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92
drank Zealong Pure by Chicago Tea Garden
243 tasting notes

So I’ve been holding onto this for a while, but being such a coveted tea, I wanted to make sure the conditions were perfect: I was feeling fine, I gave myself ample time to enjoy the tea, and most importantly, I brewed it correctly.

I tried to follow the Chicago Tea Garden’s direction for brewing (video number 2: http://www.chicagoteagarden.com/zealong-new-zealand-oolong), but wound up making some minor modifications.

I warmed the pot, using boiling water, drained it, covered the bottom of my pot in the leaves, then added enough water to cover them. Of course, they floated, so let’s say it was about a half cup of boiling water. Let the leaves steep for one minute like this. Drained the water, then filled the pot with boiling water. Allowed to steep for one full minute. Poured all the tea out and enjoyed.

The aroma of this is incredible; it is crisp, clean, sweet and actually smells mouthwatering, it is everything you would hope it to smell like and nothing that you would hope it doesn’t. In one word: pure. The liquor is a pale, golden yellow, not amber, yellow. The experience is cultivated in the drinking vessel, I used a matcha bowl because I wanted to get the full bouquet while drinking it. The flavor matches the aroma, clean, crisp, sweet, yet not overpowering, it tastes like the best of the best oolongs, it really just might be. I know I have had an oolong similar, though I am not sure where, it really doesn’t matter, because this is what I have now.

That was the first infusion. I did not repeat the whole tea ceremony for each infusion, just filled the pot with more water, steeped and drank. I got three full infusions out of the one sample and each was as good as the first.

All brewed hot, no additives:
Infusion 1: one minute
Infusion 2: one minute, 30 seconds
Infusion 3: two minutes

If you get a chance to try this, I highly recommend you do. I still have the other two (aromatic and dark) to give a go. Enjoy everyone!

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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Bio

I am a sarcastic perfectionist, a computer nerd, a game geek, an avid reader, a gadget guru, a wine (and tea) enthusiast, and (in my spare time) a chemist.

As I mentioned, I am a chemist, research and development to be exact, so when evaluating tea, it is much like evaluating my products: I will find the flaws and do my very best to fix them because it is what I love to do. Along those lines, nothing is perfect, but can have perfect qualities, I will highlight those also.

I made a preliminary guide to my rating scale:
0-19 – Did not like anything about the tea, feel it cannot be saved without being reformulated.
20-40 – Did not like the tea, it can be saved with extreme amounts of tweaking (i.e., sugar, milk, honey and or blending with another tea)
41-60 – Neutral about the tea, it can be helped or hurt by additives or blends, varied temperatures and steep times
61-70 – Decent tea, needs a little bit of help to get it in the place I like it, but definitely not out of reach
71-80 – Quality tea, liked it, will try again
81-90 – Really enjoyed the tea, high quality, will continue to drink the tea, not looking for something better
91-100 – Loved the tea, will continue to brew and drink and spread the word about the tea to everyone

Location

NJ

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