Zen Tea

Recent Tasting Notes

drank China Keemun by Zen Tea
2895 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
164 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
164 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
171 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
1424 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
298 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
164 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
164 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
679 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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drank Lapsang Souchong by Zen Tea
344 tasting notes

This sample comes from DeleriumFrogs. Thank you!

I had put a Lapsang Souchong on my wishlist when i really enjoyed one of the smokey teas from Yezi. I am glad DeleriumFrogs included this in our swap because it gave me the chance to try this without having to commit too much. Unfortunately this was a little much on the smoke for me. This was like drinking a BBQ pit. I wish I could love them all, but this wasn’t my cup of tea. Thank you for the opportunity to try this type of tea.

boychik

I got a sample size and didn’t try it yet.

Tea Sipper

I think this is my favorite smokey tea, at least one that is currently available for sale. Too bad you don’t like it!

TeaTiff

I really wanted to, but I guess not everything can be a favorite right? I hope you enjoy this one boychik, it seems like a really nice tea if you enjoy the smoke.

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This is another tea I’ve had to a while.

The dry leaf has brown, black and grey leaves , with scattered golden tips.

I used one heaping TSP/225ml.

After 3 min the tea brews up to deep mahogany brew.

The tea smells comfortingly of biscuit, light sweet red fruits, tempered by plum, honey, spice with a slight presence of vanilla and honey, with the deeper tones of malt underneath.

First impressions are of a smooth, sweet and light Assam. Light fruit and honey are in the first sip, with biscuit notes deepening into a malty slightly deeper fruit tone base. Spice and vanilla are underneath. There is a slight light floral tone in the lighter top notes. Pleasant and probably a nice Assam for those who have difficulty with heavy tannins and astringency as this tea is lighter in both of these for an Assam but has enough texture to have a nice density in the mouth. Despite honey being quite present in the initial sips, this tea does not have as sweet an aftertaste as some of my Assam’s. A citrousy malt note becomes more present as the tea cools and a sharper tone develops in the tea. I think when I first had this I used less leaf as I remembered feeling that this tea was too light in flavour, but with a heaping spoonful this is quite a pleasant tea.

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83
drank Coconut Oolong by Zen Tea
493 tasting notes

Despite not drinking this regularly, I continuously stock up on my Coconut Oolong whenever I get the chance. I’m impulsive with my coconut oolongs.

I recently discovered that I love this as an overnight cold steep , which means I’ve picked up the consumption rates a little bit.

Today the taste reminds me of sour coconut water with greenish floral note. Contrarily, I also get macaroons due to buttery quality of oolong. The oolong character gives the coconut flavouring more versatility then it might normally have.

Preparation
Iced
Cavocorax

Oh, I have to remember to try that too!

Frolic

I love coconut oolongs! I’m currently without, do you have a favorite?

CrowKettle

I remember loving the Coconut pouchong from Golden Moon, but I haven’t had that for a few years. I recently received a Soko sample and it’s delicious too; It has the potential to be a new favourite.

This one from Zen sometimes tastes more like coconut water than the other two, but I like it for the price and the accessibility. I’m not picky about coconut oolongs! XD

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drank Juicy Blueberry by Zen Tea
164 tasting notes

Finished the jug of this I made (brewed hot then chilled).

Brews a reddish colour and smells a bit like blueberries and apples.
Tastes tart and fruity with hibiscus, apple, lemongrass and blueberry.

Refreshing, but not a favorite due to the hibiscus which seems quite strong in this.

Preparation
Iced
TheTeaFairy

Why is there always too much hibiscus??? Is there a rule that says they can’t use just a little? It always overwhelms everything else!!!

Sarsonator

I used to think hibiscus was so amazeballs because it brews such a pretty color, but I’m leaning more and more toward the anti- or less-hibiscus side. I mean, if something is called “Juicy BLUEBERRY”, then the hibiscus should be minimal and the blueberry should take center stage, right?

caile

It can be such a potent ingredient for sure! I often try to not get blends with it, but it seems so many fruity ones have some.

carol who

Oh, I agree! Very tired of the hibiscus in everything.

caile

I know, Sarsonator – the blueberry was pretty hidden in this one I thought; I wanted more blueberry!

TheTeaFairy

Sarsonator, exactly!!! I mean, I’m a fan of tart, but I can’t stand the fact that you can never taste what the tisane was intend for. If you have too put that much in it, then name your blend “hibiscus and tasteless blueberries”!

Sarsonator

LOL. I just don’t think that one would be a top seller. :p

caile

haha, that’s right!

TheTeaFairy

Lol, I was kidding, just needed to get it off my chest ;-) I love Zen Tea and they have fantastic blends! Their Goji Chokeberry tisane, no evil hibbie!!!!

caile

I know! :-) The Goji one is really good!

Sarsonator

That one sounds interesting. I’d like to try that!

caile

Hibiscus free and very tasty, although not such a vibrant color of course! I am not that fond of goji berries by themselves so much, but this blend was good.

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80
drank Toffee Dream by Zen Tea
171 tasting notes

Sipdown! Well, not really since I have a bit I ordered from their sale sitting in a box on the counter. Thanks MissB for sharing this with me!

I’ve been trying not to open my Zen teas until I do some sipdowns. I don’t think I can count this one since I ordered more of it.

With a touch of raw sugar, this is nice light sweet toffee. Nothing heavy or in your face, just a nice light blend w/no grassy notes .. Yeah!

Flavors: Toffee

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97

After 4 hours of sleep it was nice to brew up a few cups of this tea. It smells so strong…I can’t really place how it tastes.
They definitely got the name right. It is pretty fragrant. Kinda ends up tasting fragrant too, now to think of it. xD
I would never have thought to buy this but they threw it in my order…it’s kinda expensive tea, but now I have to buy more since it’s so good.
And it’s helping me wake up-so it’s the perfect tea for today ^^

TheTeaFairy

I drank this oolong several months ago and remember how spectacular it was to look at, I even took pictures of it. A great tea!

Ost

For some reason when I opened the package I didn’t expect it to be twigs or whatever you call them xD I was all “This won’t be super strong” man…those twigs proved me wrong xD

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drank Fireside Chat by Zen Tea
1424 tasting notes

(262) Another sample from MissB. :)

I have to admit when I pulled it out and saw the word ‘peppermint’ on the label, my first thought was “OH HELL NO!” But then I saw ‘cinnamon’ in the ingredients, and a little known fact about me is that I LOVE cinnamon and peppermint together. So I had to try it. (Note: My BFF is very allergic to peppermint, and spearmint can upset my tummy like none other. I don’t consume a lot of minty things!)

It is very very cinnamony. There is a touch of peppermint. And also rooibos. It’s not bad. I’d never get it, because my favourite cinnamon-and-peppermint tea is Good Earth Sweet & Spicy Black Tea Blend (Their description is cinnamon and orange, but that is such a lie. It’s dominated by cinnamon and peppermint.), and also I’d rather not keep any peppermint teas in the house unless they’re well-bagged (like the Good Earth, in individual foil packets) just in case.

Flavors: Cinnamon, Peppermint

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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drank Coconut green by Zen Tea
97 tasting notes

Dependable as always. I love this one in the mornings.

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drank Coconut green by Zen Tea
97 tasting notes

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89
drank Sencha Superior Uji by Zen Tea
975 tasting notes

Haute sencha converges at some point with gyokuro—well, that’s my impression, at any rate. This one, the Superior Uji Sencha from Zen Tea is a perfect illustration of that thesis. Yesterday’s ichiban “house” sencha from Zen Tea was very good, and today’s superior version looks and smells and tastes very similar to some of the gyokuros I’ve tried.

The brew is shimmery yellow-green, and I would be hard pressed to distinguish this from gyokuro is a side-by-side blind test. Very smooth and silken on the tongue, and the flavor is slightly vegetal but not at all astringent or bitter. I don’t really know what else to say, except that this sencha is gyokuroesque!

(Blazing New Rating #24)

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 1 min, 30 sec 4 g 10 OZ / 295 ML
TheTeaFairy

That’s the sencha I always keep a supply of…I find the quality to be exceptional for the price.

sherapop

It is good, TheTeaFairy! I’ll probably restock, too. ;-)

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88
drank Sencha House by Zen Tea
975 tasting notes

I have been focusing on China greens of late, but I was craving sencha, so I decided to brew up a two-glass tetsubin of the house sencha from Zen Tea.

Very tasty! The liquor is pale green and slightly shimmery—the citrine-peridot color unique to sencha—and the flavor is fine indeed. Slightly vegetal but also smooth and silken. This house sencha is said to be ichiban Kyoto style from Uji. Now I’m very curious what the superior sencha is going to be like! Up next…

(Blazing New Rating #17)

Preparation
165 °F / 73 °C 2 min, 30 sec 4 g 20 OZ / 591 ML
Cheri

I love the differences and similarities between Chinese and Japanese greens. It’s amazing.

sherapop

Cheri: I used to only really drink sencha and bancha. But then I began exploring China greens. The variety is amazing!

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