King's Zen Tea
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Recent Tasting Notes
This was my afternoon tea (no confusion here – this is oolong).
Thanks yyz for sending a sample of this my way.
I like oolong, I like dark oolong, I normally like dancong – this one isn’t dark enough. I don’t think this is oxidized as much as the “dark” oolongs that I normally enjoy. This seems more like a medium oolong. For my tastes this is too green for me. It still has quite a bit of the floral notes of a green oolong, and that just doesn’t work for me.
This is probably a really high quality tea, but it’s not to my tastes. :((
This is a tea that I picked up a sample of at the Zen Garden Restaurant, It’s not currently available on the King’s Zen website.
This tea consists of dark green, grey curls with silver tips. The tea smells sweet and slightly spicy.
I found this tea to be very robust and flavourful. It is also quite resilient, so far it’s lasted seven steeps. I originally steeped it for 45s and I suspect that next time I could reduce the steeping time or the amount of leaf as the flavour was quite intense and the broth was a deep gold. The flavour is quite nice, with roasted chestnut, plum , honey, spicy sweet floral ( like dames rocket) and spinach notes. Plum honey and roasted nut notes remain in the aftertaste. Once the spinach notes calm down the tea becomes quite smooth and silky. Quite a nice tea with quite a bit of natural sweetness.
I have to preface this by saying this is the first Dancong I’ve ever had, but this tea is now on my adore list. I’m not sure if this is just me discovering I love Dancongs or if this tea is really spectacular in it’s genre, regardless I really like it.
It reminds me strongly of a scotch based liquor that my cousin brought back from Scotland. It has these lovely floral notes which I described to myself as lily of the valley touched with gardenia but that may be Magnolia in afterthought balanced by a beautiful apricot cream flavour and whiskey grain alcohol notes including that warm tingling notes that neat scotch always gives me.
Secondary flavours include sandalwood, toasted nut, cotton flower and incense smoke so far. This tea is still going strong after 11 steeps ( though it is more apricot cream right now.
The original leaves were quite dark and smelled slightly of peach, but now they are an olive green with a more floral scent. The first steep at 1 min smelled like cooked peach, woody tones(sandalwood, a hint of stewed rhubarb, honey, cereal, and cream notes. The tea was a pale sepia type tone. The flavour was quite intense at 1 minute. I’ll use a shorter steeping time next time.
Looking to further steeps of this tea tonight and can easily see myself restocking this one. Does anyone have any recommendations for other Dancongs?
I’ve had two Golden Monkeys over the last two days one was definitely a Fujian and then this one which I believe is from Yunnan though it’s origin wasn’t marked either at the store or online. I enjoyed both. They both had cocoa and fruity notes but with different characteristics. This one had deep cocoa notes and a sweet fruit note that reminded me of grape jelly and a floral note of violet. Really interesting and quite nice. Later steeps had notes of malt and light leather notes.
On the website this is only sold in their Classic series. I think they might be low on stock of this harvest as the leaves in my loose package were slightly broken but no matter the tea was quite nice.
About 75% of the tea was pale gold tips and buds. The tea had a deep rich scent of cocoa. I chose to do short steeps with this tea and finished at 9 steeps.
20s brew a lightly perfumed red brown broth with cocoa, plum, raisin and an almost violet like floral note that tastes of cocoa, with sweet fruit almost like grape jelly, honey, floral violet, with malt, smells and tastes more like some Yunnan’s I’ve had than a Fujian tea. Brisk, a little astringent.
25s deeper cocoa, honey jam in background violet strong in scent but less present in taste, more malty.
35s grape jelly, violet and cocoa, malt
45s cocoa, violet, jelly and a hint of leather.
55s cocoa, floral note, leather , hint of jelly. less sweet.
85s cocoa, floral, leather note
110 cocoa toned tea, with some sweetness.
5min cocoa and vitamin c notes.
If you’re curious about this tea you can find King’s Zen Tea here
The celestial aroma oolong also known as Golden Osmanthus, or yellow gold oolong is made from the Huang Dan Cultivar of tea grown in Anxi, Fujian. Harvested earlier than Tie guan yin , It is known to naturally emit an osmanthus like aroma. This is not a scented tea. This particular example tended to reference the peach like end of the osmanthus spectrum rather than the apricot. This tea is kind of interesting as an oolong it has the bite of a green TGY, It is definitely floral, but it’s fruit notes are kind of unique to the ones I have tried, It doesn’t have the sweet tropical fruit notes I’ve had in some milk oolongs and doesn’t have the spicy cinnamon like notes I get in mid roast TGY. It’s kind of a peach orange mix that softens later into apricot.
The dry leaves were a tightly rolled pale olive green to spruce green with a distinctive aroma of orange and peach and 1st cut hay ( more clover less alfalfa).
After a brief rinse I got twelve steeps out of this tea ( I could of made more but the flavour was losing complexity). The steeping times were 30,20,25,30,35,40,50,70,80,90,120 and 180s, brewed at around 80-85*C.
This tea gets some of it’s names from the loveley yellow gold of it’s liquor which stayed pretty consistant through each steeping.
This tea released flavours of orange, peach and later on apricot, over floral notes including at various points gardenia, honeysuckly and vanilla orchid ( one steep smelled a little like creamsicles) , occassional notes, of artichoke, spinach/green beans, and notes of pachouli and sweetgrass like spice).
The tea produced a cooling feeling on the lips and at the front of the mouth and a warming sensation at the back of the mouth and some of the middle steepings were buttery.
The spent leaves were fairly large, green, and some leaves had faint red edges.
Overall a nice selection when I want a green oolong that is not the sweet creamy fruit of a milk oolong, or as strongly floral as some Dong Dings and TGY.
I’m liking this. It’s a really good Lychee Black tea. One of the best that I’ve tried for the simple reason that it doesn’t taste overwhelmingly like Lychee. The lychee is subdued, and this allows the palate to explore the deeper side of the black tea and the sweeter side of the fruit without its unique flavors overpowering the cup.
This was part of Amoda’s Tea box for this month …I’m really glad it was in there! A really good Lychee Black!
I know I usually only have one tasting note per tea, but I can’t help it! I love this tea! I started my morning with it yesterday (steeped for 30 seconds, as planned) and I had an AMAZING day! And it was a Monday! I swear, this tea put me in a fantastic mood. I’m repeating the experiment today, and so far, sucess!
A friend gave me a packet of this tea, and the label doesn’t have the company name on it. It’s delicious! Lovely colour, great flavour (neither sweet nor bitter). The label said to steep it for 3-5 minutes, but the only place I found it online said to steep it for 30 seconds. I’ll try 30 seconds next time, and see how re-steeping the leaves goes.