Zen Tea

Recent Tasting Notes

93
drank Strawberry Cream by Zen Tea
888 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
117 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
117 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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60
drank Cream Caramel Rooibos by Zen Tea
117 tasting notes

Eh, nothing really special. The caramel isn’t strong enough to hide the woodsy Rooibos flavor, which I don’t mind anyway. Just wouldn’t buy. But thanks for the sample, Mandy! (:

Mandy

Yeah, the caramel isnt the strongest in that one. I add a touch of milk and sweetener to draw it out more.

Ost

Aha yeah I’ll never know since I never sweeten xD

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drank Phoenix Pearl by Zen Tea
371 tasting notes

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85
drank Pu-erh Vanilla Mint by Zen Tea
72 tasting notes

Swap from my Opposites Taste Buds Swap Partner Mandy!

Oooohhh I knew it! You didn’t care for it so I love it. Of course. :) The Opposites taste buds swap is successful!

I’m so happy I found my taste buds opposite. The teas she sent me all seem so lovely. It’s hard to believe they are on someone’s “no” list. :)

I steeped this up at about 1.5 minutes because my original 3 minutes seemed like overkill. No instructions on the bag, so I treated it like my other pu erhs and I guess I was thinking more Adagio pu erh beacuse they suggest 3-5 minutes. Well 1.5 had this dark already so I went ahead and poured it off. It was DELICIOUS smelling in the pouch and in the cup. The color was a dark reddish brown.

I sweetened it and added milk. The package had that suggestion but not temp or times! :D

It’s delicious! Minty vanilla. Feels like a minty vanilla icecream in the mouth with hints of earthy pu erh flavor beneath. Very delicious. The mint is strong. The vanilla is very strong. The pu erh is a background note, but foundational and delightful.

Wellllp I will be drinking more of this for sure. ^^ Thanks for the swap Mandy!

Flavors: Earth, Mint, Round , Sweet, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Mandy

Yes! So happy the Opposite Taste Buds work both ways. This was just too minty for my taste, haha. Glad you like it (:

Arshness

I like minty. :) It was a good pu erh. Yay for more pu erh to drink :D

ChefJoAnna

Hi, not sure how else to contact you, but I’d be grateful for the adagio info if you are still offering it! Thanks, JoAnna. (steepster at chef JoAnna dot com)

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

This is definitely a comforting tea. This was on my short list of ones to try this week from the box MissB sent to me. It was perfect for a Monday morning. The mint was very subtle and I tasted more cinnamon than anything. As the tea cooled I definitely got a taste of the vanilla and the mint became more pronounced.

It’s supposed to rain a fair bit this week, so this will definitely get revisited again later in the week to finish off my sample.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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100
drank Earl Grey Cream by Zen Tea
649 tasting notes

Still loving this one. The base tea is great, and the vanilla and bergamot are well balanced and delicious. An absolutely yummy Earl Grey Cream.

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drank Phoenix Pearl by Zen Tea
2862 tasting notes

Malt, cream, & bread :)
My tastes are still muted, but my mouth feels so happy right now.
This is a lovely yunnan tea, sent to me from the TeaFairy, although I tried it before when Cavocorax sent me some several month ago.
Drinking tea & watching baseball in my PJs: The St. Louis Cardinals are currently leading the Phillies: 5 – 3

Veronica

My poor Phillies! I was actually surprised at their last winning streak. They’ve been just shy of terrible this year. :(

Terri HarpLady

awww…now I feel bad…ok, not really :)
My Cards are finally starting to kick butt a little bit…finally!

Terri HarpLady

hmmm…I wonder why some of the letters came out blue? I didn’t do anything special

Terri HarpLady

oh, hahaha, it’s because I put three w’s together, so the computer thinks it’s a website!

Veronica

That’s ok. The other team I cheer for is the Rockies, so I’m used to yelling things like “Why?” and “Are you kidding me?” at the tv. :) I do love baseball though!

Terri HarpLady

LOL, I yell while I watch too.

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drank China Keemun by Zen Tea
2862 tasting notes

This tea comes from The TeaFairy.
I decided awhile back that I would dedicate my weekends to sampling teas from various tea trades, so this weekend I brought samples from Boychik & TeaFairy with me to Tony’s house. We’ve been sitting around in our PJs, just goofing off, sipping teas, & being couch potatoes.
This is a sweet Keemun, with a slightly tart fruitiness, taste of brown sugar, & just a little smoke.

TheTeaFairy

Yay, it’s PJ day!!!

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So I decided to try the tea soda thing. I brewed up a cup of this double strength and added sweetener and let it cool to room temperature. I then added a cup of cold carbonated water. I would say it was a success! The only down side is I think I prefer this fruit tea hot, for once. But know I know a technique for tea soda that works for me (:

Preparation
4 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML
Cameron B.

Thanks for sharing! :D I’ll definitely write this down to try.

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drank Black tea-Keemun Finest by Zen Tea
161 tasting notes

A very nice smooth and rich tea, with notes of cocoa and leather.
Satisfying and tasty, and was perfect on this chilly and rainy day, even though my bag of this is now finished.

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drank Strawberry Cream by Zen Tea
161 tasting notes

Even though I often don’t care for fruity/berry flavoured black teas, I picked this up with my recent zen tea order as I don’t have many flavoured teas and this had good reviews.

This turned out to be quite a nice tea which is well balanced with both soft strawberry and cream. There is also a very slight green bitter sort of note from the strawberry leaf that seems to add a freshness to the strawberry flavour.
I enjoy this more as the cup cools, and re-steeped the leaves for another tasty cup. Nice to have for something different once in awhile.

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

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81
drank Vanilla black tea by Zen Tea
169 tasting notes

I’ve had a recurring headache the last few days which seems to happen to me whenever the weather is changing… ugh. I wanted something yesterday that was familiar, but not plain, yet I didn’t want a lot of flavor. This one hit the spot… a familiar favorite as in being a nice black tea. The flavor of vanilla came through nicely w/o encouraging my headache to become more pronounced.. smelling a couple of blends was enough to turn my nose to them at the peak of the headache because the smell almost made the pain worse.

I re-steeped this today just because it was still in my steeper basket and I was feeling lazy. Still a nice black tea w/a faintness of vanilla. Thankfully my headache is feeling about half better today and I’m considering trying something more flavorful later :)

Flavors: Vanilla

TheTeaFairy

Hope the headache continues to fade away :-)

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79
drank Strawberry Cream by Zen Tea
1377 tasting notes

Not bad, not bad. A little weak this morning (yes, it’s still morning!) but nicely strawberry-y. Not nearly as much pure strawberry as the one from Herbal Infusions, though.

I forgot I had this tea until I was poking around for something that wasn’t “the usual” this morning. So I probably wouldn’t get it again, even though it is a pretty good strawberry tea. :)

Flavors: Cream, Strawberry

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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drank Coconut green by Zen Tea
286 tasting notes

Teeny Tiny TTB

Wow! This one is really nice. It’s more of a toasted coconut. It actually reminds me of those toasted coconut marshmallows they used to give us at camp. I wasn’t a huge fan of those, but this is delightful! I added a touch of sweetener so it wouldn’t get too vegetal. Not sure how much water I used, but I filled my 12oz mug about 3/4 of the way so close to the 8oz mark I think? Anyway, really enjoying this one. Hope it lasts a resteep!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 0 OZ / 0 ML

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drank Coconut Oolong by Zen Tea
161 tasting notes

This has a sweet bakery scent with very slight floral from the oolong.

Tastes so sweet and very much like a coconut cake, and is rich, creamy and smooth. Delicious and dessert-like! Re-steep a bit more floral but still very tasty.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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85

I received this sample from DeleriumFrogs. Thank you!

Zen Tea continues to impress me. Most of the teas from here I have really enjoyed and they are at such reasonable prices. This one goes on this list. I enjoyed this one last night while making dinner. The first few infusions were creamy, floral and slightly vegetal. All were very smooth with no bitterness. The next few infusions offered a tangy/fruity taste. This was a really nice TieGuanYin. I will order a bit of this on the next Zen Tea order. Thank you for sharing DeleriumFrogs

Cheri

I haven’t had this one, but this is a nice style of oolong in general. Sounds great.

TeaTiff

If you like milk oolong you will like these. This was a mellow one. It was really nice.

Cheri

I have one from a Chinese tea company (Bama Tea) that I really like.

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drank Coconut green by Zen Tea
161 tasting notes

When brewed, this smells like fresh sweet coconut.
Tastes buttery and smooth with sweet, light and fresh coconut. The green tea blends nicely and adds a bit of savoriness.
Re-steeps well for a just as fragrant and tasty second cup. A nice coconut tea!

I did try cold brewing the used leaf overnight to see if I could have a refreshing glass the next day, but the taste was light and too vegetal/seaweedy for me.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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100
drank Earl Grey Cream by Zen Tea
649 tasting notes

Tea of the morning. As odd as it sounds, I’m glad it’s Monday. I’m sooo glad last week is over, and I’m glad I have this tea in my cup. I’m thinking I might spend today drinking a bunch of my favorite teas just to kick the week off on a positive, happy note.

This tea is, as always, amazing. So well blended with the vanilla combining beautifully with the bergamot. And though I’ve said it in dozens of tea notes I think it’s worth repeating that the base tea is stellar. Zen Tea did a great job with the EGC.

In other happy news, I’m getting ready to watch a lady I sang with years ago defend her dissertation and hopefully receive her DMus. Her school is streaming the defense live, so it will be awesome to watch her defend her amazing work.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
TheTeaFairy

Good luck to your friend :-)

And this EGC rocks!!

Veronica

She was awesome! I’m so excited for her. :)

I love giving this tea to friends who think they only like Twinnings EG. It never fails to amaze.

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90

Samples Only TTB

Tonight I decided to try two more teas as I have about 11 left I want to try before passing this thing onward. Gotta keep it moving. :)

I picked out a green at random and a herbal, let the water get to 180, poured it over the green, put it back on and let it boil, poured it over the herbal, which was a pyramid teabag in a cup. I have never used the pyramid teabags before but they’re so damned cute and I just had to try one, even tho it was Lipton and I wasn’t expecting to be impressed. More on that one later.

There isn’t much of an aroma to this tea out of the bag. It’s green and the fruit is dry. I can’t smell much of anything… So I brewed it up. Aroma is lightly fruity and barely present.

I took a drink and was happy. It’s a green tea that doesn’t taste of grass which is a bonus. It’s smooth, round, with a sweet fruity accent, not a hint of sour or bitter or tang. Everything I ever wanted in a green tea. Finally.

I take deeper drinks as this tea cools and it’s just … delightful. I keep saying I’m not a green tea drinker. I think it’s because I haven’t found the right green teas. I did sweeten it, as I sweeten… everything… But it didn’t require a lot of sugar. Typically, greens really take extra sugar for me to like it.

I am not sure if it’s just that this is a better green, or if it’s that I finally didn’t overheat the water… I don’t know. I just know I liked this tea and I’d drink it again. I may have to get some. :)

Flavors: Berry, Cranberry, Sweet

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML
Cameron B.

I sweeten everything too, even if it’s just a little. I’m glad you liked it, this sounds very tasty. :D

Arshness

I just figured out why I liked this “green tea” even tho they typically taste like grass to me. It’s not a green tea. It’s a herbal blend with lemon verbena and lemongrass in it. So it LOOKS like bloody green tea but it tastes DIVINE instead. >_< Welp! I’m embarrassed!

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80

I usually approach straight-up herbal blends with fairly low expectations. In the case of Cranberry Acai from Zen Tea, I was very pleasantly surprised. Before brewing up this fragrant mix, I saw that two of the usual suspects in herbal infusions were conspicuously absent: hibiscus and rose hips! So often one or both of those two ingredients end up wiping out the flavor of everything else.

I cannot say that Cranberry Acai tastes very much like either cranberry or acai to me, but the overall combination is quite likeable, albeit somewhat indescribable. I appear to like the taste of nettle leaves! Honestly, this was one of the few complicated herbal infusions which I truly enjoyed imbibing and did not feel was some sort of health ritual to which I was subjecting myself. This combination is also very original. Along with the absence of hibiscus and rose hips is the glaring omission of mint. Yet the flavor is robust thanks to the nettle and verbena.

I like Cranberry Acai a lot and would consider buying it again once my small envelope has been depleted. I should make clear that this is not a sweet infusion at all, and to me it is not really very fruity either. But I like it anyway!

(Blazing New Rating #48)

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 7 min, 0 sec 5 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

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