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The Tea Zone

Recent Tasting Notes

drank Jade Dew Drop by The Tea Zone
609 tasting notes

2/5 (see my bio for more info on my new pared down scale)

Did a green tea cold-steep-athon this afternoon, it was this one, Verdant Laoshan Bilochun Green, and Butiki Grapefruit Dragon. The Verdant and Butiki were delicious (no surprise there) while this was a case of “blink and it gets bitter”—I know cold steeping greens can do that quickly, so I was careful to check every hour and it still happened. Oh well. Maybe with some syrup it will be salvageable; my husband’ll probably drink it, ha. I’m not too surprised though, as even when I purchased it it was more for the novelty of actually being in a city’s walk-in tea shop for once (!) and I wasn’t expecting much of anything, let alone for it to stand up to a taste test with the likes of Verdant and Butiki.

I will definitely try it hot at some point, soon hopefully, and maybe even cold steep one more time for a very very short period of time and see what I think then.

Preparation
Iced

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drank Cherry Green Sencha by The Tea Zone
145 tasting notes

I got this from a place in Portland that I really like, unfortunately this tea was kinda weird though. :/ I guess they’re discontinuing it too. Both the dry leaves and the steeped tea smell like cherry candies/cough drops, and that’s exactly how it tastes. Very artificial. I’m not sure exactly what’s in it but I expected a lot better! I could see this maybe making an okay sweet iced tea though? Maybe??

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85

Visited the Tea Zone in Portland yesterday and asked about any new teas of the owner. He stated they had some new Assam teas in that were not yet on the menu list. Great I thought! I asked for a malty one and he suggested this one. It comes in organic and non-organic, yet he states that their flavor profile is quite different between them because they are grown in different areas.

I tried this tea at my brunch there yesterday and liked the tea so much I bought some to take home with me. The leaf is very dark, virtually a black leaf. There are no tips in it at all. The leaf is cut but offers large chunks 1/4"+ in length. The brew is golden brown and reveals a bold flavoring. It has the malty flavoring but also has a bit of a yummy sweet potato flavoring along with other notes I can’t quite put a finger on. It’s a complex but delicious flavor. I’m really enjoying this as it’s yet another addition to my Assam collection that is different from my other tippy and malty Assams.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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86

Today’s brew of this is tasting especially good to me. I think some times the planets align and the factors for the steeping turn out perfect, right amount of each parameter… temp, time, qty, sweetner… and you get a great cup of tea! This malty brew is strong but at 2 minutes and a few, it’s not astringent. It has some earthy notes in this as well as some sweet potato. The lingering aftertaste is just mmmmm good.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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95
drank Numalighur Assam by The Tea Zone
115 tasting notes

Enjoying this tea after lunch. It’s a bold solid assam with a nice malty finish. The aroma is even nice, not something many assam teas can boast. I drink it black with some sweetener.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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95
drank Numalighur Assam by The Tea Zone
115 tasting notes

I’ve been very impressed with this assam. I think this is just a special batch since I’ve had assam teas from this source before and was not particularly impressed. But this one is excellent each time I have it. The malty and caramel flavoring is really nice, it’s smooth and bold but no astringency with a 2 min. steep. I’m enjoying it immensely this afternoon!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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95
drank Numalighur Assam by The Tea Zone
115 tasting notes

I have tried assam teas from this source before and never found any that lit my fire. But this year’s supply of this estate tea is a winner! The leaf is small and twisted, not broken. It is described as tippy tippy and malty sweet. I have to agree, that with a bit of sweetner and my usual short steep this brews up a fantastic cup of tea. The brew is dark amber, the aroma is sweet and wonderful. I don’t add dairy, preferring to enjoy the full malty strong brew. I highly recommend this assam for assam fans.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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49
drank Keemun Hao Ya 'A' by The Tea Zone
115 tasting notes

This tea isn’t listed on their web site store at this time but their walk-in shop had it and not in large quantity. At $8/oz it’s not your bargain tea but this grade of Keemun never is. When you find a really good Hao Ya “A” Keemun it is worth every penny. I frequent the Tea Zone in Portland and it’s been a while (years) since they last had this tea in. Not sure why. I was anxious to try this one but given my lack of ability to find a really good Keemun Hao Ya A I opted for just 1 oz. While this one is a mild version of a “good” one, it’s not top of my list. I still prefer what I get from another Portland tea shop, Tao Of Tea. They have the best I have found.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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75
drank Jin Xuan Oolong by The Tea Zone
115 tasting notes

Got this wonderful tea in their walk-in shop, can’t find it online at their web site yet. I asked them for an oolong that has that nice “buttery” flavor. They brought out this variety. Smelling it didn’t provide assurance that it would have that flavoring but the owner assured me it would. I believed him since some teas don’t taste like their aroma in dry leaf form. I tried this last night and was very impressed with the results! It was fantastic! I steeped it twice and didn’t want any more before bed but I felt I could get another steeping so I did a 3rd steeping, wrapped the cup with plastic wrap and refrig’d it. I then heated it this evening in microwave and it was just as wonderful as last night. I got 3 steepings no problem and all were delicious. The leaf is in a tightly rolled ball and unfurls eventually into small to medium sized whole leaves. This is a beautiful tea and worth the $8/oz. I paid.

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86

This is a nice malty flavored tea and I enjoy it without milk. Made for a nice evening tea.

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75
drank Yunnan Moon by The Tea Zone
115 tasting notes

Can find this on their web site (www.teazone.com) but got this tea from their tea room recently. The leaves appear slightly oxidized and give this hard to find tea a delicious taste!

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