Hide

Welcome to Steepster, an online tea community.

Write a tea journal, see what others are drinking and get recommendations from people you trust. or Learn More

38 Tasting Notes

42
drank Ancient Forest by Zhi Tea
38 tasting notes

Maybe, I should experiment with longer steeps, but at the recommended 3-4 minutes, this does nothing for me. It just tastes…dead. I was hoping for something similar to the glorious Ancient Tong Mu at Postcard Teas, but this one to me is like a black void. If I get any better results, I’ll change my post.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

100

This is another perfect tea in my book. Just deep and dark enough for the morning, but good anytime really. When I opened the bag and sniffed, it was a delightful sensory confusion. Fruitcake? I finally settled on apricot or maybe even ripe persimmon, although it has been so long since I had a persimmon that I can’t be sure of that. There is more, but it is elusive to me. Brewed, it looses the fruitiness and again is hard to describe, I guess cookie is a good description of the flavor. Maybe an old fashioned sugar cookie? I would love to hear other thoughts on this one, the reviews on Upton are as confused as mine. I got 160 grams/5.6 ounces and I was not willing to review this until I ordered it again. So within a week I placed a second order for 320 grams. It is that good.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec
Uniquity

Sounds good…one to consider when I am back in the market for some black teas.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

85
drank Monk's Blend by Zhi Tea
38 tasting notes

I got this as a sample, I don’t usually prefer blends, but the onsite reviews intrigued me. It doesn’t have any green tea, it is all black. I’m planning on buying it again, this is invigorating in a sparkly way, not lightning bolts. Still it worked for 5 a.m. I’ll have to describe it better when I make more. I would call it bright without being astringent and rather happy. I thought I’d like their Austin Breakfast best, but this is my preference for now.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

100
drank Gong Fu by Zhi Tea
38 tasting notes

This tea is perfect. I was looking for cocoa notes in reviews and managed to scrounge up a few reviews elsewhere that made me try this one. Oh, I am so happy. I kept envisioning a big ol’ Hershey’s bar on the first steep. Second steep, not so much. On the second steep it was beautifully tanned and smooth cowhide leather and tobacco leaves. I am super duper impressed with this tea shop. I love this so much that I want to buy a pound of it and then hoard it, measuring it out on as a reward to myself. I have to fight that hoard urge, probably not the best for tea.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 30 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

42

As big a fan I am of this delightful tea company, I was quite disappointed in the Keemun. I am not a fan of the smoky note, and this has it. Unfortunately, once I pick that up, it cancels out any other notes for me. If you like whiffs of smoke in your tea, then you might want to give this inexpensive Keemun a try. It has a nice deep body that I look for and could be a good everyday tea. For someone else, that is.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

100

This is a bit too light bodied to be the tea for a work morning, but in the afternoon or on a weekend, it is excellent. It tastes like toast, in the best possible way. No bitterness or astringency, just smooth, golden toasty goodness. It makes me happy to just think of this tea. And at the price, I can afford to stock up. I get two steeps also, which is good for a light tea, making it an even more excellent value.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 2 min, 30 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

98

This is about my favorite oolong, when I want a comforting cup of no nonsense tea. This is the tea that made me understand the phrase mouthfeel. It is like your old jeans that get better and better and never let you down. Oddly, I adore the charcoal roasted aspect, and yet I can’t stand smoky teas. Lapsong, Caravan, just thinking about them makes me frown. So I would not call this smoky. It’s toasted! (Feel free to picture Don Draper giving the sales pitch).

I so appreciate that this tea co. is trying to support old traditions in tea production. I love that they are not only buying direct, they are actually controlling the process. I really respect that; this tea is superb and affordable.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 30 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

100

This is wonderfully complex in a mysterious way. Very likely I lack the ability to distinguish flavors, but I kept coming up with… paper. Paper in an old library that has picked up many qualities, leather binding, tobacco, spices and, of course, the wood from which it was made.
It is an elegant, aristocratic medium bodied tea.

I would recommend this in the tin, as it comes shipped in a padded envelope that could get squished. Mine fared well, but I will get my teas from them in a tin after this. It’s worth it.

Preparation
Boiling 3 min, 0 sec

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

Profile

Bio

I live in Kansas City Mo and am currently obsessed with black tea. I’ve been going through phases. I liked keemun and now I don’t. I’m trying to use them up by adding some golden Yunnan needle to cut the smoke quality. I quit drinking coffee because it affected my blood sugar too much and I’m finding that the really stout teas do too. So Assams and some of the blends are tricky. Right now the Chinese red (black) teas are my current passion. After worrying over the perfect timing for each tea, I have found that I love black tea added generously, brewed at boiling for three minutes for the first infusion and five for the second. Life is so much simpler now and I am enjoying the resulting tea much more than when I was brewing it longer. I do add sweetener, usually Teavana’s German rock crystals, sometimes palm sugar or other experimental alternatives. For my black tea in the morning, I use an infuser basket and an iron teapot. It may not be ideal to basket the leaves, but morning is not the time to be fussy and labor intensive.

Oolong is pretty wonderful too. Especially in the evening. I have some Yixing pots for my evenings, that I really enjoy. One for greener oolongs, one for darker oolongs and one for black teas. Teapots are another obsession, can one have too many? I have a paper porcelain that is perfect for green teas and just got a wabi sabi teapot for flavored teas. I have some larger teapots that I’m finding I just don’t use because I’m the only one in the house that drinks it, so I’m concentrating on smaller ones now. Especially for evening, I like to brew a serving at a time and I prefer a small teapot that with a strainer spot. Then, if I don’t reinfuse, I haven’t wasted as much.

Some of this background helps understand the reviews, I think.

Location

Kansas City MO