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79
drank Bossa Nova by Zen Tea
300 tasting notes

So there I was lying in bed this morning, wishing for a nice breakfast tea to begin my day that I wasn’t committed to having a long gongfu session with so that I could move on to Mrs. Li’s Dragonwell from Verdant. I was actually hoping for something fun like hazelnut, though I had already tried Adagio’s the other day. When lo and behold there was a clank below my window. The mail man had come by early and when I made my way downstairs I found my prayers had been answered in the form of a package of samples from Zen Tea! Thank you Zen Tea

Not only that but when I opened the package I found that I had indeed order a hazelnut tea! And to top it all off I had seen this tea on the menu yesterday at the tea studio and had wondered why it sounded so familiar, I knew I hadn’t drank it before, but felt like I had ordered it. This is the same description and ingredients as the Bossa Nova hazelnut oolong from TeaGschwender so I can only imagine they get it from the same source.

This has a much nicer base than Adagio’s Hazelnut, no bitter ceylon, just a nice roasted oolong, good looking leaves as well, though it is hard to differentiate where the natural nut note in the oolong end and the hazelnut flavor begins, which may be a good thing. I have to admit I was a tad disappointed that this wasn’t darker, sweeter and richer, but it does taste like hazelnuts, like eating the nuts themselves and in this way the blend is successful.

I may just have to try this with extra leaf and bit of sugar the next time I make it, to try to meet my unrealistic expectations. The samples were generous enough for multiple servings. Glad I got to try it, will write my review on Zen Tea’s website after a second session. Thanks again to Zen Tea for their generosity, I’m looking forward to the roasted Tieguanyins!

Edit: enjoying this today, following the given brewing parameters for 12 mins, I also put in two rock sugar crystals. It is better, the hazelnut is fully present and it has a touch of sweet, but the oolong still feels “thin”. May end up blending my last teaspoon with Adagio’s hazlenut black oh wait I didn’t like that one at all or a straight black for more body. Edit edit: I did add a bit of Bailin Gonfu Black Organic from Teavirve to the second steep and based on the smell I thought I had created a delicious Nutella tea, but alas tis bitter, until the last sip which is dark and cool and sweet. So there is promise there, just probably need a lower temp, steep time and make it a first infusion. Yeah this aftertaste is quite delicious.

Daniel Scott

…Ew, a bitter Ceylon? There’s something really wrong with that concept.

Autumn Hearth

Ceylon is pretty hit or miss for me, it can be really naturally sweet and cidery but it can also turn astringent.

ashmanra

It seems to me that the higher grown Ceylons are the ones that can be astringent, at least amount the ones in my tea shelf. It is probably possibly with any of them, though.

Autumn Hearth

Interesting, Ceylon’s are something I just haven’t had enough experience with, mostly in British blends from Upton, a base for a few flavored blacks and one really delicious White Ceylon.

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Comments

Daniel Scott

…Ew, a bitter Ceylon? There’s something really wrong with that concept.

Autumn Hearth

Ceylon is pretty hit or miss for me, it can be really naturally sweet and cidery but it can also turn astringent.

ashmanra

It seems to me that the higher grown Ceylons are the ones that can be astringent, at least amount the ones in my tea shelf. It is probably possibly with any of them, though.

Autumn Hearth

Interesting, Ceylon’s are something I just haven’t had enough experience with, mostly in British blends from Upton, a base for a few flavored blacks and one really delicious White Ceylon.

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Bio

Druid, artist, poet, mum, lover of tea, ritual and myth. I grew up on Celestial Seasons herbals but fell in love with straight loose leaf tea working at my local Teavana for a year. I am grateful for the introduction and the experience, but have moved on.

I see tea as an experience for the senses, I like to imagine tasting the land and the weather as well as the effect of sun, air, fire and the human hand. I have a soft spot for shu pu’er, yabao, scented oolongs, wuyi oolongs, taiwanese tea as well as smooth naturally sweet blacks, creamy greens and surprisingly complex whites.

I began ordering lots of samples from Upton to educate myself on different varieties of tea we didn’t have at work and have fallen head over heels for the unique offerings from Verdant Tea. I am learning things I like: buttery mouthfeel, surprising sweet or spice notes, woodiness, mineral notes, depth and complexity and things I don’t: astringency, dry and sour notes.

I collect tea tins and am in danger of collecting pots, though I am trying to restrain the urge due to current lack of space. I brew mostly in a glass infuser mug or a tea maker, only using cast-iron for company now (still need to get a gaiwan) and tend not to sweeten my teas unless they are British or fruity and iced, which is not often.

As far as ratings, I lack a definite system and haven’t been assigning numbers lately, wanting to spend multiple sessions with a tea first. I usually only log a tea once, unless it is a new harvest or I have significantly different observations, but will go back and edit or comment if I find something interesting or new.

Location

Baker Street, Berea, Ohio

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