiff of this, the smell is a fresh, definite black tea before steeping. The leaves are small, even, and non-distinct looking.

Picture after Brew:
http://photos-a.ak.instagram.com/hphotos-ak-xpf1/t51.2885-15/10802635_426679040818824_1333565126_n.jpg
Yes, have some leaves in there, but liked the steam look

After Steeping:

A strong black tea that I’m glad I sampled before steeping too long. Definitely only do at 3 minutes tops, it can get oversteeped (Bitter) quite easily. There is an almost bitter afterthought when taking a sip of this.

It leaves behind a satisfying silkiness on the tongue. I taste that the darjeeling and assam were blended well and smoothly. It’s an ideal breakfast tea, strong and robust, brisk and noticeable blend. There is not any golden, spices, or other distinct flavours. Improves with each sip.

After a few sips, it’s definitely relaxing and soothing. I tried this with a small amount of sugar, but did not sample with milk. Would go well with a splash of milk if that is what a person prefers. Would also be great as an iced black tea.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

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74

Since I’m in LOVE with Bog Goblin Green Tea from the same company, I couldn’t resist trying their Chai, which is a favorite type of tea for me anyway.

Instagram pic – chai and a treat, yummy:
http://photos-a.ak.instagram.com/hphotos-ak-xaf1/t51.2885-15/10852852_1426058957684480_1648789881_n.jpg

Rating? Decent, sharp and smooth. Drank straight black, then with sugar. Have not added milk. Overall I prefer Chai with more cinnamon – you can sense the clove first and foremost with this one. Their Green Tea is still the winner in my book, but this is pretty good, although my tongue is almost numbing from the clove after drinking too fast. I did oversteep a little, will try again to see if steeping right brings out cinnamon more.

Flavors: Clove

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 5 OZ / 147 ML

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83

A strong and hearty black breakfast tea. No frills or whistles, smooth, no bitterness. I drank with a little sugar but it’s fine without, haven’t tried with milk. Stout and a good go to for the morning. Leaves a nice silkiness behind in the mouth.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 4 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 5 OZ / 147 ML

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70
drank China Keemun by Zen Tea
73 tasting notes

Hm, I’m not an expert with Keemun at all, so I really can’t say much about this in comparison to others. I do know that to me this is a good, very basic, plain black tea, with no special frills or pleasantries. When first steeped it had almost no flavor, but after cooling slightly it improved. Still, it’s a flavorless black tea to me, smooth and decent, but not worth making again. It may not be Zen Tea’s fault, though, it could just be that all Keemuns are like this. I’m confused as I see descriptions of smoky, or chocolate, but I get absolutely none of that.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 5 OZ / 147 ML

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85

My aunt sent me this for a Christmas gift. I fell in love as soon as I took it out of the box. Pictures don’t do the design justice. There’s the cup, saucer, lid, and infuser, all except the infused with the design that really stands out in person. Unfortunately on one side of the cup the design is absent, but this isn’t a huge deal. It’s a treat to hold with the style, and love the lid. This is the first infuser mug I’ve had that wasn’t a metal form of strainer, and I love that too. It does get some leaves and twigs in the cup, but this doesn’t bother me personally – I’m finding it a relief how easy it is to clean.

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Bio

Okay, I’m much more of a tea noob than many here – and apparently a little bit of a cheapskate as well.

I can’t help it, I love the old fashioned porceline cups with dainty handles and cherry blossom tree designs. Novelty teapots will make me giggle like a child in a candyshop. I could browse online stores and stare at teaware for hours. I get all into high teas foods and treats.

I dislike mint and most florals, especially Jasmine (yech). Don’t care for Earl Grey (Bergamot flavours) but love English Breakfast. Not into bitter and highly astringest.

I’m a black tea nut. Love almost all forms of the stuff – especially digging Phoenix Pearl from Zen tea right now, divine. Strangely, I’m not a darjeeling fan. I do dig Oorlongs and recently found and fell in love with Lapsang. Like golden teas.

Most of the Green tea I’ve tried isn’t for me, although I have a love for Coffee Shop of Horror’s Bog Goblin Green Ginger tea. Funny since I’m not crazy about lemongrass, dislike strong ginger in BLACK tea, and am not a green tea fan – but I love this tea. Go figure.

I’ve cut back a lot on sweet, iced tea because of weight/diet, but when I do drink that stuff, I’ve taken to iced tea cubes and fruit cubes over regular ice cubes. A lot of fun experimenting with and works so much better. No watering down.

KEEPER SHELF
Phoenix Pearl by Zen Tea
Golden Monkey (Harney & Sons or other source)
Paris by Harney & Sons
Bog Goblin Lemon Ginger Tea by Coffee Shop of Horrors
Assam Melody by Adagio Teas
Christmas Tea (Bags) by Twinings
Lapsang Souchong by Zen Tea
Florence by Harney & Sons

On the lookout for my perfect loose leaf Breakfast Tea and my ultimate Chai blend…

Besides tea, I love BOOKS and reading all sorts of things – run the website, The Paperback Stash, and active on Goodreads for several years. Also a huge music lover – books and music are my mains. Have an last.fm account and over 100 created playlists on 8tracks under JCFantasy23. Christian for life. Have a mean cat I love, a house bunny, two hermit crabs, and a black moor goldfish. People wise, blessed with the greatest son in the world, amazing parents and brother, perfect friends. Life is good.

Location

Lakeland, Florida, United States

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