1979 Tasting Notes
This is the third and final sample from Zen Tea in this round of tastings!
I requested this sample because a young man who works at the big tea company which shall not be named told me that this is one of his favorite teas. He really encouraged me to try it sometime. What better time than now when Zen is offering to let me pick a flavor to try?
I served this at tea party today as our final tea. The last tea is usually served after we have eaten all we are going to eat, so I often choose a flavored tea for that spot.
The dry leaf has an amazing coconut aroma. The wet leaves, when removed from the pot, scared me a little as they had a bitter smell. Nothing to worry, though, because the actual tea was sweet and smooth.
The coconut flavor is really dominant here and tastes very natural and pure. It is just like opening the bag of Baker’s Flake Coconut for the first time, and the smell of the sweet coconut rushes out.
There is nothing bitter or offensive in this anywhere.
Another great tea from Zen!
I was hungry but I have had a moderately angry tummy since yesterday. I wanted black tea with a snack, but I knew I couldn’t drink just any black tea or I risked making things worse. I thought this one from Nature’s Tea Leaf that was sent as a very generous sample (I STILL have some left, thank goodness!) would be just the thing. It is delicious and would satisfy the black tea craving, but it is smooth enough not to upset things further. At times like this, Assams are out of the question for me.
This is an excellent Chinese black tea. I steeped one teaspoon of leaf in 8 ounces water, resteeped, and poured it all in my big Christmas mug. This accompanied second breakfast which was cinnamon toast, heavy on the brown sugar and cinnamon. So yummy! I have really got to reduce my cupboard enough to order several teas from this company. This one and their Dragon Pearl Green are definitely on the list.
I made this by the hot latte instructions they include in the tin. I added Turbinado sugar instead of the six cubes of Demerara. YUMMY! I know this isn’t pumpkin flavored, but the spices in this make it taste like liquid pumpkin pie. I think this is my favorite chai, mostly because it doesn’t taste like other chai I have had. No turmeric, no pepper, just yummy spices. Of course, it doesn’t have chai in the name so maybe it is not really considered one.
Last night I steeped these leaves for one pot of hot tea. Then, thinking about Bonnie’s puerh reviews, I put the leaves in my Bodum iced tea pitcher, filled it with filtered water, and out it in the refrigerator. By the time I was ready for bed, the water in the pitcher was as black as cola and even had bubbles along the sides that made it look carbonated. I decanted the first cold steep and put in more water to see what would happen.
When I got up this morning, the second steep was still pretty pale so I poured a bit in a glass and it was very weak though good. I added a bit of it to that ultra dark first steep.
I tried a glass of that mix, and Oh. My. Goodness. This is the most refreshing thing I think I have ever had to drink in my life. Sometimes a fine white or green tea will have a taste of snow melt to me. This is a whole glass of icy cold fresh pure snow melt with the loveliest aftertaste. Pristine. I really really want to do this some more. This is going to be amazing in summer heat.
Matcha time! My friend came over and had tea with me today, and before she left she was lamenting about how much work she needed to do when she went home. I suggested that she try a matcha latte and see if that gave her a boost of energy. It must have worked, or it just tasted really great, because she is texting me right now picking what flavor she is going to buy, what size, what flavor level. I told her that picking the flavor is the hardest part for me because there are so many tempting ones.
This review will be about my latte, however, not hers! You can get the matcha right here:
I bought this one in Robust flavor level to mix with peanut butter to see if I could get a Reese’s peanut butter cup flavor, but I also wanted to try this one by itself as a hot cocoa substitute.
For this particular latte I made it the lazy way. I poured one cup of milk into a two cup Pyrex measuring cup. I added a spoonful of Turbinado sugar, which I am finding goes really well with the lattes. (I have to consume it all because I tried it in the kids’ drinks and they swear it tastes different from other sugar and they don’t want it in their drinks!)
When the milk was hot I used a plain kitchen strainer to sift 1/2 teaspoon of matcha into the cup. Then I just whisked it with a regular Kitchenaid brand metal whisk. I got a good froth, I suppose because it is milk instead of water. That helps!
This tastes good and creamy. I had to add extra milk because it was a little strong and you don’t want to add TOO much of the flavored matcha. The taste suffers. The good thing is that means you can use less and make MORE matcha lattes! It doesn’t taste exactly like hot cocoa, but it does taste like a hot drink that is chocolate, if that makes sense. This isn’t a kid’s kind of chocolate flavor, but rather a more adult one.
I do think I will order this in a milder flavor level next time, but for now I will just add more milk than usual to my lattes.
My best friend really loves puerh tea and I wanted to have some more today to keep trying to counteract all the holiday food, so I invited her over. Of course, I made apple dumplings to go with it, so how much did it help? LOL!
The instructions on the bag call for a great deal of tea and a rather short steep of 1-2 minutes. I put a bit less tea than called for and steeped it just over two minutes. The resulting tea is rich and dark dark dark – as dark as coffee. But it is oh so good. There is a cedar oil aftertaste to this one that I love.
Bonnie mentions cold steeping her puerh, so I only made one pot with these leaves and then put them in cold water in the refrigerator. It is already so dark! I can’t wait to see how I like it.
This is from Amy Oh! Thank you, Amy!
Too much fatty food and not enough steamed or raw veggies make ashmanra a dull girl. First there was the frenzy of cooking for Thanksgiving. Then leftovers, but I kept eating turkey and gravy and gravy, and dressing and gravy, and mashed potatoes and gravy, and turkey sandwiches. Finally I ended the leftovers with turkey divan, and talk about fatty food. Oof. So I feel like a slug, and then made it worse by eating two fatty meals today and having leftover Halloween candy for a snack. My tummy is NOT happy with me. I should be in bed, but I am giving my tummy some puerh as an apology for the way I have been treating it.
I didn’t look up the instructions on this and it has been a long time since I had it. I rinsed it for thirty seconds and then gave it a thirty second steep. Hey, don’t beat me! I LOVE most shu puerh at three minutes or more! Ad it wasn’t bad at all. As they said, a little bitter, a little hay-like. Nice and light, though, and I am counting on its ability to soothe a digestive tract.
Second steep was forty seconds, still good, not much different from the first. Now I read the instructions and see it was supposed to be a three second first steep. Seriously? Oh well. But I see Amy’s comment about lowering the temp and steeping longer so I try that.
Now the brew is twice as dark. We have achieved dark oolong color, nice and light caramel color, and the bitterness has increased a little. But there are more layers playing about now. THEREIS also a powerful aftertaste that is so sweet and unexpected! I would love to see how it ages.
I think so far I prefer shu puerh. Do the two types of puerh carry the same benefits?
Okay, I admit that I would probably have never looked at this flavor twice had it not been for Azzrian’s rave reviews! The more I read about it, the more I wanted it. Here is where to get it!
Mine is robust flavor level.
I needed a good energy boost today because I have been about as useful as a knot on a log. I have felt tired, sluggish, and sleepy and I know it is because I have been cooking and eating all the wrong foods since Thanksgiving. But I can not let this house go any longer without doing some big time cleaning!
Matcha to the rescue! It really was a comedy of errors getting it all put together, which makes a great testament to how hard it is to mess this up! I got out a container and measure the milk, it is metal so I can’t heat the milk in the microwave. I got a container to heat the milk, it was too small to mix the milk. I put the warm milk in a larger container and mix, almost forgetting to add the Turbinado sugar I had especially picked for this matcha latte.
But hallelujah! It is delicious in spite of my blundering! And the very best part is that I got a ton of cleaning done that I have had my eye on for about a week now.
My method, other than needing three containers where I should have used one:
Mix 1/2 teaspoon matcha with a teaspoon of water for a thick paste. Heat one cup milk in microwave, adding about 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar either before or after heating. Add hot milk to matcha paste and mix with immersion blender.
VOILA! Delicious latte and clean house!
I love you, Harney and Sons. I really do. But I don’t like rooibos. A friend gave me some of this to try and I can’t find the pumpkin. I get rooibos and spice, maybe clove and nutmeg or mace?, but that is pretty much it.
If you love those spices and want a warming drink and you don’t mind rooibos, this might be a really good choice for you, it just isn’t my bag.
This is a free sample from “Zen Tea.” Thank you, Zen! I understand I have some presents on the way from your store!
When I opened the pouch, I thought, “Coffee! Foofy coffee shop flavored coffee all creamy and with too many calories!” I forgot this had hazelnut and thought it was just the vanilla until I looked at the description again! Ah yes, thus the deep, dark, rich aroma.
Now that I am sniffing the steeped tea, I can definitely tell this is hazelnut I am smelling. I think Bossa Nova is a great name for this tea. It evokes a sultry, somewhat sensual atmosphere. Think dark coffee house with slow freeform jazz, poetry readings, and bookish sorts wearing glasses that shouldn’t be sexy but they are. The glasses, I mean.
I could be wrong since I don’t drink coffee, but this seems like a tea that a coffee lover would love to drink. I don’t think I would drink this when I wanted an oolong experience, sitting quietly and experiencing all the changes of the different steeps, closing my eyes to focus in aftertaste. I think I would drink this just to evoke the atmosphere, playing some jazz, and writing letters to friends or chatting with one who is sharing a pot of tea with me.