83

This tea order was not eco friendly…The boxes reserved for parcels at the stand where I get my mail delivered are always full (welcome holiday season!!!)

So I end up getting a notice card, drive 30 min. to go pick it up and therefore ditch I don’t know how much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Not proud of myself.

To my small town, I say this: please invest in more mailboxes, I want «greener» tea supplies!!!! (end of rant)

Zen Tea is not very present here on Steepster but it’s a company I like more and more. They don’t carry the biggest variety, but what they have is good at a very decent price. Plus they send 3 generous samples. I could have asked for my own sample choice, but decided, hey surprise me! I appreciate the fact that they have chosen samples according to the tastes expressed by my orders with them. I got some breakfast blend, earl grey and oolong. Now that shows attention to details, thank you very much for that!

I love Oolongs and I lost count of how many I have tried…It never cease to amaze me, how different they are from one another, in taste and in shape.

Tie guan yin will transport you to a rich and luxuriant garden, invading your senses with the mysterious and attractive floral scent of orchid, coating your mouth with silk and butter. She’s a Seductress.

Roasted aged oolong will take charge of your taste buds in a more assertive fashion, almost assaulting your ability to identify its notes. It’s a chameleon, transforming even before you can grasp its true essence. It’s roasty, it’s nutty, its sweet yet slightly bitter, it feels simultaneously cool and warm. He’s a Player.

There’s Baozhong Pouchong , looking so much different from the previous mentioned. Instead of little rolled nuggets, this beautiful tea is crafted in long twisted strands. Almost considered a green tea, the taste is very delicate, floral and sophisticated, and it’s one the most elegant looking of them all… He’s a polished Dandy.

So where I am going with all this you ask? Wiki-oolong or something?

I think, hey, I have seen oolong in any way, shape or form.

And then there’s this fragrant branch thing and I’m baffled. What is this?

I admit, I don’t know what to do with it, I’m intimidated… No one else has reviewed it, so I have to be the first to experiment here. How do I brew this, heck, how do I measure it? I decide I’m going to spend a lot of time with it cause it deserves a traditional Gongfu brew and I opt for the scale, 5g. For a 8oz Gaiwan. I have a feeling it will expend quite a lot.

First and foremost, it visually is stunning, looks like one of those intricate asian artsy tree paintings. It is obvious that the leaf is rolled while still attached to the little branch and I can’t help thinking how tedious this job must be…

http://www.flickr.com/photos/laafeevertee/11376311323/lightbox/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/laafeevertee/11376225854/lightbox/

I did not research it, so I have no clue what kind a benefit the branch portion will add to the brew.

First steep and the leaves are already unfurling. It’s light and fresh, the smell is a lot stronger than the taste, floral and woodsy bark aroma.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/laafeevertee/11376190936/in/photostream/lightbox/

I get floral sweet notes, but in a lot more subtle way than with a tie guan yin.

I feel there’s a light citrus astringency in the background that is waiting to emerge in the later steeps, and that’s exactly how this tea evolves. At the fifth infusion, the floral notes are almost gone and I get that fresh citrus along with musky and more earthy bark vibe. That’s where the branch portion becomes game changer. They have tripled in size and the gaiwan feels overwhelmed now, not much room to breathe! The twigs are no longer wrinkled, having soaked all the water they needed. The leaves are perfectly shaped, not damaged at all, really a beautifully crafted tea

http://www.flickr.com/photos/laafeevertee/11376176985/in/photostream/lightbox/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/laafeevertee/11376310813/in/photostream/lightbox/

I will be able to sip on this for at least 4 or 5 more infusions I think.

This oolong is a showstopper and it knows it. It enjoys spreading its splendour before your eyes in all its glory. He’s a Peacock.

Writing about tea is an inexhaustible source of inspiration, isn’t is? Sorry for this way too long review!!!! My curiosity and amazement got carried away…

P.S. I wonder if these guys are on Steepster…I think they are the cutest, I love the way they review together :-)

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=XsEpTHF-mUw

Fjellrev

Don’t beat yourself up for having to drive to get your parcel! That is what I hate about my hometown being in the middle of nowhere. Whenever I go home to visit, I have to drive everywhere because everything is quite remote.

I like Zen Tea too much I wish they would offer a wider variety of teas.

TheTeaFairy

Thanks Incendiare for your support, glad to know I’m not alone! don’t you just hate it when it’s for such a small parcel that fits perfectly in the regular box?? Rroarrrr!!!

yes, zen tea needs to upgrade a little with variety. It’s not that bad cause I always go back to restock on favourites, but it would make things more exciting if they had more blends cause they do them really well. Heck, they made me like a flavoured puehr! I usually like straight puerh only, but their mint blend is super tasty!

tigress_al

Wow what a review. I like your descriptions of each oolong!
And you are right zen tea is a great company!

Fjellrev

Yeah, I have my favourites too but sometimes it doesn’t feel like enough to justify another order. Let’s hope they’re reading this and maybe they’ll whip up some new stuff in the future!

TheTeaFairy

Thank you tigress :-)
Incendiare, unfortunately, I doubt they will ever read this thread…have you ever seen them posting on Steepster? Too bad, if I was a small retailer, I would not underestimate the Power of Steepster! I think this place is the best publicity one can ever get and it’s FREE!!!

Bonnie

Beautiful tea! Thank you for sharing pictures!

TheTeaFairy

Thanks Bonnie, it has become a real hobby of mine!
Of all the people here, maybe you have seen this type of tea before? Isn’t it unusual?

Roughage

What a superb review. I love the characterisation and the sheer life you breathed into your words. The tea sounds pretty good too.

Bonnie

Nope, have not seen that tea! I will show the picture to Eric and My other tea friends who’ve been or lived in China. Cool stuff!

TheTeaFairy

Awww, Roughage what a nice thing to say, you really made my day :-) I’m always self-conscious about my English, especially when I want to express things in a more serious way…doesn’t always flow the way it would in French :-)

Bonnie, please let me know what they say… I can’t seem to find any information on it and I’m curious to find out if it’s a new harvest method or an ancient one.

Ysaurella

that’s why my reviews are so short. Sometimes I don’t feel like I can manage to express cleverly thing in English as I would in French so I finally express less things. You’re lucky to live n a country using both languages, this is really great.

TheTeaFairy

Ysaurella, I know your prose would be much different in French, however, I’ve come to really like and appreciate your english reviews just the way they are, candid and unpretentious :-)
(I’m self-concious cause I learned by my myself, not at school, so I know I make mistakes!!! But it doesn’t keep me from writing cause I like it too much)

anodyne

I just came across your review- I actually emailed Zen about this tea because I was so intrigued when I saw it. Kenneth, whom I assume to be the owner, has always been very helpful when I’ve emailed them. I had a shipping problem and a damaged gaiwan and he remedied both issues with haste. I’ve also asked him about other teas and I got detailed replies, which is awesome. He says this in regards to this tea:
“Oolong-Fragrant Golden Branch is new kind of Oolong from Fujian, China. In China, it doesn’t have fixed name yet as I know. Some producer call it ‘Fragrant leaves Golden branch(XiangyeJinzhi)’, and I thought that name will be the most suitable for this Oolong. It is a little similar to Tieguanyin flavour at first, but I think it is smoother than Tieguanyin. Also after smell is really fragrant and mild.”

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Comments

Fjellrev

Don’t beat yourself up for having to drive to get your parcel! That is what I hate about my hometown being in the middle of nowhere. Whenever I go home to visit, I have to drive everywhere because everything is quite remote.

I like Zen Tea too much I wish they would offer a wider variety of teas.

TheTeaFairy

Thanks Incendiare for your support, glad to know I’m not alone! don’t you just hate it when it’s for such a small parcel that fits perfectly in the regular box?? Rroarrrr!!!

yes, zen tea needs to upgrade a little with variety. It’s not that bad cause I always go back to restock on favourites, but it would make things more exciting if they had more blends cause they do them really well. Heck, they made me like a flavoured puehr! I usually like straight puerh only, but their mint blend is super tasty!

tigress_al

Wow what a review. I like your descriptions of each oolong!
And you are right zen tea is a great company!

Fjellrev

Yeah, I have my favourites too but sometimes it doesn’t feel like enough to justify another order. Let’s hope they’re reading this and maybe they’ll whip up some new stuff in the future!

TheTeaFairy

Thank you tigress :-)
Incendiare, unfortunately, I doubt they will ever read this thread…have you ever seen them posting on Steepster? Too bad, if I was a small retailer, I would not underestimate the Power of Steepster! I think this place is the best publicity one can ever get and it’s FREE!!!

Bonnie

Beautiful tea! Thank you for sharing pictures!

TheTeaFairy

Thanks Bonnie, it has become a real hobby of mine!
Of all the people here, maybe you have seen this type of tea before? Isn’t it unusual?

Roughage

What a superb review. I love the characterisation and the sheer life you breathed into your words. The tea sounds pretty good too.

Bonnie

Nope, have not seen that tea! I will show the picture to Eric and My other tea friends who’ve been or lived in China. Cool stuff!

TheTeaFairy

Awww, Roughage what a nice thing to say, you really made my day :-) I’m always self-conscious about my English, especially when I want to express things in a more serious way…doesn’t always flow the way it would in French :-)

Bonnie, please let me know what they say… I can’t seem to find any information on it and I’m curious to find out if it’s a new harvest method or an ancient one.

Ysaurella

that’s why my reviews are so short. Sometimes I don’t feel like I can manage to express cleverly thing in English as I would in French so I finally express less things. You’re lucky to live n a country using both languages, this is really great.

TheTeaFairy

Ysaurella, I know your prose would be much different in French, however, I’ve come to really like and appreciate your english reviews just the way they are, candid and unpretentious :-)
(I’m self-concious cause I learned by my myself, not at school, so I know I make mistakes!!! But it doesn’t keep me from writing cause I like it too much)

anodyne

I just came across your review- I actually emailed Zen about this tea because I was so intrigued when I saw it. Kenneth, whom I assume to be the owner, has always been very helpful when I’ve emailed them. I had a shipping problem and a damaged gaiwan and he remedied both issues with haste. I’ve also asked him about other teas and I got detailed replies, which is awesome. He says this in regards to this tea:
“Oolong-Fragrant Golden Branch is new kind of Oolong from Fujian, China. In China, it doesn’t have fixed name yet as I know. Some producer call it ‘Fragrant leaves Golden branch(XiangyeJinzhi)’, and I thought that name will be the most suitable for this Oolong. It is a little similar to Tieguanyin flavour at first, but I think it is smoother than Tieguanyin. Also after smell is really fragrant and mild.”

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Profile

Bio

I am French Canadian, so please forgive me if my English is not always perfect!

My relationship with tea in a nut shell:

I’m married to straight Blacks. I have torrid love affairs with Oolongs. My BFF are Greens. I socialize more and more with Pu’erhs. I have distant White acquaintances that I visit once in a while. I party with Flavored!

Love Steepster, a place for tea lovers, where you learn and share with others…

About me:

I am a free spirit, I let people be who and what they want to be and expect the same in return.

Books! I love French and classic literature, but also modern and pretty much anything that captures my attention.

As tea and books, music is something I can’t live without! From Bach to Nirvana, my ears know no boundaries…

Art is food for the soul…I consume lots of it.

Animal and nature lover, I will never let a fury friend in needs.

I’ve been drinking tea for as long as I can remember. But since I’v joined Steepster, my tea knowledge has emancipated exponentially.

Drinking tea is a sensorial experience. The name in itself “Camellia Sinensis” lingers the promess of an adventure for the senses…

As for my rating system, well it’s pretty much inexistent…Since I don’t write many reviews, I try to focus on the good stuff and will usually review teas that left a big impression on me.

Not a big «swapper» but if we do get to swap together, you’ll remember me, I live up to my Fairy reputation :-)

I love taking tea pics, here’s my Instagram:

http://instagram.com/theteafairy

Location

The Laurentians, Canada

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