Zhena's Gypsy TeaEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
I picked up a tin of this at Whole Foods while visiting Minneapolis this weekend. We left around 8:pm and I arrived home in Fargo a little after midnight. The drive was cold. My apartment is cold. I am cold. So once I got a few things unloaded and put away I brewed a cup of this.
I wasn’t actually expecting much. I haven’t heard of Zhena’s, and generally I’m not a fan of bags in tins, but I wanted to buy a souvenir tea, and this looked like the best I saw on the shelf. This tea, however, is enjoyable. First of all, it’s warming, and not just because the temperature is hot. The spices are warming. It makes me feel cozy to hold the mug and sip this tea while waiting for the heat to come on. I won’t buy this one again, but i’ll enjoy it while it lasts.
The Favourite Chai Hunt continues. This was surprisingly good—I wasn’t expecting much of it, to be fair, but still. It’s more aggressively spiced than the blends I’ve tried previously, and that said, major thumbs up for finding a balance between spicy and not offensively-bitter, or one note. I finished the tin alarmingly quick over the holidays: this is OUTSTANDING with half water, half coconut nog, and topped off with spiced rum.
I remain fairly impressed with this as a bagged tea. Mostly because it’s nice and sweet and desserty, with some tea flavour, and it’s not all gross and astringent (though it does lean that way if brewed too strongly or if the teabags are left in too long). Anyhow, didn’t have time to really think about what I was going to drink this morning, as I was running late for work, and so I made up some of this. Not a poor decision, since it was so yummy.
Had a re-steep of my mom’s cup of this tonight, but I’m not sure whether it was the tea that tasted mediocre, or the tea that tasted really good (I’m guessing mediocre, since the bags had been sitting around a bit longer than they should have been). Either way, I know this is good when treated properly :)
Got a tin of sachets of this tea from my sister this Christmas (a regift, but a very well-received one, considering I haven’t tried this tea AND it sounds delicious!) The aroma from the tin is not overly caramelly/vanilla, but it’s quite pleasant. I’m working from memory here (in bed right now) so I might have to adjust that later, but that is my predominant opinion of it. Brewed, though – it’s pretty tasty. In fact, it reminded me quite a bit of Butiki’s Butterscotch Pudding, which I had brewed up a second/third infusion of at the same time. I did notice some astringency though – I’ll have to watch time/temp a bit more closely next time. Maybe only give it a minute and decrease the temp slightly. The resteep was quite good though. Overall, quite pleased! I really would like to try more of Zhena’s teas (though I would prefer them looseleaf instead of bagged).
I really want to like rose as a flavor in tea, it’s so very good in food but I don’t think black tea was the way to go. The longer I steeped it the more rosy it got.. to the point it reminded me of old lady perfume. Couldn’t taste the black tea enough to taste any flavor notes. Just rose and dry mouth. Plus zhenas uses artificial flavoring
I’m done with zhenas I think :( the tins are so pretty but the teas are always meh. The raspberry is really fragrant in the cup which is great, the Black tea doesn’t leave too bitter an aftertaste unless overbrewed. The bergamont almost undetectable. Overall pretty meh.
Teeny Tiny TTB Round 2
This is it, the very last one. I enjoy chamomile and some bedtime blends, so I pulled this sample out of the box to try later. I’ve seen Zhena’s teas before at TJ Maxx and wondered whether they were any good or not, I guess it’s time to find out! I can’t really see what’s inside the bags (they’re the round style, like Republic of Tea) but I can tell there’s chamomile for sure. Dry scent is chamomile with a touch of mint and some sweetness. After looking at the description, I think it was the coconut I was smelling. Once I poured the water over, I could see that there’s green rooibos in there as well. I used two bags for my 10-ounce cup.
The steeped tea has a pleasant herbal scent, and I can definitely smell the chamomile as well as the mint and a bit of coconut. Yum, I actually quite like this. It certainly has a very herbal flavor, there’s something in here that’s reminding me of dill perhaps? The mint and coconut work nicely in balancing that herbal taste with some sweetness. Nothing overpowers anything else, making this a nicely balanced sleepytime blend. Nice.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Coconut, Hay, Herbs, Mint, Sweet
I have been experimenting with different kinds of chai to figure out which one I like better for my chai tea lattes. This is pretty dang good although I haven’t quite gotten the tea to milk ratio (I used coconut milk). It reminds me of the holidays and winter. I love this tea. (: Once I have gotten the right ratio, I will update my rating.
Supposed to be a mild vanilla tea with hints of double dose of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg with brown sugar. Don’t be fooled. I steeped for a long time and still can only taste the light vanilla flavor. I wouldn’t throw out the tea, but I would not buy it again. Looks good on the counter, that’s about it.
Updated: Yes, I did throw this out. I think the glass container was worth more than the tea.
This is actually much better than I was expecting—thanks to NayLynn for the bags! The coconut in this is creamy and on-point, and the spices are mostly cardamom and a hint of clove. That’s okay with me, because I think too much ginger would overpower everything else. It’s not a traditional chai, but because of that it’s unique enough that I can see myself reaching for it reasonably often until it’s gone.
I got this tea in a sampler tin from Kroger. The packaging caught my eye, but I ended up buying it because the flavors sounded heavenly.
I found this tea to be very earthy and it balanced out the mint. Neither was too overwhelming. It was a chilly day where I live, so this was a treat for me. It tastes like it would be a good pick-me-up, even though it doesn’t have very much caffeine in it. I would recommend this to anyone that loves a good mint tea.
Flavors: Earth, Green, Mint
This is the one I was most looking forward to (in the Zhena sampler). Maybe since I had such great expectations for it is why I didn’t give it a high rating. I smells RICHLY RASPBERRY, it tastes… I don’t quite know how to describe it. That taste… it switches back from sweet, rich raspberry to watery raspberry to an aftertaste of earl grey very quickly. SO I went from YUUUMM to meh to MMMMM in every sip. Does that make sense? This is one that probably only be had hot and sweetened to keep the raspberry flavor going with the black tea richness.
By far my favorite of the sampler and officially one of my favorite green teas ever. It is just so smooth and soothing. What first caught my attention was the ingredient list. ONLY THREE INGREDIENTS!!! Recognizable and pronounceable ones at that. Green tea. Peppermint. Licorice root. I never would have thought peppermint and green tea would make a good combo. This is a match made in heaven. Or should I say “matcha”… Tea puns aside no sugar needed and not the least bitter even after a 3.5 minute steep.
Flavors: Licorice, Peppermint
I see (or rather I smell) why it is called that. It smells heavenly. Like walking through an area of plum trees. Light, airy, fruity. The taste is only a hint of that, it is more bitter than anything else. Not like when you steep a green tea too long bitter, more like bite into watermelon rind bitter. So it’s bittersweet. Literally. I only steeped for 2.5 minutes (2-3 is the recommended time on the tin). Sugar makes it so much better and you can really tastes the plum.
Nice, tame blend of chamomile and citrus. I added more orange peel, though, because I really like orange and felt it need more. This is the second best chamomile tea I’ve ever had with my little modification. Plus it helps me relax/sleep.
Flavors: Licorice, Orange