ZenTea

Recent Tasting Notes

93
drank Honey Bush Choco Caramel by ZenTea
1278 tasting notes

Queued post, written April 27th 2014

I snatched this out of the EU TTB round 2. I think. It sounded right up my alley with the caramel, and I’ve been looking forward to trying it. Tonight the time had come and I’m having it as my before bed beverage.

I did a bit of a sniffle when I poured the water on the leaves and it smelled very caramel-y then. Not super-much like chocolate, but I did pick up some slightly spicy notes of what I believe must be the base. I haven’t got much experience with honey bush. I’ve had before a number of times, but it’s been years since I’ve had it unflavoured. Still though, it was a note that struck me as honey bush. It’s quite recognisable.

The one thing I do remember from when I had it unflavoured years ago was that I could see why it’s called honey bush and that it had a distinctive natural taste of honey. That part of the base certainly comes through here as well, followed by a smidge of spice.

I can taste the caramel as well, probably enhanced by the honey notes (and vice versa), then the smidge of spice and finally a bit of a chocolate-y aftertaste.

This is not quite as rich as I had hoped, having expected something akin to liquid toffee, but it comes close enough that I am happy. I’m glad I stole this. It’s very good.

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63
drank Black/Green Toasted Almond by ZenTea
1116 tasting notes

Hm. Glad I tried it (I most definitely was curious) however this is far from a must-have for me too. It’s roasty and sweet, almost like a vanilla marzipan, however it’s just too… I dunno. Green? Tart? Off? Dunno. Something is just not my style.

Thanks to Dinosara for sharing this with me!

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML
Dinosara

Not sure why this had to be a black/green blend. Black tea base only would have been better!

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81
drank Genmaicha Sencha by ZenTea
225 tasting notes

This sample was from Dexter3657. I had this yesterday and really enjoyed it. Very roasty toasty flavour and the caffeine was light compared to other genmaichas I’ve had. Probably because there’s a good amount of rice compared to sencha in the mix. I don’t know if this is the right tea I’m leaving my review under. It certainly seems to fit the description but there’s no previous reviews on it….

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 1 min, 0 sec
Dexter

http://steepster.com/teas/zen-tea/30466-genmaicha
That’s actually the one I sent you. Happy you liked it. :))

Ubacat

Thanks Dexter3657! I looked around trying to find it and this was the only one I could find at the time. Thanks for the link. I can see it’s a popular tea.

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70

I really hate the new steepster look. I had not written a taste note using it yet but “unavailable”? Offputting and anyway, considering where my part of the world is, most of everything would be unavailable to me on a internet setting anyway.

Recommend this tea? WTF. I have no idea, I might recommend it to some people, depending on what they were looking for.

This is a tea from the euro box prepared by KittyLovestea, thank you so much! I am always on the look out for night tisanes with some punch and this was my first pick of that travelling box. In all a pleasant drink but got some issues with it. The most basic might be that I like, love rooibos (good rooibos. There is a difference between good rooibos base and bad rooibos, trust me), and honeybush seems kinda of wimpy next to my usual rooibos. This might make honeybush a much better choice for people who actively dislike rooibos, though.

The other problem was while this smelled intensely and tasted nicely of caramel and chocolate it was also a sort of artificial candy bar caramel and chocolate scent and taste. Just stroke me as artificial and a bit cloying. Though perhaps that sounds too harsh, a pleasant drink, not just infatuation or staple material.

Anna

Hahaha, I love a good WTF-review.

cteresa

I hate the new steepster look. And with the travelling box I got tons of things I feel obliged to make taste notes of, when I am finding the new look totally off putting. I suspect I will not hang around here for much longer.

Sil

Initially I liked it…now, after a few days? I don’t like a bunch of things and find myself ignoring most of the new stuff. I REALLY don’t like the “sell” feature.

K S

The recommend feature I am OK with. The unavailable – if that means from Steepster then say so. If it means from the vendor, it doesn’t belong here. The similar and recommended teas belongs at the very bottom of the page – it is just annoying. Move the vendor description back to the top. Lose the from the community snippits – also annoying. If I don’t give a review a score it considers it not reviewed. Most importantly give us back the avatars next to the reviewers name on our dashboard. Applause for trying to update things but listen to what we want- OK? Off my soapbox.

cteresa

I dislike the recommended, maybe because for me it´s not so clear. Or maybe I just live with finicky tea drinkers, who only like one type of drink. But recommend a type of tea for everybody, probably not, I would put caveats even to my most loved teas.

Unavailable, LOL, as if “available” would be available to me at a decent shipping costs, so for me just strike that.

And yes yes to tea description at top, it is baffling why it is down.

cteresa

Oh, and just to add, am beta testing the ios app, and did not like it. A few of the things were already, in retrospect, geared towards this change like not showing user icons but tea photos (and oh dear, since we can add any image to tea descriptions without them asking about copyright of the image, this might end biting them), so I had mostly been ignoring the app and using the web interface, though that is now gone.

Anna

I agree with everyone’s peeves about the new interface. Considering the amount of work that went into it, it would have been pretty awesome if some more of the actual user requests from the massive forum thread containing actual user requests had been addressed.

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drank Magnolia Oolong by ZenTea
110 tasting notes

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drank White Pomegranate by ZenTea
110 tasting notes

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drank Strawberry Papaya by ZenTea
110 tasting notes

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86

Last sample I have to review from my order of Zen samples from a few months ago. This is one of my favorite fruit teas! Zen never ceases me with their blends! I was hoping the fruit flavor here would be this good. Pomegranate, goji berries and blueberries (though there aren’t actual blueberries, the blueberry flavoring is nice and sweet like ripe plump blueberries.) There are actual goji berries here though! There are supposed to be actual pomegranate, but I don’t see any in my sample at a glance. There is also lemongrass to give it a spritz of lemon. The green base is okay, but I’ve had tastier green teas. I’ve had some pretty bad fake “fruit” tasting teas (actually from some reputable companies) but this one is very nice! Refreshing!

ETA: Zentealife.com has a 20% sale right now that I just happened to notice!

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81

Carrying on down the chocolate tea river with this blend.

It has an amazing chocolate caramel scent, like an actual chocolate bar or those caramel chocolate sweets you get in mixed tins/boxes for Christmas. As strong and delicious as this smells it’s also a little on the dry side.

The caramel comes through nicely, not too sweet but very nice against the rich chocolate base. It also has a wafer like flavour present amongst the after taste. Luckily there is no real dryness in flavour to this tea so it must have been in the scent only. The caramel grows stronger as I pour myself another cup, becoming more creamy and sticky like too.

I really like this tea though my husband said he prefers The Malt Shop by Della Terra which is the last chocolate tea we had together earlier on.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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76
drank Pouchong (Bao Zhong) by ZenTea
183 tasting notes

Tried this one yesterday evening, unsweetened. It smelled and tasted of toasted walnuts: a hint of bitterness, but mostly just slightly smoky and a lot delicious. :) I enjoyed it, but I do prefer my oolongs to be not quite so dark. My husband would probably have loved this one, so perhaps I’ll buy it for him as a present sometime. :3

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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77
drank Black/Green Toasted Almond by ZenTea
4939 tasting notes

sipdown! another tasty almond tea. I’m trying to drink other teas alongside my puerhs today to help with the sipdowns. This one was altogether pretty tasty, though not my favourite almond tea :)

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77
drank Black/Green Toasted Almond by ZenTea
4939 tasting notes

Thanks dinosara! this is a pretty tasty almond tea. I didn’t ruin this one by steeping it at too high a temperature heh. I don’t know that this would find a permanent place in my cupboard but it is quite nice if you’re looking for that almond flavour. I agree with dinosara that the base is a little lacking. Overall though, a pretty tasty cup!

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80
drank Oolong Royal Ginseng by ZenTea
15 tasting notes

A very fragrant tea with an amazing first cup. Unfortunately doesn’t last past two brewings.

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I received a sampling of this tisane from someone … and found it in my stash tonight. I don’t know how old it is … but judging from the existing tasting notes on this, it would seem it’s probably at least a year old. It’s still flavorful. I taste honeybush … nutty, sweet, honey-like. I taste caramel … sweet and the caramel adds a creamy element to the cup. The chocolate is weak. I don’t know if that’s because of the age of the sample or because the chocolate just wasn’t strong enough for my chocoholic tendencies. The flavor does build though, and now that I’m midway through the cup, I notice more chocolate than I did at the start.

Overall, it’s decent. Because it is an older sample … I’m not going to rate this.

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50

Sipdown! Many thanks to my friend rashad for the sample.

This has sort of a floral, citrusy smell, which is about what you’d expect from a Jasmine Lemon tea. The flavor is heavier on the citrus than the floral. It tastes like lemon tea with a flowery undertone. And it is flowery – not distinctly jasmine. That might have something to do with the fact that there are a lot of other flowers in the mix. What are rose petals and lilac doing in a jasmine tea?

Overall, this is acceptable but utterly mediocre. Finished the cup, glad I tried it, not going to miss it.

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71
drank Russian Spice by ZenTea
21 tasting notes
I’ve begun to really enjoy this tea as a staple tea to have with my breakfast. The spice is pleasant, and the flavor has enough body that it stands up well to a hefty eggs and bacon breakfast.
Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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71
drank Russian Spice by ZenTea
21 tasting notes

I bought this on a whim after a rough day at work. It smells quite spicy and I wasn’t sure I’d really want to drink it straight. I bought it assuming it would make a lovely Saturday morning latte. However, on principle, I brewed it in just water the first time and drank it with no additives, and I really enjoyed it!

Usually, when I have a really spicy-smelling tea like this one, I find that the spice overpowers the tea, and it ends up tasting weak and like spicy water. This tea, on the other hand, was almost just perfect! It was full-bodied with the tiniest hint of sweetness, which I’m assuming is coming from the orange peels, and balanced by the spiciness of the cloves and ginger. The aftertaste is just a light spicy on the back of my tongue. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this tea.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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88

Chocolate! This actually has chocolate chips in it, which is a bit gimmicky but I like it. The color is definitely chocolate-y, and it smells like dark chocolate. Tastes chocolate-y too. Kind of like thin hot cocoa. I don’t know whether it’s really this good or I’m just projecting my desire for a good chocolate tea. Either way, yum!

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Ok, so I just went outside with a flashlight and picked a whole bunch of honeysuckle for use in tea blends. I’m having this amber oolong with honeysuckle and it’s awesome!!

Stephanie

How did you incorporate the honeysuckle? Love this idea!

My Friend Rashad

You can dry honeysuckle and add them to blends, but what I did for this one was I actually steeped the oolong first, removed the leaves then steeped the honeysuckle separate because it needed a different steep time.

Stephanie

Nice! I love the scent/taste of honeysuckle but have never tried using any of it like this. Exciting!

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So the other day I used the rest of the sample in the TTB-A to make a cold brew of this, & then promptly forgot all about it. I think that was on Friday. I’m drinking it now, with a little stevia, & admittedly, it’s delicious! Very refreshing, kind of like koolaid for adults. It doesn’t really taste like wine to me, but that’s a good thing! :D

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No 8 from TTB

I probably should have waited to drink this, as my sinus are still irritated from the momoko.
I’ve never had iced wine, never even heard of it until I joined Steepster, LOL. Of course, I gave up alcohol (& other substances) 29 years ago, so things that are suppose to taste like wine mean nothing to me.
However, I suspect that this will be really good as a cold brew. I think there’s enough in the sample to try it that way, so why not?
NEXT!

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drank Finest Gyokuro by ZenTea
1828 tasting notes

I saved the leaves yesterday and made a third steep to go with lunch today. The spinach flavor is seriously dialed back but it was still a good cup of tea. I miss the creamed spinach richness of yesterday, though.

Fuzzy_Peachkin

ooh! Spinach? That sounds awesome!

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