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Zen Tea

Recent Tasting Notes

80

Sipdown! (180)

This one would have been 1 year in July but I made sure to drink it now before it got stale! I’ve only got 3 teas now that are over 1 year: Tardis, a Russian Caravan and an echinecea herbal blend that I drink only when I have to. I’m happy about that.

I dropped the rating on this one because I’m not so excited about rooibos as I was when I first got into tea. It’s good – but I so rarely crave this one.

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78
drank Coconut Oolong by Zen Tea
64 tasting notes

T&C TTB

Without sweetener, this is a nice tea but with sweetener and cream (…yeah, I know) it tastes so much more coconut-y. I just need to find a decent pineapple oolong (maybe even add a dehydrated cherry) so that I can concoct a tasty Pina Colada blend.

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79

Yes, I had to place a small Zen order… they are one of my favorites and they had a sale. Just sample pouches of some of my favorites and samples of new ones to try. I love this type of tea – I call it the creamed/breaded corn tea. To me it tastes just like creamed corn or that breaded corn side dish. The dry leaves are shiny like a gunpowder but usually I’ve seen maofeng that have fuzzy leaves like a white tea. I wonder how they taste the same either way? I’m forgetting that all tea is from the same leaf though. To be fair, Zen sent me this tea for free with my order because it was a bit older, so my review might not be as fair as if it were fresh, but to me, it tastes exactly as it should. The breaded/creamed corn flavor. It also has a nuttiness to it that I love. There is a bit of a bite to it, it could just be because it was a green tea and it was steeped for three minutes, or it could be the only hint of an old tea. But I’m not complaining! I love this type of tea.
Steep #1 // 30 minutes after boiling // 3 min steep

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drank Chocolate Chai by Zen Tea
585 tasting notes

This is just ok for me. This is the second chai that I’ve had today that wasn’t really chai for me. This is black tea with a bit of spice and a hint of chocolate. It’s like the blenders couldn’t commit to the concept. I would prefer this if it were more chai and more chocolate.
Thank you TheTeaFairy for sending this one my way.

Tealizzy

I have still yet to have a chocolate chai I really liked, except for maybe RiverTea’s granny’s cake, but that is more like chocolate spice cake. The Starbucks version tastes like soap, and other ones I’ve had don’t really taste like chocolate. If you find a good one, let me know!

TheTeaFairy

I find most chai from flavoured tea company are not “real chai”. I am very curious to try the blends from Epices de Cru eventually…

Dexter3657

Will do – I’m still questing for my favorite chai – I’ve tried a gazillion of them and none are as good as the one that I’m hoarding because I don’t really know where I got it – and where ever it was it isn’t available anymore. Would like to just send the last of my sample to a tea blender and have some custom made – but I’m not even sure who does that.
In the meantime I will continue to try all chai that comes my way and if I find a decent chocolate one, will let you know. :))

boychik

have you tried Yogic chai? they have very good reviews

Dexter3657

It’s on my wish list!!! But you have to order 4oz and their shipping rates to Canada are insane. Was hoping to swap for some before committing to that much tea with crazy shipping charges. :((

Tealizzy

Rishi makes a fabulous masala chai, and I just went to their website and they do have a chocolate version! I’m gonna have to check that out sometime.

Tealizzy

Not so great steepster reviews on the rishi chocolate chai, but maybe we should just blend our own? I mean, add some cacao shells or a really great chocolate tea to a really great chai? Will let you know if I try that!

Dexter3657

I’ve thought about blending my own – I just haven’t even started yet, would need to do some research on the amount of each spice. If we found the blend of spices that work for us then yes, you could add it to a chocolate tea or even to something like Laoshan Black. LOL I need holidays to work on all the projects that I would like to do…

Dexter3657

Rishi is another company that doesn’t have great shipping rates to Canada – unless you order over 100.00 then it’s only 15.00. :((

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drank Energizing Chai by Zen Tea
585 tasting notes

This was in the amazing/wonderful overly generous package that I received for TheTeaFairy.
I was in desperate need of energy today – this seemed like the obvious choice. This isn’t really chai – it’s more of a “wellness” tea to me. It is spicy but not really chai like, it has some undefined “herbal” quality to it.
I don’t think this gave me any energy, and I don’t think it’s a chai. Another tea that is totally named incorrectly.

TeaBrat

false advertising!

Dexter3657

I just wish companies would name the teas to what they actually are.

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71
drank Vanilla black tea by Zen Tea
199 tasting notes

T&C TTB #20

I have this notion that vanilla tea should be the best thing ever, but I am finding that I have such high expectation for vanilla tea and that most straight vanilla black teas do not live up to it. This was tasty, but nothing to write home about.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
NayLynn

Is it to late for you to get Vanilla Excellence from the box?

TeaTiff

Unfortunately yes, the box is on the move. I take it this was a pretty good vanilla tea?

TeaTiff

Ooh I like your new picture!!!

NayLynn

Well I guess its better not to try it because I don’t know how we would get more.

Thanks on the picture, I tried changing it back but could not. I think it looks a funny/weird yellow face with crazy blue hair when it is small.

TeaTiff

Haha, I see how you could get that. A picture of a Texas flag with a tea cup would be fun!

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drank Earl Grey by Zen Tea
78 tasting notes

So I guess this may be cheating but in effort to remove things from my cupboard so when I add my newer teas it does not seem out of control for me(still nothing compared to a lot of ya’ll) I’m finishing of teas I don’t have much left. Only problem is I’m having the worst seasonal allergies I recall ever having leaving me not able to do a fair review on this tea.
I received this as a sample when I ordered 200g of the famous EGC that I still have not sampled, opened or put in my cupboard.

It’s a good light bergamot Earl, I don’t need to add milk which is a good thing because I’m out and I probably don’t need the dairy right now. I know I enjoyed this in the past but don’t recall anything special about it.

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93
drank Phoenix Pearl by Zen Tea
464 tasting notes

I’m sipping on my last bit of this tea. Each and every cup has been sooo good. Wonderful maltiness. Rich chocolate notes. Sweet caramel. It’s a very well rounded tea, and I’m going to miss having it in my cupboard. At some point I will restock it. I’m trying really, really hard to get myself down to 30 or so teas, and this one will definitely make the cut.

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The leaf smells absolutely fantastic! I’m so in the mood for this today, and the cornflower petals are so pretty (ahhhh, pretty tea…).
Oooooh! I really like this one. (after the first sip)
The cream is so lovely…… I feel like this cup of tea can melt the slush outside of my window. Yes. It’s got those types of powers.
Light bergamot with comforting cream….
If someone tried to take this mug away from me right now, I think I’d react like a feral dog protecting its pups.

ifjuly

i’m glad you dig this one! it’s a steepster fave i think. it’s very creamy, almost tastes like sweet cafe au lait to me it’s so thick. great on cold days.

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74
drank Bamboo Integrity by Zen Tea
507 tasting notes

Gave this one a go tonight, since I wanted something calming, and oddly, like the last time I made this, I had a headache, and thought this would be good. It was another stressing day. Things happened that created some closure for me in a specific way, and while the closure is good, it was also a bit sad. It’s hard to explain without going into all the details, but basically, I’ve been a semi-emotional wreck today, and I’m sure the headache is part stress, part hormones, part sinus…

So I did not oversteep this one tonight. It’s pretty tasty. I am still getting mostly lemongrass and ginger, but I can pick up the carrot and apple some. I do like this though I don’t know of I’d go out of my way to get some, when I can get other herbal blends I like as much (or better) locally. I have one serving left of this, and I think I will cold steep it at some point.

Thanks again for the sample OMGsrsly!

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86
drank Coconut Oolong by Zen Tea
3 tasting notes

Wow. For some reason I didn’t quite expect it to taste like it smelled. Boy, was I proven wrong xD It’s a great tea for coconut-lovers! I would definitely recommend!

Flavors: Coconut, Cream

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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96
drank Jasmine Dragon Pearl by Zen Tea
1094 tasting notes

Thank you DigniTea for sending some of these precious pearls! I usually love Zen (I actually just placed a smaller order yesterday because they have the best sales…and because I was sleepordering. Whoops. Also, the book I’m reading at the moment ‘The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing’ is fantastic. ) Zen suggests one teaspoon at 176-195 degrees for 2 1/2 minutes.

Steep #1 // 25 mins after boiling // 2 1/2 min steep
Oh I feel like I’ve had this exact tea before somehow but I love this! (They might be Ovation’s pearls… I’ll have to try them again soon.) The jasmine is so sweet it is on the verge of tasting like bubblegum to me. I remember a jasmine tea that did this before. The jasmine takes front and center, even though it doesn’t seem like a strong jasmine to me, more sweet than floral – the green tea itself stays in the background. It’s very nice!

Steep #2 // 20 min after boiling // 3 min
This cup was still delicious but it had a slight tinge of the overbrewed-green-tea flavor. A little brisk. Still plenty of jasmine flavor though. If you’re looking for jasmine pearls, these are those. Tea tea tea. Tea.

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89

Tea of the morning. I woke up wanting a milk and sugar tea, and this tea suits that purpose down to the ground. Bready and rich, this is an excellent cup to wake up to.

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91
drank Phoenix Pearl by Zen Tea
199 tasting notes

TTB&C #5

This TTB may end up proving a bad thing for my tea budget. So far I have LOVED every tea i have tried. It will be a struggle to convince myself that I can live without xyz tea for awhile. This is yet another one that I did a very big happy dance when I pulled it out of the box. After I had placed my order with Zen Tea in Feb I saw a discussion mentioning this tea as a must try from Zen, and of course it was not in my order.

This tea is AMZAING! Sweet, rich, chocolaty, malty. It is a cup I could curl up too, but it also tastes like it would rock your socks off iced with lemon. There is quite a bit of this tea left so I think I might indulge in 2 cups! I haven’t looked into the origin of this tea, but Thank you to whoever included it!

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

they have sale now 30%

TeaTiff

I did see their sale today, but I did JUST order from them 2 months ago. When my EGC starts getting low I will definitely be placing another order and this one will be on it for sure.

looseTman

Ooh Aah!

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74

Sipdown!! (179)

So Kat_Maria sent me so many Lupicia samples and yet somehow I managed to not try a single one when I made three cups of tea. Instead, I went for the caffeine free options which turned out to be two teas I have had before.

I said goodbye to this one not too long ago and since I enjoyed it, I did not mind seeing it again. It is yet another tea that has an amaretto flavor though I think I prefer this one to Apricot Amaretto. I can’t quite put my finger on why though. Anyways, thank you Kat_Maria for sharing this with me.

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82
drank Rooibos Chai by Zen Tea
944 tasting notes

Still a smooth and straightforward chai, one that I know will stand up time and time again with mistaken re-steeps as well as purposeful ones.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 8 min or more 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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drank Phoenix Pearl by Zen Tea
179 tasting notes

Oh My Goodness!! This is a tasty treat to start my day. Rich, sweet flavours. A hint of tobacco. Some grain. Perfect, because I’m too lazy to make breakfast right now, so this will do until I can get my lazy self off the couch.

Thanks Dexter!! This is sooooo goooood.

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83
drank Masala Chai by Zen Tea
944 tasting notes

Note to self: only drink chai on it’s own, instead of with another chai. While I LOVE this chai, I brewed it next to Verdant’s Yu Lu Wu Chai (I’m sure I’ve mixed that up somehow). Verdant’s blows all other chai’s out of the water, and I should know better. This however, is still very, very tasty…

A huge thanks to Dexter3657 for sending me a surprise package of this, and a few other teas on my wishlist.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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100
drank Earl Grey Cream by Zen Tea
464 tasting notes

It’s been a while since I’ve declared my love for this tea. It’s still one of my all time favorites and is in my cup several times during the week. Such a wonderful mix of bergamot and vanilla. Love, love, love!

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95
drank Earl Grey Cream by Zen Tea
767 tasting notes

Shoot, I forgot to log this on the weekend.
I made some London fog cupcakes and infused the almond milk that I used with 3 tsp of this tea. They turned out ok, nothing I can’t live without or anything, but something a little different which is nice.
I then made a cuppa to enjoy along with my cupcake the next morning. I still love this tea!

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79

I’m drinking this cup as part of Operation:NoStaleTea since this tea is about 10-11 months old. It was the first Assam that I truly loved and it holds a place in my heart for that, but I don’t think it needs a place in my cupboard anymore. There’s something about it that I like less than, say, Tiger Assam. :D

Sil

Yay! Thankfully black teas are more forgiving.

TeaBrat

I think it takes plain black teas a long time to go stale, like 5 years or more. I have noticed flavored black teas can lose their flavoring rather rapidly.

Cavocorax

Is it the whites/greens that go stale quicker? I think puerh is good forever, right?

TeaBrat

yes, whites, greens and green oolongs. I believe puerh is good forever because it supposedly improves with age…

Sil

aye what teabrat said. that’s why i usually have like one green in my cupboard… 2 whites and a very very small handful of oolongs. I don’t want to drink them as often so there’s no point to stocking up. and yeah…i tend to try and drink flavoured blacks sooner rather than later because you never know with flavourings..

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82
drank Rooibos Chai by Zen Tea
944 tasting notes

Gosh I love this stuff. Another huge cup that managed to make it to tonight.. I may need to make more.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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81
drank Chocolate Mint Rooibos by Zen Tea
1409 tasting notes

Last sipdown for the day! (201)

I had other cups but couldn’t log them all because we were doing our roleplaying game and that kept me busy.

This is a pretty decent cup. I haven’t been craving rooibos as much lately so I dropped the rating down on this from 90 to account for that.

But I’m pretty happy for this sipdown. It’s one of my oldest teas so that’s two birds with one stone! :D

Sil

Yay for finishing up old teas!

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drank Phoenix Pearl by Zen Tea
114 tasting notes

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