Zen TeaEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
This is a nice, strong black tea. It seems to be mixed with a bunch of different blacks, and while I like black tea, I tend to find assam too intense without milk and I prefer my darjeelings a bit fruity. So for me, the flavors muddle here a bit into a blend that to me will work best with a splash of milk or as a base for stovetop chai.
Easy drinking comfort tea. Great balance among the rooibos, mint and chocolate flavors, with the mint predominating. The mint is soft, though, and breathy-fresh. The chocolate is almost too quiet in the background, but good enough. Because I’m not a fan of “natural flavours” as an ingredient, it lost points for that.
There is nothing more refreshing than the combination of green tea and coconut. I picked this one up on a whim, because coconut seems to be one of my favorite flavors. I like how fresh this one smells; like freshly washed cruciferous vegetables and cream of coconut. The coconut in the blend is in small pieces, and oddly enough, bright green. Perhaps that is what they were talking about with the ‘flavoring’?
I am pleased as punch with the bright green liquor and the warm and creamy scent of the coconut. I steeped this twice, and the second infusion was not as good as the first. This would be a good take-to-work tea for me because I can just make it in my french press and not feel bad about only steeping it once. :P
I plan on cold-brewing this in coconut water eventually. As if it really needs MOAR COCO!
Flavors: Coconut, Grass, Green
Mmm, man this is tasty! I can’t believe I used to dislike green oolongs. I was missing out on so much!
This tea is so delightful I don’t even know where to start. It tastes like Spring in a cup. Sweet, floral, very refreshing. The first infusion isn’t very milky, but it’s beautifully balanced with a silky, creamy mouthfeel. Oh it’s delightful. And I’m feeling quite teadrunk after only 1/2 a cup. I will absolutely be picking up more of this once I’m through.
Flavors: Flowers, Sugarcane
I’ve only tried one other 4-season oolong before, and it’s a hard one to live up to. The Green Terrace Tea’s version is so complex and tasty it’s surely one of my favorite teas. The Zen version is a bit less expensive so I’m not expecting the exact same experience.
I western brewed this one for the first try. It’s quite a bit more floral than the western brew of GTT’s version. Mostly gardenia with some lavender at the end of the sip. It’s a little bit buttery but not as strong as a milk oolong. It reminds me of lavender shortbread. It’s a very interesting tea as it’s quite light in body, but is very strongly floral at the same time. A little bit of the cinnamon note I loved in GTT’s is faintly noticeable here. Yum, absolutely delightful. A nice bit of spring on this chilly winter day.
Honestly, both this and GTT’s versions are pretty affordable and I’d love both of them in my cupboard. Anlina mentioned Grandpa steeping her 4-season oolong and it sounded so good I went looking for an appropriate vessel. Cost Plus is currently having a sale and I was lucky enough to find a cute one for a really nice price http://www.worldmarket.com/product/laurent+floral+glass+tea+carafe.do?&refType=&from=Search I can’t wait to try it this way.
Flavors: Butter, Cinnamon, Floral, Gardenias, Lavender
Need to go to bed, but I’m on a really good tasting note roll right now…
Anyway thanks again Stephanie for the sample! I used extra leaf this time around since my biggest complaint with the last brew was that the flavour was weak and watery. This cup was a little less bland and had some notable differences; it was sweeter with a much more distinct and present vanilla flavour though to me it came off just a touch like artificial vanilla extract and less so like, well, actual vanilla.
There was still a fair amount of cinnamon – that part was definitely consistent. But where I gained vanilla flavour, I definitely lost the cooling, refreshing flavour of the mint. I think I just slightly prefer the vanilla flavour being present over the mint, despite the fact the mint was more natural, but having both present would be ideal. I mean this is Vanilla Mint and not Vanilla or Mint, right?
The earthy Pu was very subtle; most present in the aftertaste. It read to me like damn soil, with a light sweetness to it. I think I’d have really enjoyed the flavour if it was more present.
So to summarize; this was better than the first cup but only slightly. I just want more flavours from this one – more of all the flavours (except maybe the cinnamon). I think it could be really good, if it weren’t so light.
This sample comes from Stephanie!
I had this one earlier in the week on the way to work and honestly, I didn’t find it very exciting or memorable. In fact, it’s already slipped from my mind so much that I’m relying purely on the jot notes I wrote down to write what I thought about it.
What I’ve written for myself is basically that it was surprisingly soft in flavour with a light earthiness and a slight cooling sensation from the mint. Mostly, it was very cinnamon heavy, which was a little unwelcome. I know there’s cinnamon in the blend, but given the name you’d expect the vanilla and mint to be the most dominant flavours – and they just weren’t. In fact, it was kind of hard to pick up the vanilla at all.
I do have at least one more cups worth, but probably two, so I guess I’ll play around with the amount of leaf I’m using and see if I can make this stronger.
Today’s word of the day is/was (I mean, the day is pretty close to over) commodious. Commodious means having a comfortable amount of space.
And I just realized something; it’s practically only a month from my birthday! Holy shit I’m going to be 20. I know the majority of Steepster users are a fair bit older than that (and I still don’t know if anyone is younger), but man I feel really old and unaccomplished now…
I was desperate getting nice quality white tea cup. White because it shows the true color of the tea.
its not that easy. The cup had to be around 80-90ml and not too thin. While i like thin cups they are not practical for me. its too hot to hold them. and im always afraid to break them.
So Zen Tea Life has pretty extensive Korean ceramic pieces which i happen to love. And i found my perfect cup there.
They got new Taiwanese teas . I had to add a sample of this tea.
Its delicious. made gongfu 5g 100ml 195F
Leaves are gorgeous, long full,not broken. had many steeps. it has usual Taiwanese black tea profile of fruity longan sweetness and raw nuts.
Zen Tea never disappoints me with quality of teas, teaware, pricing and careful packing. And i got it in two business days from Canada.
A Gong Fu favourite that I am steeping Western style for a change. Not sure if that is pure insanity, but right now I feel like a large pot of tea to use with my pot warmer.
The raw leaves are: long and flat with light twists and stems present, dark brown/red brown in colour and bares a toasted hay and floral scent.
Once steeped the tea liquor is burnt orange, it has a toasted hay, floral and malt scent, somewhat matching it’s raw form.
Strength is medium. I can taste toasted flowers and earth, sweet malt, wood and a subtle hint of smoke. It is rather mellow and smooth, with each flavour blending in well together to create a toasted and earthy mist in my mouth that lingers.
As it cools it becomes a little sour though remains consistent in flavour and strength. Also slightly dry now in the after taste.
Overall: It’s very pleasant, reminds me a little of Oriental Beauty Oolong but more mild. The flavours were pure and quality of the leaves were nice. However, my taste of darker Oolongs such as this one comes from comparison and this will unfortunately not be memorable. I’m also aware it could be down to the steeping, as it did mention to fare well from Gongfu Steeps.
Flavors: Flowers, Hay, Malt, Smoke, Toasted, Wood
I am really enjoying my cup of this tea! It has an interesting depth of flavor with the pu’erh and the yerba mate with the chai being light but flavorful.
I’m not really sure why it is considered a chai since it doesn’t have the spice I would expect. It has long pepper and cardamom but no cinnamon, cloves, etc. Even though it’s not necessarily a chai it is lovely.
The cocoa, vanilla and coconut blend nicely. And I love almost any yerba mate so this makes a wonderful, invigorating cuppa.
Flavors: Cacao, Cardamon, Coconut, Dandelion, Pepper, Vanilla
This was one of the free sample size teas Zen Tea had (and may still have) on their website. It even says on the package that, ‘yes, this tea is not the pinnacle of refinement.’ I agree. This is not an amazing tea. But, I took that with a grain of salt.
I have an espresso machine at work and I wondered to myself, ‘what if I made tea espresso out of this?’ The leaves are certainly fine enough. Presto! That is how my Teapresso was born!
I prepared this tea by packing it tightly into the portafilter (espresso-shot-puller-thingie) and tamping it into a tightly compressed cake. Pulling the shot as I normally do for a doppio espresso, I got a similar color as the coffee, but without the thick, caramel colored crema you typically see on top. It smelled strong and very… tea-like. I suppose this is what ‘tea smell’ means for the rest of the non-tea-obsessed world.
With a pump of vanilla and steamed milk, I was able to transform this ‘unsavory’ leaf into three amazing tea lattés from the 20g pouch I received. Hooray for sipdowns!
P.S. I did not give this a rating because I know not many of you would not be able to recreate my same brewing parameters.
Cooking TTB #5
I’m drinking this right now and I hope my cup never ever runs out!! This tea is seriously fantastic!! Chock full of amazing coconut and cream flavors its like drinking a coconut macaroon!! I must have more of this!!! Huge thank you to Flyawaybirdie for including this sample in the TTB for me!
This…isn’t pleasant. I’m a big fan of Zen Tea but not of lavender. It doesn’t do anything for me – the same can be said for Jasmine. I’ve had worse, but this isn’t my thing. The rooibos has a nice sweetness and this tea is a dark color. Smooth flavor, tad of sweetness, the floral isn’t overpowering but layers.
Flavors: Lavender, Rooibos
I’ve had this sample awhile. It’s weird because it looks like I never logged owning it in my cupboard, when I usually put everything in as soon as I get it. It’s also not on the website anymore, so I guess they don’t sell it now – they do have Anxi Dark, which sounds very similar, so it could have replaced it, but that one lists some differences (like peach) that this doesn’t have, so I don’t think so.
Either way, this one turned out nice. I liked it a lot – it had a grassy, earthy, nutty flavor. Sometimes I would sip in a mild, subtle cocoa, but other sips it seemed absent. When the cocoa was absent, it wasn’t missed; when it was there, it was welcomed.
It’s funny that this dark-roasted tea produces a relatively light cup. I didn’t have much of the sample left, so only brewed in half a cup rather than a full. Very vibrant, smooth flavor – not brisk or robust, but it’s great as it stands.
I’ll have to try the other Anxi sometime, although I really don’t think they’re the same tea. I will also try the same type of tea from Verdant.
Flavors: Cocoa, Grass
Zen Tea continues to impress me with their teas and all I’m sampling from them.
There is nothing really wrong with this tea, I just don’t think it’s my style. I like spicy orange and lemon, but have never tried a blood orange tea. The blood orange does not seem artificial at all, and it does a great job of blending in the background, popping out it’s flavor, without overpowering the black tea. It is not cloying or fake. There is the small taste of acidic bitterness an orange has, but no bitterness in the tea. I’m glad the black tea does not have a bitterness of its own – otherwise that could be a disaster.
The tea also leaves behind a nice taste in the mouth – clean and similar to drinking citrusy drinks. Overall the quality of the tea is quite good, it’s just a flavor that I’m going to keep around as a staple.
I do love this tea and I’m sad it’s gone. But that means one step closer to reducing my stash and getting new tea! I have a long way to go… D: I like this tea because the coconut isn’t overwhelming. The nutty/buttery oolong is the dominant flavor with coconut kind of hanging out in the background. I added a little bit of honey to this and it tastes exactly like a coconut macaroon. MMmmmm
Well, I have never had Lapsang Souchong. I’ve been reading descriptions about it lately, and see many don’t like it. I was curious about the smoky and campfire description, so I tossed a sample in with my recent Zen Tea order. I’m digging most of the teas I’ve tried from this company.
I opened the bag and took several big sniffs – they aren’t kidding when they say it smells like smoky campfires and the whiff of bacon that has cooked. I like bacon as much as any person but wasn’t sure how much I’d like drinking anything with it’s flavor!
I steeped at a smidge over four minutes in a five ounce cup, poured over with boiling water from the tea kettle.
I really had no idea if I’d like it – first, I’m picky. Second, I’ve never drank anything like this. I’m delighted to say I actually do like it quite a bit. It’s not something I could drink all the time, but the smoky flavor and uniqueness appeals to me. After it had cooled down a little, I found big gulps tasted good. I like the aftertaste. I added a tiny bit of sugar and I find that helps bring the flavor out more. I almost feel the smokiness slightly in my chest and it’s an enjoyable, almost decongestant feeling. The sugar mixed with the smokiness is a great idea for me.
I can picture this type of tea with the woods, campfires, road trips, old fashioned cowboys on journeys, the moon high in the sky with fog. It would be cool to have a woodsland or moon-centered name with this kind of tea. I’m cheesy like that, ok? And I make no apologies about it by this age in my life. :)
As it cools, it tastes even better still warm. Having a cold drink nearby to sip in between makes this even more enjoyable. That’s a weird thing I do when drinking hot tea a lot of the time.
And for some reason I think an addition of blueberry flavor or other dark berry would taste enticing with a Lapsang Souchong.
I was very curious about trying this one from the description.
It’s a beautiful color and I steeped three minutes with just under boiling water from the kettle in my 5 ounce cup. Next steep I will try 4 minutes to see if I bring out more flavor and all the way boil, with some cooling.
I don’t get much spice note at the end, but there are glimpses of it sometimes. It is a pleasant, soothing black tea with a nice reddish brown color left behind in the cup. A black tea that makes me feel tranquil and peaceful. Smooth with no astringency or bitterness.
A great black tea when you’re looking for a standard black tea – good with and without sugar. Milk wouldn’t make sense to me in this one, it’s not a breakfast tea. It’s smooth, not brisk, very peaceful.
I drank this with a small piece of Cheesecake. I hadn’t mixed tea and cheescake before but it definitely works. Delicious! This would be one of those soothing black teas that would fit a hot bath and good book perfectly. More of an evening, relaxing blend over a morning wake-up call.
I have been trying to submit this note since yesterday, but Steepster keeps showing continual “saving” without progression. I got into the habit of copying and pasting notes until I was sure they went through after Steepster would randomly “eat” tasting notes a couple years back, but haven’t seen anything since. Is this normal? Or Holiday traffic?
First of all, this sample is quite old. I found it hiding in a drawer.
Dry scent is super strong chocolate and orange. This made me a bit hesitant, as I like chocolate, and I like orange, but the melding of the two has never pleased me for some reason. Shame. The next strongest scents are then pepper, clove, cinnamon, cardamom. I may also be picking up on some ginger. The orange peel chunks are as big as my thumbnail!
I had this with milk, and the 5 minute suggested steeping time causes it to not be as strong as I would like (I experienced this also with Zen’s Masala chai [which was excellent by the way], so tacking on an extra minute, minute and a half fixed it right up). Zen suggests making this like a normal black tea as “boiling Chocolate Chai in a pot with milk results in an undesirable taste”. I normally find Zen’s steeping instructions bang on, so I heeded Kenneth’s warning.
Clove is the dominant flavour, followed by cinnamon. The chocolate note is there, although not very strong. I get the chocolate note stronger in the upper back of my mouth as an aftertaste after a few sips. There’s a citrus freshness that cuts through the creamyness, but the orange doesn’t present as strong as I thought it would given the dry scent.
I wouldn’t keep this in my cupboard, but it may be because the sample is pretty old and I have been spoiled by trying the Masala Chai earlier this week; http://steepster.com/Starfish/posts/278781 It was just so darn good!
Flavors: Cardamon, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Clove, Ginger, Orange, Orange Zest, Pepper