Zen Tea

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Recent Tasting Notes

drank Coconut green by Zen Tea
982 tasting notes

I really enjoy this coconut green tea. Thr coconut is sweet and creamy, and tastes natural. The green tea is not too vegetal. It was also very good when I put the remainder of my cup in the fridge to chill.
With little kids running around, it seems I only get to drink half a cup of hot tea these days. Unless I guzzle it, but that’s not fun.

Alyssa

And it never tastes good heated up!

tigress_al

I agree Alyssa, it never tastes the same if you microwave it

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77
drank Bossa Nova by Zen Tea
63 tasting notes

I decided to try this in my new gaiwan to see if I would get a different flavor profile than when I did it western style. I remember getting a lot of artificial hazelnut flavor.
I did a 5 sec rinse.
10 sec steep – creamy, hint of hazelnut and vanilla
10 s – repeat of 1st
15s – hazelnut, vanilla, creamy mouthfeel
20s – much more hazelnut in this steep
30s- vanilla oolong
45s- tasted good, I forgot to take notes
1 min- vanilla yum
1 min 30s- creamy, flavor’s gone, just left with tea. It’s good tea.
2 min- tea’s done
I like this tea much better in a gaiwan than western style. Using shorter steeps avoided the artificial taste I had the other time. I don’t think I’ll reorder, but I’ll enjoy drinking the rest. :)

Flavors: Creamy, Hazelnut, Vanilla

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77
drank Bossa Nova by Zen Tea
63 tasting notes

Dry leaf smells nutty – hazelnut specifically. Wet I smell hazelnut, vanilla. I don’t smell the oolong base. I get hazelnut from beginning to end of sip with vanilla in the middle. The oolong underneath gives depth to the tea. The flavors appear more as tea cools which is nice. However, I also get more of an artificial taste like hazelnut coffee creamer thing as it cools. A decent desert tea.

Flavors: Hazelnut, Vanilla

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 15 OZ / 443 ML

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drank Blueberry cream by Zen Tea
982 tasting notes

I cold brewed this and of course, the hibiscus took over a little bit, but it wasn’t too bad. The cream was mostly nonexistent though. I wonder if it would be creamier if I put a little bit of hot water in first and then add in the cold water for cold brewing.

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83
drank Coconut Oolong by Zen Tea
311 tasting notes

Ohhh, this is yummy. The base baozhong is a lovely light, sweet, slightly floral/vegetal oolong. The coconut flavour is sweet and creamy and delicious. I’m going to have to try this head to head against the Tao Tea Leaf coconut oolong, because I also love that one and I think they’re pretty similar.

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec 3 g 10 OZ / 295 ML

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82
drank Rooibos Chai by Zen Tea
982 tasting notes

I bought this specifically to have with eggnog as dessert in the evenings during the holiday season. This is a fairly standard chai rooibos. It is a little spicy, sweet, and woodsy. I will likely not be trying this bare because I am not a fan of just straight chai. With eggnog, it makes a nice dessert!

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I cold brewed this but it was fairly tasteless. I think I have to use more leaf

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90
drank Champagne cassis by Zen Tea
982 tasting notes

I cold brewed my leaves from my hot brew the other day. Cold, the fruity currant notes really stand out. I still don’t think I’m getting any champagne but maybe I didn’t shake the bag enough.

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90
drank Champagne cassis by Zen Tea
982 tasting notes

I had no idea what cassis was until I tried this tea. I looked it up just now, and Google tells me that it is a currant liqueur.
There is certainly currant notes which were in the forefront. The white tea base was smooth and slightly sweet. I am not sure that I am getting much champagne flavour though. Maybe I was just focused on trying to find the cassis flavour.
I am not entirely sure how to rate this tea yet.

Flavors: Black Currant

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp

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90
drank Taiwan Ruby by Zen Tea
982 tasting notes

The tea leaves are long and unbroken, a pretty black. I used 1 tbls of leaf.
This is one delicious brew. It is malty and sweet with a fairly smooth and thick mouthfeel. It is a little spicy, cinnamon. There are some fruity notes which I would most associate with plum.
I resteeped for 3 minutes, but didn’t get a chance to really pay attention to the flavours.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 15 sec

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drank Vanilla black tea by Zen Tea
311 tasting notes

So far this is the only one from Zen Tea that’s been a miss for me. It’s not bad, but there are other vanilla black teas I like a lot more. To me both the scent and flavour are a lot more vanilla extract and less vanilla bean, and the base tea is more Ceylon and less Chinese, and apparently my tastes run heavily toward Chinese teas with vanilla bean flavour, so there you go.

Evol Ving Ness

Interesting observation. I am looking forward to trying this tea to see what I think. Can you recommend any Chinese teas with vanilla bean flavour? I don’t think I have tried any yet. Or perhaps they are just not coming to mind.

Lindsay

Whispering Pines Golden Orchid and Tippy’s Tea Not So Vanilla are both flavoured with actual vanilla bean and are delicious. :)

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78
drank Strawberry Cream by Zen Tea
311 tasting notes

Another one from yesterday. I remember being pretty impressed with this – I mean, it’s pretty much what it sounds like: black tea, strawberry and cream flavours, no big surprises there. But I think it’s well-executed. I like that the base is a blend of black teas including some Chinese black – I think that gives it a richer flavour than just the “generic ceylon black tea base” you know? And the strawberry and cream flavours are balanced and don’t taste weird or artificial. A nice dessert-y flavoured black.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 10 OZ / 295 ML
Evol Ving Ness

I am looking forward to trying this one too. I adore good strawberry black teas.

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83
drank Bossa Nova by Zen Tea
311 tasting notes

I had this yesterday so this is from memory, but I definitely liked it. Roasty toasty oolong base, nutty hazelnut and creamy vanilla flavour. Hard to go wrong with that combination, really. :) I’ve been craving roasted oolongs since the weather got cold, and the flavouring transforms this one into a lovely desserty tea. I can see why this is popular.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 g 10 OZ / 295 ML
Evol Ving Ness

This one is in the mail and on its way to me. I can’t wait.

OMGsrsly

I really liked this one. But I haven’t thought of ordering from Zen since they pulled a switch and I went to check out but everything was in USD. :/

Evol Ving Ness

OMGsrsly, everything I see on their site and all my items on my bill are in CAD. Am I misunderstanding something?

Lindsay

Yeah I remember that episode, but I think they changed it after everyone complained. Now there’s a “Pick a currency” dropdown menu at the top of the page, and it seems to remember your choice. I didn’t have any trouble ordering and paying in CAD.

TeaTiff

I also remember that episode. I believe they did a great thing and listened to their customer base and quickly realized the errors in their ways and switched back.

OMGsrsly

Yes. I was rather upset and sent them an email about it. And I haven’t been to their website since.

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drank Fengqing Golden Buds by Zen Tea
2112 tasting notes

This came as a sample with my last herbal tea order from Zen Tea Life. I decided to try it out for breakfast today to test its suitability for serving at tea time today.

I made one steep in my smallest Kamjove, gave a taste, and decided it seemed like a resteepable tea, so I decided to go ahead and combine two steeps. The review is based on the two blended steeps, but you can amp up all the factors for an accurate idea of what the first steep was like.

The company description is pretty spot on. Dian Hong teas usually have a strong sweet potato flavor to me. That is true of this one, but there is a lot more going on. It is heartier and made a great breakfast drink with my scrambled eggs with French thyme and cheese (eggs courtesy of Blondie, my rescue chicken who looks bedraggled but lays like a champ) and Viili with honey. It takes a decently strong tea to go well with all those flavors.

This has a heavy mouthfeel which is why I refer to it as hearty. I take my tea without milk or sugar, and this was smooth enough not to ever need milk to take the edge off, and sweet enough not to require sugar to make it interesting.

I made a third steep as a stand alone and it was delicious. This is a winner.

I must add that I have received excellent customer service from Zen. I ordered a couple of cast iron pots from them as well as a number of teas over the years and have always had a good experience, with reasonable shipping costs, quick arrival of goods, and good communication when I had questions.

Evol Ving Ness

Good to excellent customer service and rapport is so very important. It completely sucks when you have to deal with the opposite. No reason for it whatsoever. And from a customer’s perspective, unforgivable.

Jim Marks

Dian Hong is a tea which, when of good quality, can be steeped many many times (10-20) if you get your parameters dialed in properly. This sounds like a good one!

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66
drank 2 by Zen Tea
6 tasting notes

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drank Masala Chai by Zen Tea
632 tasting notes

Good afternoon for a large cup of Marsala Chai. I have had this in my collection for a little while. I think I have had some of it before, but it didn’t stand out as a favorite. I am enjoying it today, but it definitely isn’t my favorite chai. It is heavy on the anise seed for me. There is a good balance between base tea and spice, but I would like to see a few other spices take the stage more so than the anise seed.

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From the Here’s Hoping TTB, R5

I’m trying as many small samples/sipdowns as I can to make the box smaller, lol. (I’m also not doing very well at that task. Plotting how to make it smaller while wanting to add more tea is hard!) Unfortunately there’s not really much that I’m interested in that fits that description. This one I tried purely to compare to the GoldenTeaTips version I’ve tried.

Package instructions says 203F for 3 min. To my defense it was very early in the morning and I was half asleep, but I should have known better than to brew a darjeeling for that hot at that long. I did follow package instructions though, I have enough left to try it at my normal preference for a darjeeling (hopefully for more fragrant results, 195F @ 1.5min). Anyways, the result was surprising not as bad as it could have been, but I think it could have been better.

About medium darkness, but malty, with some honey and bread notes along with the usually floral sweet notes of darjeeling. BUT astringent, pretty astringent, which for now I’m blaming on the brew temperature. Compared to GTT’s version, it’s a teensy bit sweeter, and less floral, but that could be attributed to maybe the sample’s a little older? When I tried GTT’s it was with their subscription and it was pretty fresh. When this is cold (because I set it aside and forgot about it), the astringency isn’t too bad to deal with. If I didn’t know this was a tea I would say it’s my kind of beer with the malty and sweet notes with a little bit of bitterness.

I’ll probably try to brew it again to drink down the sample, but I’m probably not logging it again, there’s maybe 2-3 small cups left. If you’re behind me in this box and want some, drop a comment for me to leave it in the box. =). On the other hand I’m fairly bored with the box already (not many greens or oolongs in here…) and will probably be passing it along soon.

tea-sipper

I’m sorry the teabox hasn’t been better for you! It should definitely be better for the price of shipping. But thank you for trying for sipdowns! You could always take samples for later.

Flyawaybirdie

Lol, no worries! Its just that the majority of the box isn’t to my tastes, but to be fair that happens to me with most teaboxes. It is fun nonetheless!

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drank Evening Lights - herb by Zen Tea
2112 tasting notes

This was the other herbal I ordered for my nighttime beverage. I really don’t usually drink herbal tea but caffeine has been bothering me lately and I wanted something good for night. I got Detox Mountain Herb and this. Last night I said I couldn’t wait to try this one, and I didn’t. I went ahead and made a pot. And guess what? When you drink seven cups of herbal tea before bed, you DO fall asleep but you DO NOT stay asleep. You have to get up at approximately 3:00 am apparently. Well, that is what happened to me, anyway.

So…the tisane. I am I the minority. I liked this better than Detox MH. I really like the taste of licorice root and the sweet and unusual flavor it lends to tea, so I totally dug this blend. As happens with many teas, I tasted very little when it was super hot but after just a couple of minutes of cooling I could taste the herbs and really liked it. Wishing I had ordered two and two now instead of three (DMH) and just one bag of this.

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73
drank Coconut green by Zen Tea
398 tasting notes

This tea is a bit finicky to get right, but it turned out well today. I think sticking to a 1 minute steep is key. I usually can usually get 3 rounds out of this one and they’ll all be nice and strong, the sencha has a lot of staying power.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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73
drank Coconut green by Zen Tea
398 tasting notes

Once I adjusted to shorter steep times, this one really grew on me. Light and refreshing, even if the flavor doesn’t immediately bring coconut to mind.

In other news, I’ve done my share of binge-watching on the new Jessica Jones. Just finished episode 9, and it’s definitely been impressive for sheer acting, even if the plot wobbles a bit here and there. I checked Adagio to see how many Jessica Jones fandom blends had already popped up, and to my surprise there weren’t any. So I made a few of my own:
http://www.adagio.com/signature_blend/group.html?group=8878

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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73
drank Coconut green by Zen Tea
398 tasting notes

I happy to say that cutting down the steeping time has helped this tea a lot. The sencha no longer tastes overwhelming. I still find the coconut flavor a little unusual — as in, if it didn’t say coconut on the bag, I don’t think it would occur to me that coconut was in here — but it doesn’t taste bad. It reminds me more of pine nuts than coconuts. I can’t quite tell what they’re using to flavor this. There’s all these tiny minty green bits mixed in with the sencha. If that’s coconut, why isn’t it white? Whatever they’re doing, it’s completely different from their approach to flavoring their Coconut Oolong, which tastes thoroughly and obviously like a fresh bag of Mounds.

Preparation
160 °F / 71 °C 1 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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73
drank Coconut green by Zen Tea
398 tasting notes

I really wanted to like this tea, but the sencha is so strong here that I’m finding it hard to handle. The coconut isn’t quite what I was expecting either — it’s very nutty and more savory than sweet, with something slightly odd in the aftertaste. I thought this would be the green version of Zen’s coconut oolong, but really, the two couldn’t be more different. I’ll probably experiment with shorter, cooler steeps on this and see if that helps, but right now I’m finding this tea a bit much for my tastes.

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76
drank Grapefruit Guava by Zen Tea
30 tasting notes

Aw yeah, it’s a tea-drinking kind of night. My Friday today, so I can be as hopped up on caffeine as I like. You know, in theory. I’ll regret it when I try and turn in later. Anyway, this tea is kind of a curious beast. Predominantly grapefruit with something almost nutty and grain-like beneath it. Possibly the fault of the green tea itself? I say fault, but it’s an oddly nice pairing. Vaguely comforting and warm as it settles in my stomach. It’s very breakfast-y for whatever reason, and I say this as a person who doesn’t usually indulge in the most important meal of the day. There’s a definite astringency to it as well, which I imagine is due in part to the grapefruit. I don’t know if I would buy this again, but I won’t have any issues finishing what’s left.

Flavors: Astringent, Grain, Grapefruit, Guava, Nutty

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74
drank Bossa Nova by Zen Tea
398 tasting notes

Zen Tea kindly included this sample with my order. The oolong is definitely on the darker side — it tastes slightly reminiscent of a formosa oolong, even though I’m pretty sure that’s not what this is. Though the hazelnut and vanilla flavors come through, they don’t stand out — this tea is much more about the blend of flavors, and no ingredient in particular gets a starring role. My general impression is of something dark and rich.
I’m glad I got to try this tea, because it does have a really interesting flavor profile, but I don’t think it’s something I would have chosen for myself, mainly just because I prefer my oolongs on the greener side.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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