Zen Tea

Recent Tasting Notes

88

I am just enjoying this sencha tonight in a tetsubin pot. Not much to say really, except that every time I have this one, I feel happy and relaxed.

I’m not afraid of grassy and vegetal, and this is the perfect blend of both. I like the little bit of seaweed poke I get at the end of each sip, kind of a salty marine breeze.

Buttery sweet peas are also in the mix. Yum. Tasty.

I haven’t been very hungry lately and skipped dinner earlier….but having sencha triggered the little hungry fairy in me.

So….smoked salmon, lemon slices and capers suddenly sounded very appealing at 1am. Should I? Hell yeah!

It’s all about life’s little pleasures…

Dexter

I’m eating shrimp, cream cheese, and cocktail sauce on wasa bread at midnight so you can for sure have smoked salmon and capers. :))
“buttery sweet peas” and “salty marine breeze” – no thank you, but if it’s making you happy and relaxed then that’s really all that matters…

TheTeaFairy

Haha! We’re both having sea stuff! You should know that my sencha would work perfectly well with your shrimps, you green tea hatter ;-)

Dexter

LOL I like genmaicha, and I like some fruity greens – so I’m not a total hater. Hmmmm genmaicha – it’s that a Japanese Sushi thing? Maybe I should have been drinking that with my shrimps….

TheTeaFairy

Ok, ok, You’re right, you’re not a total green hater, I’ll give you that…

Oh and yes. That would have been really good.

sherapop

Smoked salmon, lemon slices, and capers at 1am? I say “yes”!

TheTeaFairy

T’was really good, sherapop :-)

Cameron B.

Yum, smoked salmon! I had sushi last night. <3

TheTeaFairy

Cameron, green tea and sushi…mmmmm!!!

Stephanie

I loooove smoked salmon

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drank Genmaicha by Zen Tea
1824 tasting notes

This is a buttery and smooth genmaicha with lots and lots of roasted rice goodness. Really a great genmaicha so thank you Dexter for sharing with me.

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89
drank Sencha Superior Uji by Zen Tea
875 tasting notes

Another satisfying tetsubin of haute sencha, this one the Superior Uji brought to my doorstep by Zen Tea.

This tea was the perfect accompaniment to today’s first meal of the day (3 pm—I got up at noon…): roasted escarole and endive with scallions frittatta made with provolone cheese, fresh organic half & half, and eggs produced by nonoppressed chickens.

I wonder whether eggs are good or evil at this point in time? The received medical wisdom appears to oscillate back and forth. Not that it matters: I’ll eat them no matter what anybody says!

Let there be eggs. And sencha, of course.

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 2 min, 0 sec 4 g 17 OZ / 502 ML

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This was actually pretty good. I am not a huge fan of rooibos, but I wanted something caffeine free from the HHTTB Round 3 and this was one of the few that was that also sounded good. It smells very cherry to me in dry leaf form, but doesn’t retain that much of the cherry once brewed. It was nice and the mulch taste was fairly well masked, but not something I would add to my cupboard.

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78
drank Bossa Nova by Zen Tea
108 tasting notes

I actually was avoiding trying this tea. It was included in the amazing box of goodies MissB sent me and I just wasn’t sure it was something I would enjoy. I maintain I don’t care for oolongs. Well I will now extract my foot from my mouth because this is now the second oolong I have really liked.

This is delicious and creamy and the hazelnut comes through nicely. I am very much a fan of this now. Glad I chose this rainy Saturday to give it a shot because it is absolutely perfect and perfect for today. I will not be passing this on like I thought I might. mmmmm….

Flavors: Cream, Hazelnut

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec

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75
drank Toffee Dream by Zen Tea
96 tasting notes

Tea #2 from Pass the Stash box

I would have liked more toffee flavor, but I don’t have any of the toffee squares in the sample. Still, this does taste like toffee on top of the delicate white base. I think these work well together. I just would have liked a more pronounced toffee flavor.

Nice, light, and refreshing…I must be a big fan of the white base, because I rate these fairly highly.

Preparation
2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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80

For today’s tetsubin of Zen Tea Curled Dragon Silver Tips, I used 5 grams for a 17 ounce vessel. Last time I used 5 grams for 26 ounces and found the taste a bit weak.

This is definitely the right dose. Now the more vegetal flavor is more obvious. The liquor is pale peachy green and reminds me of a cross between Bi Luo Chun and Mao Feng. The dried form looks like snipped yarn which has been tied with knots before being cut.

A good midday green.

Flavors: Vegetal

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 3 min, 0 sec 5 g 17 OZ / 502 ML

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The first time I had this tea, the smokiness that I usually associate with keemuns eluded me. I couldn’t find it. What I do recall from the first cup was the fruitiness that came through.

Today’s cup is different. I took my time and paid attention. The fruit note was still predominant, but I found those subtle tobacco and smoke notes. They came through at the end of the sip and sat on the tongue for a bit before disappearing. Interesting.

I have a couple of keemuns in my cupboard that I need to taste to see how this compares. I haven’t had keemun in a while. When I finally found the tobacco notes I enjoyed that, although I wish there was a touch more smoke.

My thanks to looseTman for providing me with a sample!

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drank Pu-erh Vanilla Mint by Zen Tea
295 tasting notes

Samples-Only Small TTB

Hmmm…the aroma really reminded me of cinnamon bread. Funny, I wasn’t getting the mint in the aroma. But the first sip – all mint with a hint of vanilla. The vanilla and mint balanced out in the next few sips, but it was still really minty. As it cooled off, the cinnamon started to play a stronger role.

Interesting.

I’m glad I tried it, but it’s not something I would drink often.

And the base tea? There’s pu-erh in here? Nothing that I could detect.

TheTeaFairy

I liked the first cup I had of this, but then it turned weird for me…

Cheri

It is a little weird. I think what is weirdest is that it has all this beautiful color to the liquor, but there’s no tea flavor to back it up.

MzPriss

It SOUNDS weird.

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I picked this one up with my last Zen Tea order and I’m not disappointed. I was actually a little afraid of this one. Too many times I’ve seen people interpret Strawberry cream as Strawberry Ice Cream.

This has a sweet strawberry on top of a creamy black tea. I love that it isn’t too sweet, and it isn’t too vanilly. The strawberry compliments the black tea well and the cream adds a nice milky mouthfeel without taking away from the flavor much. The strawberry note isn’t quite a recognizable stage note. It isn’t tarter like early strawberries, nor does it have that heavier ripe note you find with late stage strawberries. The strawberry is kind of generic, as in it doesn’t lean too far one way or the other, much like strawberry candies, but it also reminds me of great mid-season cold strawberries in the best ways.

Spencer

Sounds pretty tasty!

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drank Coconut green by Zen Tea
104 tasting notes

Sample from Ost! Thanks hun!

Not too bad; it’s very straightforward. Green tea and coconut. No frills, no choir of celestial beings singing. The sencha base is buttery and grassy, but otherwise nondescript. The coconut tastes very “green”. It’s not like coconut cream pie or artificial coconut flavor. It’s very natural. It makes me think of one specific childhood summer, when my mom would crack open coconuts and we would sit in the front lawn eating coconut meat off of the shell. It calls to mind that specific texture. There’s a slightly floral, almost soapy aftertaste that I’m not a big fan of. Otherwise it’s alright. I’m not a green tea person so that’s as much as I can say!

Flavors: Butter, Coconut, Floral, Grass, Milk

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79
drank Strawberry Cream by Zen Tea
160 tasting notes

Cold brewed this last night and added a splash of milk after straining. The strawberry isn’t as strong as I would like, but it’s stronger than when I brewed it hot. I took it with me and drank it in the movie theater today (we watched Deliver Us From Evil, not a bad movie).

Preparation
4 tsp 28 OZ / 828 ML
Tea junkie

I’ve never added milk to any of my teas, you are making me think about doing it.

Mandy

When I first started out I used to add milk to pretty much everything. Now it’s very rare that I do. But Strawberry Cream seemed like a good candidate. (: Now sweetener on the other hand, I sweeten almost every tea I drink, haha.

Tea junkie

I’ve never added milk or any kind of sweetener to any of my teas. Lol. I wouldn’t even know which teas to even add milk to. You will have to recommend which ones to add it to. Lol

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Sample size. This is nice, especially after heavy lunch. Roasted oolong, chestnuts, subtle sweetness. Would be perfect if they serve it in Chinese restaurant, many times tea is just gross there. I liked it.
Resteep was good and I decided to add tiny amt of maple syrup. Worked perfectly taming charcoal flavor.

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec 3 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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50
drank Cherry Rose Organic by Zen Tea
72 tasting notes

Backlog 7/67 (Only 60 more to go! heh… heheh… eh.. :D)

Green tea! Yes this is green tea.
I guess. :D
Once again, it tastes vegetal and astringent to me. I’ve not fallen in love with a green yet.
The cherry was present, but the rose was too mild for me to notice it. Maybe my palate is just a mongrel and can’t tell these things. It understands strong flavors like SPICES and CHOCOLATE and VANILLA but not really subtle hints I think? Heh.

I gave this an overall “eh” rating. Again, not sure if Mandy or Cameron, but thank you for the experience regardless. :D

Flavors: Astringent, Cherry, Vegetal

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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69
drank Toffee Dream by Zen Tea
72 tasting notes

Backlog 6/67

Updating after realizing I confused one set of notes with another. :D

Not bad. It tastes of toffee. It’s sweet enough to be good. The brown-sugarish flavor of toffee is definitely not bad with white tea.

When I was tasting it and making notes I wrote: Slight toffee, Could drink, not bad.

I think that sums it up. :)

Flavors: Toffee

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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69
drank Strawberry Cream by Zen Tea
72 tasting notes

Backlog 5/67

This one came from Mandy I’m almost sure.

I did as she instructed on the bag and tried it as a latte. I don’t know if I just had a bit too much milk in it or if it just didn’t have much flavor because I didn’t get much flavor from it. It was mostly just a mild strawberry flavor with a slightly creamy milk flavor.
Not bad, but nothing to write home about.

I’m not sure tho. Maybe I will try the rest of it brewed differently. My numbers on this note are guesses because I didn’t make full notes on how I brewed it. Just going off memory.

Thanks for another tea experience Mandy! I think this one may have a chance to redeem itself on the second try. :)

Flavors: Cream, Strawberry, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Mandy

Funnily enough I cold brewed this last night, and then added just a small splash of milk this morning. It’s been awhile since I’ve had this one, but is seemed like I was getting a bit more strawberry from the cold brew.

Arshness

It didn’t taste much of strawberry. It wasn’t bad, but not good. I wonder if it has to do with what part I got? I didn’t see any strawberry chunks. I dunno if they add much more tho.

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This is a sample I got with Zen Tea Life sale.
There is nothing I can add to looseTman review. He nailed it perfectly. Some plum, some wine, a little of tobacco, smokiness is subtle.
This tea is completely different fr Spring Keemun by A&D or Pine Keemun by Wispering Pines.
Very nice afternoon cup. I think I love my Yunnan blacks more. But it’s like comparing apples and oranges. Still want to try Teavivre’s offerings to make up my mind. No rating since I’m exploring .

Preparation
1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
looseTman

Thanks, that’s very kind of you!

mrmopar

He is pretty good!

looseTman

You both made my day! Happy July 4th weekend!

boychik

Happy 4th of July to you too. I’m going to watch fireworks, they decided to do it tonight in our community in Pocono ;)

looseTman

God Bless America

mrmopar

+1 looseTman and all of us on here also.

TheTeaFairy

I agree with everything that was said in this thread :-)
Just love you guys!!

MzPriss

The reason Steepster is so incredibly awesome is that it is populated by awesome people!

boychik

I can’t say better than all of you people!

looseTman

+1 mrmopar: “God Bless America” and Steepster!
Terri HarpLady: Back at you :)
We love you too TheTeaFairy!
Agreed MzPriss: Steepster people are awesome people!
What a mutual admiration society!
boychick, you started it all!

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Butiki Educational Box #2

Someone added this sample to the box. Since I loved the Butiki Caramel Vanilla Assam from last night, I thought I’d start with this.

Not for me.

I don’t know what it is. Too…something. It’s heavy. It’s malty. It’s a touch bitter feeling. Astringent.

Not for me.

that said, the smell alone is beautiful, and then I part my lips and the aroma is smooth, sweet, malty. I really like that. I could sit and smell it for hours. I just don’t like it.

Well, I tried.

I figure I’ll try a few of the black teas from the box, and a few of the Darjeelings.

That’s what this box is for, right? To try things and maybe like or not like them.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 4 OZ / 118 ML

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73

Samples-Only Small TTB

I was really hoping this would be like Red Rocks from The Tea Spot. I love that tea. I was comparing this tea to that one the whole time. I found this one much less creamy and sweet than that one is. I enjoyed it, but not as much as Red Rocks. It does taste like almonds.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Mandy

I think that was my problem with this one, it does taste like almonds, but that’s about it. I was hoping for/expecting more depth to it.

Cheri

Yeah, there’s no depth. There’s not enough marzipan flavor. There’s not anything to it except almond and rooibos.

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93
drank Strawberry Cream by Zen Tea
886 tasting notes

Happy Canada Day to my fellow Canadians! I have had a lovely day at a friend’s bbq drinking, visiting and eating :) now I am at home with the cat ready to watch the fireworks on TV and had to have a tea from a company based in Canada ( I will also probably have some DavidsTea later). So I dug out this tea, which I haven’t had in ages, and steeped up a cup. It smells delicious and is still too hot to drink, but I’m sure it will taste as yummy as always. Here’s to a good day! See previous notes on this tea :)

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75

A word of warning: Darjeeling isn’t usually my favorite. I had to try Zen’s offering of Darjeeling though. I waited 20 minutes after I boiled the water to pour over 1 1/2 teaspoons of leaves, because I definitely know I don’t like my Darjeeling boiled. Steeped for close to three minutes. The flavor is okay (again, Darjeeling isn’t my thing!), not something I’d steep up all the time. It’s a bit tangy but also a bit sweet creamy somehow, hints of stone fruit but I like my Darj to have a TON of stone fruit. Not much muscatel. Oddly enough, if I drink a Darjeeling, I’d like it to have that explosion of Darjeeling flavor. This one certainly has more of that flavor than some that I’ve tried though.

The second steep was interesting and different, stronger in flavor, more stone fruits. I would have never guessed to steep it this way: half a mug, 15 minutes after boiling, for quite a few minutes (at least over five.)

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80

A sample from my order a while back. The ingredients sound AMAZING especially as there is no hibiscus or rosehips! I let two teaspoons of this sucker soak for 22 minutes! There isn’t hibiscus so there should be no oversteeping. The scent of the dry leaf is a fruit punch but the taste is pure sugar — it almost seems like it has splenda in it… maybe coating some of the fruit pieces? It’s very sweet sugary syrup. The cup is an off-white color, not red since there is no hibiscus. I wouldn’t necessarily call it strawberry though. It seems mostly apple and pineapple this cup around, but there is definitely plenty other ingredients in the blend. I’d keep this in stock this as a herbal!

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84
drank Bossa Nova by Zen Tea
103 tasting notes

It’s kinda weird to try an oolong that isn’t roasty or floral tasting. It definitely tasted like hazelnut, with a hint of vanilla. So different than what I’m used to…But I really like it! :D
It’s a light, smooth flavor. So makes it even more different than I’m used to. But still good. (:
Thanks for the sample, Mandy! ^^

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57
drank Toffee Dream by Zen Tea
103 tasting notes

Didn’t taste much toffee to be honest, unless the taste of toffee is really off in my head. xD Which could be the case since I haven’t had it in forever. :p
It does taste a bit like toffee, but I’m getting a more buttery taste.
Kinda weird. Not sure what to think!
Thanks for the sample, Mandy! (:

Flavors: Butter, Toffee

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