69 Tasting Notes

drank Strawberry Cream by Zen Tea
69 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

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!


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

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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:
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.

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

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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:

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

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

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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.

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

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drank China Keemun by Zen Tea
69 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.

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

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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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I’m using my new mug my aunt sent me from Teavana for Christmas. (Okura Ume Blossom Infuser Tea Mug – their website picture does not do this mug justice AT ALL) I love this infuser mug – ceramic steeper is surprisingly fun, it’s so easy to clean when I’m used to metal meshes, and the design is just upping the experience for me. I’m eating two of my mother’s chocolate chip cookies she baked today for the occasion.

I have had this sample of Golden Monkey for awhile. A few years back I tried Adagio teas Golden Monkey and remember enjoying it quite a bit.

This tea really does have a comforting, golden glow about it. It just puts me in a good mood to drink it. I add a small smidge of sugar but it already has a nice sweetness that radiates from it. Very smooth and delicious to gulp up. It’s just as yummy while it cools down!

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 15 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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drank Phoenix Pearl by Zen Tea
69 tasting notes

One of my new favorites. This one stands out as unique without overpowering or seeming fake at all. I am in love with this tea. I usually don’t like cocoa notes much but this one is right on. I saw a review earlier that said there is something cozy about this tea, and they are so right. It has a certain indescribable quality. I just ordered a big bag after having two samples – so delicious, cannot wait for my order to arrive. Stunning tea that will be a staple in my kitchen.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp

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drank Orange Spice by Tea Largo
69 tasting notes

New tasting is still unimpressive. For some reason this tea reminds me of twigs. It’s very earthy tasting, but I don’t sense spice or orange. It’s a weak black tea I wouldn’t recommend.

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I’m still not a huge fan among the second cup but it’s better. I found the trick was to steep a lot of it for a short time rather than how it normally goes (5 minutes with 1 tsp). This tea is so strong it’s better kept to under two minutes. This alone makes the tea very dark. It also still needs to be drank hot and not cooling at all. The clove again mildly numbs the tongue after awhile but not as badly as the first time. A tempermental tea. I sense cloves but I’m more of a heavy on the cinnamon type gal

2 min, 0 sec

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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.

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.


Lakeland, Florida, United States

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