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ZenTea

Recent Tasting Notes

83

Additional notes: ICED edition. I steeped two teaspoons of this in a mason jar for 24 hours and I’m so glad I didn’t let it sit longer as the green tea got a bit overbrewed. A little bitter. It was also a bit too perfumey cold. So I guess I liked this one better hot. Really, I guess I’m just writing these iced tea notes for myself, so I remember what I did or didn’t try iced yet and what worked!

Terri HarpLady

And the Dashboard begins to move!

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77
drank Pouchong (Bao Zhong) by ZenTea
1569 tasting notes

This is from Traveling Tea Box B. I finally got around to trying it out. I love oxidized oolongs. Actually, I love all kinds of oolong teas. This one was difficult to brew just because so many things were going on in my house. In the end, I brewed it for a minute and it was delicious! I wish I could have made several steepings out of this, but once Western style was enough. I love the dark cocoa/caramel tones in this tea mixed with sweetness. The brew was a honey gold color. Good tea overall! :)

Preparation
1 min, 0 sec

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drank Pouchong (Bao Zhong) by ZenTea
721 tasting notes

from Traveling Tea Box B
i love black oolongs. i’ve known this for a long time. i like green oolongs too. basically i like oolongs.
too bad i oversteeped it when a professor came in to talk to me about his running.
but i saved it’s yummy happy face of tea by adding more hot water.
all is right with the world.

Cavocorax

Nice save!

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95

Just getting ready for some of the great Oolongs that I have in the mail! This tightly rolled Taiwanese oolong has some of the savory notes of a dong ding but unfolds into the floral excellence that I love in a green high mountain oolong. Tangy and complex! Gonna sit with this one for a while.

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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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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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81
drank Gunpowder by ZenTea
76 tasting notes

Every gunpowder tea I’ve ever had has been basically the same thing. Pretty good, kinda smokey, savory. For some reason it reminds me of mushroom broth. Really dark brew for a green tea. Sediment at the bottom of my cup. It’s delicious but I keep getting this visual in my heard of some massive gunpowder factory in china that supplies all the world’s gunpowder with uniformity year-round.

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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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95

Days after I suffered the news that my beloved Jasmine Oolong had been discontinued by a certain “Place where tea goes when it dies” I may have found a worthy replacement.

I overlooked this tea a few times because, honestly, dry leaf smell is strong and overly floral. Very very feminine smelling, and I’m a dude I use tools to fix stuff. But on my last trip to ZenTea I decided to just go ahead and grab some. Holy Smokes! I’m glad I did!

The TGY base for this is fantastic. Take away the magnolia scent and it’s easily one of the best oolongs in the store. And contrary to what the dry leaf smell would have you believe it’s not at all over powered by the magnolia scent. The magnolia seems to highlight certain aspects of the TGY, I’m constantly getting a citrus note, and another thing that’s almost coconut but really just reminds me of suntan lotion. I know that sounds gross but I’m really enjoying this. There’s complexity here. I digs.

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83

Stopped by the local tea house and grabbed a few things. This Nilgiri from Tiger Hill is quite nice. It reminds me of a second flush Darjeeling with the fruitiness. It also has a woody, chestnutty character. When it cools it gets a chocolate note. I’m pleased.

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drank Finest Gyokuro by ZenTea
1769 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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drank Finest Gyokuro by ZenTea
1769 tasting notes

This came as a sample with the matcha I ordered from ZenTea. I understand there is more than one company by this name. To clarify, this is the company in Canada whose site is ZenTeaLife.

I am having some of the Asian buffet leftovers for lunch and wanted a good green to go with it. I am delighted that I spotted this in my free sample and swaps box. I will get to do a sample SIPDOWN, which isn’t as exciting as for some of you because I don’t put samples in my cupboard, but is still exciting because I have reduced the embarrassing large amount of tea I own by one so I feel a little better about myself. Ha!

The color reminds me of the organic unfiltered olive oil I buy. The leaves in the sample pack are a good size but lots of teeny tiny bits escaped into my cup. It didn’t matter – it didn’t make it bitter. I have made two steeps so far and the second is as good as the first and just as flavorful.

My main thought as I drink this is that if I were chewing, I would know for certain that I was eating creamed spinach. I really like creamed spinach, by the way. So I thoroughly enjoyed both cups of tea and am glad to try my second gyokuro ever. Now I know what to buy for that rich, creamy spinach taste.

Thank you, ZenTeaLife for the sample!

Stephanie

Mmmm gyokuro! Nice sample to get :)

Barbara

Hmmm, have been eying gyokuro for some time now, but don’t think I’ll be trying it anytime soon if it tastes like creamed spinach I like creamed spinach, but with dinner (some potato’s and a piece of meat), not in my tea…. I think …

Stephanie

Do you like other japanese greens like sencha Barbara? If you like sencha you might enjoy it :)

ashmanra

I agree, if you like Sencha, you would love gyokuro!

Barbara

Yes I do like Sencha, at least in the summers… Thanks for your comments. I’ll be trying gyokuro some time after all. :-)

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79

Trying to work through some swap samples. I still enjoy this one quite a bit :)

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I like this much more now. After a couple rinses you can taste the puerh much more and the toffee calms down a bit. Add a little bit of agave nectar and we’re in business.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C

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77

Tea is like art. Sometimes it’s open to interpretation. That’s the case with this tea, the flavors are so subtle and ambiguous that it allows my subconscious to imply whatever it wants onto the canvas of this flavor painting.

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I’m actually having this right now blended with Classic Chai from Teajo and Breakfast Blend from MarketSpice. I don’t think I could handle it on it’s own. The puerh base is fabulous but the caramel flavor is too artificial tasting for me. In this blend, however, it works phenomenally. Especially with a tiny bit of local honey.

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77

This tea is very much like a Pai Mu Tan. It even looks like one. The only thing telling me it’s an oolong (besides the label) is the golden colored liquor. It has a very sweet finish. Slightly citrus-y. This might be a regular in my cupboard.

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79

Thanks for the swap My Friend Rashad! This is pretty good :) Hard to describe but good!

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78
drank Oolong Raspberry by ZenTea
2221 tasting notes

Ummm…. this is absolutely delicious! Thanks for passing some of this along as well, momo!

The tea in my baggie looks like a dark rolled oolong, even though the picture shown here definitely looks like a green oolong. Hrrrrrm.

Anyways, this tea smells like candy. Like really delicious, sweet, fruity, yummy candy. And that is exactly how the flavour is too – all candy-sweet and delicious atop a lovely creamy oolong base (so this is probably a green oolong that’s perhaps a bit old? Idk.) You know, this actually kind of tastes like cotton candy, in a way. I think I’d be hard-pressed to say that this is raspberry… it’s certainly a sweetened raspberry, if it is, because raspberries are usually more tart. It does have raspberry-ish tones to its fruit flavour, though, especially lingering in the aftertaste.

Regardless of accuracy, I’m really enjoying this tea! I haven’t had as many tasty flavoured oolongs as I would like, and this one is certainly filling a gap in there. I don’t think this is the first tea that I’ve really enjoyed from ZenTea; may have to look into trying more teas from there/making an order at some point! Thanks again momo!

ETA: Oooh, picking up some bitterness in the re-infusion, although it’s still tasty. Less candy-like, as other reviewers have mentioned. As with many teas, this one would be best with infusions done a bit closer together than 12+ hours, IMO. The leaves still had some aroma after this infusion, so we shall see if I end up re-steeping them again (possibly not; I have at least 6 other teas waiting their turn for an infuser downstairs, and I think 2 western-style infusions for most teas is pretty good!)

ETA again: I think I lied. Pretty sure the above re-steep was actually Leslie Grove Strawberry Patch. Drinking the proper infusion now, and I pretty much have the same opinion, except there is no astringency :) Also, it tastes more like raspberry.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec
momo

they have way more teas than what’s on their website, especially because if you buy four pouches, they’re $6 each. next time I go back I need to really take a picture of their menu because I’ve given so many of their teas out in swaps and I could probably make it easier for people that way!

Azzrian

YUM!!!!!

Azzrian

Yup just went to the website and it is not there. I would love to try this tea I will have to email them when I have tea money again!

Kittenna

Yeah, you should! I’ll have to look, but I seem to recall enjoying a few other teas you’ve sent me by them as well, and I’d probably be interested in trying more. (Actually, one of those teas may have been one with roasted cacao shell in it, ahahaha. And honeybush or rooibos.)

I especially would recommend this tea in particular to anyone who remotely likes such flavours… this definitely falls into the category of “why didn’t I try this sooner?!”

Kittenna

Yeah, I’m really enjoying this! Drinking it cold at this point, and it’s really hitting the spot.

Kittenna

Azzrian – this is a different company from ZenTeaLife. Correct me if I’m wrong, momo, but I think this http://www.ezentea.com is their website. I found it on there :)

Cavocorax

That sounds really good!

Also, it IS really confusing with the different Zen Tea companies out there. :|

momo

That is the website. Last time I was at Zen Tea, people had been sending Zen Tea Life sample requests to Zen Tea and I put two and two together and told her why people were asking for samples. She told me as of late last year they’ve had a trademark on the name Zen Tea. She did end up sending those people samples so I hope they know they came from a different company!

I’ll also see what I have currently, every time I go in there I get sucked in to the deal with buying 4 of them.

Sil

damn it… another company to look into since that “other” one has been voted off the island. oooh they have samplers…

sneaks off to her tea spreadsheet

Shmiracles

(wait…who was voted off the island? i like being educated)

momo

I’ll go back ASAP for you guys, I realize I said they are 4 for $24 but it was 4 for $20! So a bunch on there that are $8 are actually $5 if I get a bunch. The only ones that doesn’t apply to are the organic ones, those are the 4 for $24 ones if I recall correctly because I did buy one organic one once and it was $7

Kittenna

Schmiracles – ZenTeaLife did not handle a customer service issue very well, and some people are unhappy with them and therefore not ordering from there again. Really, good customer service pays…

ashmanra

Kittenna: I just posted a review of ZenTeaLife matcha. I paid $24, the website now says it costs $34.50 and is on sale for $19.99. It is decent matcha, but I was wondering if $34.50 is really their new price for this matcha. Do you know what the customer service issue was, or was it in a thread?

Sil

No thread…lots of ppl have had great issues. Long story short, there were some issues with the package, Indigobloom and I were made whole in terms of money, but we never got the tea, the hassle was a pain in the ass, and after being made to feel several times like it was my fault the package went missing it was only after I provided them with an example of good customer service, that they sort of made an effort…not to compensate me for the hassle but just to basically allow me to take advantage of the sale that I had already tried to. Soooo, if my business means that little, I’d rather not deal with the hassle since there are plenty of other companies out there who understand a thing or two about customer experience. :)

However, no issues with the overall product, if that makes sense….what few I tried before the mixup and hassle.

Indigobloom

I second what Sil said. They have wacky customer service standards. Who gives a refund without checking if its ok first?! I would have liked the option to have the tea sent out again (actually sent out, not implied lol)

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75

My neighborhood is the exact opposite of a food desert. A food oasis! It’s so packed with places to get delicious goodies that I honestly don’t know about even half the places within a 2 block radius. Might sound like I am exaggerating but it’s the truth! For example, 2 weeks ago I discovered a Chinese bakery literally around the corner from me that has been there for years. Yet I missed it! Considering that I am addicted to red bean buns this is like the best news ever.

Plus, everything is insanely cheap. Spent $4 today (no taxes since it’s cash only!) and got a red bean bun, a taro bun, a pastry cream stuffed croissant and a raisin & cream cheese pastry. Yum! Of course I can’t eat all of those in one day, I’m so stuffed from my late lunch of homemade korma that I don’t even have room for a bite right now. But they smell so delicious! I keep sticking my face in the bag and taking big whiffs.

Um, yeah, so this is supposed to be about tea. Whoops, I got carried away by my love for red beans! Can you really blame me? I made this last night while planning my bakery trip (see, they are connected!) thinking that a citrusy jasmine would go well with heavy desserts. This tea isn’t really what I expected, though. It’s floral and citursy but not in any identifiable way. I’d never go “oh, this is jasmine and lemon!” Really, it might as well be rose and lime or lavender and orange on the label.

It’s weird that the flavor is so vague. I am usually really good at identifying floral scents—we had all kinds of flowers in the garden when I was little and I spent a ton of time gardening with my dad (or rather, running around with the kitties while he worked ^^;) so I can generally tell the difference between lilac, magnolia, violet, hyacinth, rose, etc. But here it’s just… kinda generic floral. Like walking by a flower shop—you get hit by all these flowery smells but none of them are distinct. And the citrus is the same way! What kind of magic is this?

It’s not a bad cup of tea, it’s just… weird. Well, not weird tasting, but it’s frustrating not being able to identify smells and tastes. Ah well, lemon jasmine tea does sound really good so now I am thinking about hunting one down!

Mercuryhime

Oooh taro! If they have good flakey egg tarts there then I am officially jealous. ;)

Alphakitty

They do have egg tarts! They are quickly becoming my favorite too, they go very light on the sugar unlike some places so you can really taste the eggy goodness.

Mercuryhime

With the flakey shell or the pie crust shell? Pie crust is okay but a light flakey crust is heaven. Mmm…now I want one.

Alphakitty

Both kinds! They alternate day to day. Which, of course, means I want to go twice as often.

Mercuryhime

Marketing genius. :)

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90
drank Oolong Raspberry by ZenTea
479 tasting notes

Tea #20 from the ‘Here’s Hoping’ teabox.

I am slowly becoming a fan of raspberry especially when paired with Oolong. With the first steep of this tea (3 minutes) the raspberry flavor was so light it was almost floral. It was sweet and soft while just hinting at juicy berries. Combined with the buttery flavor of the Oolong the tea was delicious. The second steep (5 minutes) gave a tea that was all raspberry with almost no Oolong flavor to be found. I was kind of surprised at how strong the raspberry flavor was, but it was still wonderful. I may do a third steep later tonight just to see what happens.

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77

Sunday Sipdown #1

Thanks to whoever sent this to me as a sample! It was so long ago I couldn’t even begin to make guesses!

I am trying (and actually succeeding!) to move away from adding soy milk to every tea that I drink and only drinking dessert teas, so I like to push myself with non-dessert teas that do NOT warent soy.

Anyway, for that reason, I started with this nice, light green. Though I am rather inexperienced in green tea, I think this one has nice, smooth base to it. The “caribbean” flavoring is okay, but I wish it could be stronger. I did add just over 3tsp to a 16oz travel mug, so I don’t think it’s brewed weak; I just think the flavoring is subtle.

Half of me wishes it was more “in your face” flavoring, but the other half thinks it’s fine just the way it is. Guess you’ll just have to decide for yourself!

This is one I’ll enjoy, but probably not re-order.
Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 45 sec
Courtney

The name alone sounds amazing!

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75
drank Connie's Choice by ZenTea
767 tasting notes

Had this as a latte at the Zen tea bar today with my mom. It’s the first time I’ve been there – or any tea room, for that matter. Mom tried the herbal Pitta blend (which was a nice combination of lemon and mint), but I wanted something decadent.

Steep notes: I don’t know, for a change! There’s something both awesome and unnerving (because I’m a control freak) about having tea made for me!

I didn’t really know what to think about it, though. I feel like there was an artificial caramel note that I could pick up on on some sips, and then not on others. And sometimes the texture would be nice and chocolatey rich, but then others – it seemed like it might have been made with skim milk and was therefore too thin for me. And then sometimes it tasted sweetened, but sometimes it didn’t…so weird, now that I think about it.

But I love that I got to try it, and that my mom and I got to just sit somewhere and relax with a pot/mug of tea and not feel rushed to go anywhere. Since mom teaches yoga and they offer classes I will probably go back with her one of these days to try it out. So fun!

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96

Backlogging: circa 2 months ago. I had nice detailed reviews written out and misplaced them in the boyfriends room! This was before the introduction of a tea journal unfortunately. :S

A sample I received from ZenTea months ago, this was my very first Earl Grey and in retrospect was the best earl grey I have had! The bergamot and citrus are so strong and delicious, with cream and sugar this made the perfect morning blend! The leaves are beautiful and high quality, I have seldom seen a broken leaf from a ZenTea blend. They also resteep very very well- I think I steeped the same bit of this tea 4 times over the course of 3 days, keeping chilled in-between steepings.

I want more more more! I will be buying this tea when I get the chance to do so!

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