Zenjala Tea CompanyEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
Not a full review yet. I opened the bag and it was heavily lemon lime. Kind of too heavy to the point of smelling artificial. The first cup was not nearly as heavy as it smelled but I couldn’t make up my mind about it. The oolong base was coming through but in the background.
As I steeped cup 2 I noticed how full of leaf the press had become. This time the lemon lime are greatly reduced. This is a good cup.
As the cup cooled the highly floral oolong bagan to shine. Sweet, sweet honeysuckle. Now this is a great cup. I don’t have time to take it further tonight but I think this will go a lot longer.
Until I get to see what comes next I won’t rate it. The first cup was a mid 70’s. The second strarted mid 80’s and became a solid 90.
I haven’t been writing many notes lately. Nothing seems to have flavor right now. Since 90% or so of flavor is smell, I assume some allergy thing is robbing me of my enjoyment. I first noticed it with the Mao Feng a few days ago. I thought I under leafed. Now I am not so sure. Big bold flavors like from bottled and highly flavored stuff are still detectable. Subtle teas are just lacking. This white monkey is maybe two years old and that may be part of the problem today. I have always enjoyed it every time I have brewed it. Today all that is present is sweet and a mild earthiness. Looks like I’ll have to put it back in storage for the time being. Maybe I’ll switch to hearty black or flavored teas for a few days.
I have thoroughly enjoyed this tea every time and in every way I have prepared it. It’s familiar and different at the same time. Technically a green tea, this looks like a white and is even labelled as white. Today I decided to try my hand at cold brewing for the first time after reading a Vicony Facebook post on cold brewing white tea. I steeped about 3 hours. This pretty much looks like water in the cup. The taste is really good. This tastes more green prepared in this manner. It’s kind of Dragonwell meets Bi Luo Chun. It starts crisp then turns buttery followed by the good kind of lingering bitter bite of a Chinese green. This is an awesome tea that tastes different using different methods. At the moment the cold brewed version is my favorite. Really good.
Not sure what I really did different today. I put a mug of water in the microwave for 1:40. It boils at about 1:55. I poured the water over the leaf in my press. Helped my wife for a couple minutes. Nothing seems out of the ordinary – maybe the water is a little cooler and maybe the steep is a little longer. Regardless, the result is delightful. Imagine halfway between Yunnan Dian Hong Golden Tips and White Peony. That is what I got today. It has generally tasted more white peony but with heft. It has always been really good anyway, but this is awesome.
Took the day off trying to get the necessary paperwork to apply for my pension so I will at least have some income after the impending permanent lay off. I am still waiting on a copy of our marriage license to arrive in the mail. I also tried to secure some help getting my oxygen when the job and insurance ends. Nothing but roadblocks. All in all a less than stellar day. Tea helped. As did the drive. One of the most gorgeous fall displays ever. Southern Indiana is so beautiful with its rolling hills and farm land.
Sipping this tonight and trying to learn a little more about it. IF my research is correct this is technically a green tea, but it is listed as a white and sure looks like a white. It also has many of the light delicate characteristics of a white but has more heft. I think this is also known as white monkey paw. What ever it is or what name it goes by, this is delicious. Love it.
Between White Peony and Silver Needle in complexity but with unique characteristics I haven’t seen in a white tea before (hint – chocolate). A longer review on my blog http://theeverdayteablog.blogspot.com/2012/07/zenjala-tea-company-golden-monkey.html
Today I prepared the last of this one. I made it last two years. I’ve changed my mind, this is my favorite from Zenjala. I am moving White Monkey into that second spot. This has a wonderful smoky aroma but it is not super intense. This is a milder version of lapsong souchong. There is also a hint of malt in the dry leaf. Brewed this is kind of sweet. It’s very easy to drink with no bite or astringency that I am catching. The smoke is more in the smell. You can feel the tea gently along the sides of your tongue. There is a fruity woodsy presence. This was one of my early ventures into loose leaf and it still stands the test of time. One day I will have more of this.
I have had this ounce for almost two years. The last time I had it I thought there was enough for 1 more session. Turns out there was enough for two. O happy day! It still has its light smoky goodness. The base is starting to suffer from poor storage. It is in a mostly empty tin. Tins should have a vacuum pump in the lid. Is that possible without it costing a fortune? Anyway much love for this even in its weakened state.
I can’t believe how long I have managed to nurse this ounce of tea along. I even sent a small sample out once long ago. I still have enough for one more round. I originally got this because it is historically considered the tea thrown overboard in the Boston harbor. Then I learned Bohea is a mistranslation of Wuyi. I think of Wuyi as a dark roasted oolong which this is not. Then I learned that Wuyi is an area in the Fujian province. Fujian black tea is one of my favorite teas, so this makes some sense. The description says this is the original lapsang. It is lighter in smoke than modern LS. It is obvious but not in the scary way. It is very sweet. The base comes through strong with honey and caramel notes of a solid Fujian. I now remember why I am so protective of this – it is wonderfully delicious.
My second favorite from Zenjala – the first being White Monkey. This one smells so wonderfully smoky. Just a year ago I was whining about half this amount of smoke. This is so good. Right now I am dunking peanut butter cookies stuffed with M&M’s. I would be jealous if I were you. An excellent combination by the way. Pronounced Boo-hee this is apparently a mistranslation of Wuyi. Once an expensive highly prized tea that fell into disrepute after being tossed into the Boston harbor, paving the way for Starbuck’s to make a killing selling overpriced coffee. Tunes: CCR – Bad Moon Rising, Barry McGuire – Eve of Destruction.
Smoke and malt. That is what I get when I open the tin. Steeped for about 4 ½ minutes. I recall this one took me by surprise. It is the first smoky tea I found to be delicious and enjoyable. Today, the brew is a beautiful dark caramel. Smoke and fruit scents are rinsing in the air. Cool down so I can drink you! Finally… Ahhh. Yep, still a good one. I don’t notice the malt in the sip. This is smoke and fruit.
My how my tastes have changed. I asked for this one not knowing what it was. The name just sounded interesting and it was thrown overboard in the Boston harbor :) I opened the tin and could smell smoke. Uh oh. So I take 1 scoop of leaf and steep 3 minutes (the instructions said 4-5, but I was afraid), Last fall my first Keemun threw me. I didn’t know if I liked it or what to make of it. So here I go again. Wow, it doesn’t taste like an ashtray. There is a woodsy kind of smoky thing going on. This tea is sweet. The smoke and sweetness linger long after the cup is gone. There is no bitterness. No astringency. This is really good. No one is more surprised than me. I had three cups. Go me!
I just read one of my previous tasting notes on this one and I’m glad I did. This is over a year old but stored well. I thought maybe it was losing its flavor as the vanilla is pretty light. Turns out that is how this always was, I just forgot. I like it that way as to me vanilla easily overtakes a cup and dominates. So if you are a vanilla fiend this won’t cut it for you. If like me, you prefer it stay a background note this is quite nice. The bergamot is flavorful but also on the light side. I have enough for one more cup.
Strange, I don’t even remember having this one! I last steeped it about 5 months ago. Opening the tin releases bergamot and vanilla – there is no doubt this is creamy Earl Grey. Sipping is a much quieter experience. My notes show I earlier interpreted this as medium bergamot flavored and also as light. The vanilla I have noted from light, to I can’t taste it. I am not sure why the confusion. Both the bergamot and vanilla are easily detectable, very flavorful, and medium/light :) The base is not lost. This is a really nice tea. I just find it strange that it never left an impression. It deserves better. I must have been in my Earl Grey must eat your face off mode at the time.
Up and moving (sort of) since daylight – its only 6:58 now. Bagel, cream cheese, and creamy earl grey. Excellent start to an excellent day?
This is light on the bergamot and the vanilla. That does not mean it is without flavor. Hint of citrus up front, tiny touch of bite later on, and light vanilla in the background. Easing me into the day. Ow yeah.
Now its time to go rock the casbah, or maybe just the congregation.
Today I could taste the vanilla. I didn’t catch it last time. It is very light. The bergamot is nice and medium but the light touch of vanilla makes it very smooth. This is a really good Earl Grey.
My wife is having gall bladder surgery tomorrow. The hospital just called wanting enough money up front to buy a small car. Are they serious? Don’t they remember they took all our money last year? sigh. I need tea. Oh, and they aren’t getting a dime until it clears insurance.
I can’t figure out how to grab the pictures off Zenjala’s website. The teas come in a nice tin. When you open the inner pouch the bergamot fills the air. I love the smell of bergamot in the morning. When steeping the scent of the tea is stout. Assam, Ceylon? I don’t know but it smells inviting. Although the bergamot and tea scents are strong this is not an overpowering cup. Bergamot is medium strength and you can still taste the tea. I don’t get the creamy reference in the taste, but then I have been living off the chocolate mint puerh lately. It does have a creamy texture, maybe that is what they mean. Not bitterness. A nice light bite. At any rate this is a solid Earl Grey with what seems to be cinnamon notes, though there is no cinnamon in this. 2 steeps. Quite nice.
First off, to the north thousands are without power with 12-16" of snow. We only ended up with maybe 2" of snow and some icing underneath. The -9 F temp is way better than it could have been as the winds are fairly light. We dodged this one. Yeah!
This tea – so you know how you have some high quality expensive teas you keep that make you swoon, and you have some cheapster Steepster bags or low cost loose you always keep around because they are so comfortable? Well this is the middle ground. I smell the puerh more than I taste it. The chocolate is more the base flavor. Peppermint blends with the chocolate for comfort. The spearmint is just barely the predominate taste – or maybe I think so because I don’t crave it in tea. It works well in the combination.
I wish the puerh had a little more presence. As is typical of tea with real chocolate in it, this is murky. That being said, it is warm and comforting on this very cold day.
The mint really has lasting power in this one. Peppermint on top with spearmint underneath. The chocolate curls disappear in the cup and add a good back flavor – which is about as chocolate as chocolate teas ever get in my limited experience. I am not really picking out the puerh in this first cup. A year ago I wrote I did. I’ll check again in the second cup. This is good enough to require another steep.
This is the third day in a row with this neat puerh. Today only one cup with yesterday’s leaf to see if it could handle it. This is the 4th cup from the leaf and I steeped about 6 minutes. It looked a bit weak but was still quite chocolate and puerh flavored. If you can’t tell I like this one a lot.
Zenjala is a new company to me. This one sounded so good I had to try it. I have added chocolate mint to puerh for over a year and like it. This one has real curls of dark chocolate mixed in with the puerh. It smells so good in the pouch. I am putting together a longer review for the blog but for now let me say this is awesome. Spearmint makes me nervous but in this one it is light and well blended with the peppermint, chocolate, and puerh. The longer you steep the more present the chocolate becomes and the less pronounced the mints. The puerh base adds a pleasant taste and shu aroma. I used sweetener as I think chocolate and puerh both beg for it. High yum factor. I steeped 3 times and I am pretty sure it would go more.