Ancient Forest

Tea type
Black Tea
Ingredients
Not available
Flavors
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Sold in
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Caffeine
Not available
Certification
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Edit tea info Last updated by Pamela Dean
Average preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 30 sec 8 oz / 236 ml

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6 Tasting Notes View all

  • “Notes: I love this tea! It's roasty and complex w/ just enough tannins and body to let you know it is a black while maintaining its smooth character. You get a nice caramel nose off the leaves...” Read full tasting note
    77
    jshnewman 5 tasting notes
  • “The description of this tea by Zhi Tea intrigued me enough that I was forced to order a sample. Forced! ‘Ancient Forest’ sounds so mysterious and mystical, doesn’t it? On top of that, this organic...” Read full tasting note
    60
    bravedave 30 tasting notes
  • “I try to evaluate teas on their own merits and I can say that I always enjoy this one. While it is not as strong as most of my morning selections, I appreciate its character - smooth, mellow,...” Read full tasting note
    86
    Dignitea 384 tasting notes
  • “Well *sigh*. I was really looking forward to this tea. It does have a great story. But alas, the tea is barely above average. I think of it as an "almost" tea. It is almost Keemun. It is...” Read full tasting note
    65
    mzpriss 123 tasting notes

From Zhi Tea

This incredible black tea from Southeast Asia comes from 500-800 year old reclaimed tea trees in a remote H’mong village. A fair trade system was set up for the villagers who manage and care for these precious tea trees to help protect the tea and reward the caregivers. The resulting tea is totally smooth and malty, like a fine keemun. the cup is deep golden brown with a caramel nose. Complex, robust flavor that is in a class of its own.

About Zhi Tea View company

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6 Tasting Notes

77
5 tasting notes

Notes:
I love this tea! It’s roasty and complex w/ just enough tannins and body to let you know it is a black while maintaining its smooth character.

You get a nice caramel nose off the leaves and from the liqueur itself. But, it isn’t just caramel, it’s a complex roasted (not burnt) caramel. The tea starts malty and ends with a pleasant note which I can only liken to a sweet and sour sauce; but in reality that description fails.

You must use at least 1 tsp / 6 oz (a standard cup is 8 oz) or your tea will be watery. Some people may prefer 4-5 minute steeping times.

My only complaint is a light peppery taste I get from the tip of my tongue when drinking this tea. I don’t think it’s a bad thing – I have had good teas with this characteristic – but I tend to dislike this sensation in anything from tea to beer.

If you are ever in Austin be sure to visit the shop. The owner is super friendly and will gladly share a cup and conversation.

Method:

1. Heated 24 oz water in tea kettle until bubbling but not boiling
2. Temp checked w/ kitchen thermo: 192 F
3. Dropped 4 tsp leaf inside kettle and covered
4. Filled tea pot with warm water from sink
5. @3 min emptied tea pot of water and filled with tea (used mesh basket to catch leaves)

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 15 sec

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60
30 tasting notes

The description of this tea by Zhi Tea intrigued me enough that I was forced to order a sample. Forced! ‘Ancient Forest’ sounds so mysterious and mystical, doesn’t it? On top of that, this organic tea is from Vietnam; I can’t ever remember having a Vietnamese tea. The setup is for something truly exciting and magical.

Upon sticking my nose in the bag, the dry leaf reminds me right away of a keemun with a dark-forest-like scent and a hint of smoke. The wet leaf and liquor scents similarly don’t diverge much from a typical keemun. This rich amber brew tastes very average. It’s medium bodied, but unfortunately not all that flavorful. Some of the tastes that are typical with a keemun, seem a little washed out. I’ve brewed several small pots with differing tea to water ratios and have gotten the same results each time. The flavors are lacking. It doesn’t have much pop to it, and to be frank, is kind of a bore to drink. There is a slight caramel-note to it, but it’s slight. There is some astringency and the aftertaste leaves a peppery-note on the tip of the tongue. So much for the magic.

While this tea has a good story and comes from a unique locale, it is really just something middle-of-the-road. It’s drinkable, yet totally uninteresting and unmagical. And after the big build-up, I’m left feeling somewhat let-down.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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86
384 tasting notes

I try to evaluate teas on their own merits and I can say that I always enjoy this one. While it is not as strong as most of my morning selections, I appreciate its character – smooth, mellow, sweet, a little fruity. It’s always good for a resteep but I do use a little less water in the second brew to enhance the flavor of the cup.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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65
123 tasting notes

Well sigh. I was really looking forward to this tea. It does have a great story. But alas, the tea is barely above average. I think of it as an “almost” tea. It is almost Keemun. It is almost rich and full bodied. It is just not quite all there, even with the aroma. It is reminiscent of Keemun. I would recommend this tea to someone who likes aspects of a Keemun with less intensity. There is a caramel note. Overall this tea is ok, but it just doesn’t have much “presence”. I forsee this going to the boyfriend box (and i bought a 3.4 oz tin) or if someone wants to try it, I would be happy to send a sample in the US.

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42
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

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