Zealong available from KiwiImporter.com

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Recent Tasting Notes


I stashed two of these pyramid bags from a year back for a special Friday at work. I had one last winter while student teaching to get me through a tough day, and the other today to celebrate the creeping of the cold. I am currently substitute teaching Algebra 2 for a wonderful teacher at Port Huron Northern and am greatly enjoying the students that I get to spend some time with for her maternity leave. An oil leak was prevented at the school, but the additive odor lingered in the building, so the building was ventilated for 30 minutes with everyone outside. The cold permeated into the building making the thermostats register at 62 Degrees Fahrenheit, this was a great warm comfort at lunch.

This blend is not too atypical of say a Lady Grey, but it is in how the ingredients were blended. The rose blossoms occupied the majority of the back and there were less black tea leaves than the usual blend, but since they were Zealong leaves styled like Tawainese Shan Cha blacks, they were strong enough to color the tea and provide a viscous body. Now, I’ve had the base on its own before, and it is a naturally fruity tea with a bit of a floral kick amidst the usual cocoa and malt notes, so I wanted to see how it would do as a mega floral earl grey. The rose, lemon myrtle, bergamot, and tea blended very smoothly, and the lavender and rose where compliments and hints. I would not have told you that I tasted mint the first time I had it, but after knowing about it, it is in the very finish of the tea making it more refreshing than tannic.

This tea can become a little bitter from overbrewing, but it is otherwise very steady and can handle long steeps with a high water volume. It does take sugar and or cream and sugar extremely well, but it is all the more tranquil on its own and better brewed at least 3 times over. My only criticism: it’s too fricikin’ expensive.

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I got this as a sample single bag from the Kiwi Importer. I figured this was a green tea blend, but a closer look at the ingredients includes the Zealong Aromatic Oolong. That’s a relief. Although the Zealong Greens are very good and fruity, the kawakawa clashes with the green florals in my opinion. Zealong Aromatic was also my favorite of the Zealongs because it resembles a roasted Shan Lin Xi.

I hesitated at first because the other greener blends of the botanicals were too bitter to drink straight. Loading so many ingredients with oolong also did not seem like a good idea, but the night was late for gong fu focus, so a lazy western cup was the way to go. Dryleaf was nice, and the 3 minute steep matched the smell. Lemongrass dominated the flavor, and the initial sip was zesty followed by a midtone from the ginger. The sweetness rose and warmed up through a light viscuous texture and transitioned into the tulsi, kawakawa, and the slight tartness of the oolong. The oolong was in the background and provided the texture. It already had notes akin to lemongrass as a straight tea, so the blend was natural, but the other ingredients subdued it. There was a hint of the jasmine in the first brew. It was barely noticeable. Lacking jasmine could be good or bad depending on the drinker, and it was kinda welcomed for me despite my floral love. This cup is floral; however, it is more of a cleansing tea like the seller claims.

The rebrews were not bad. The second at five minutes was still dominated by lemongrass, a little bit of ginger, tulsi, and a tad bit more oolong. The final grandpa rebrew was mostly ginger, tulsi, and lemongrass.

I would not pay Zealong’s exorbitant price for it, but I would recommend it personally over the other greener blends if you’re looking for lemongrass teas. Of course I am biased because of the oolong, but it does stand against the other ingredients. The other two botanicals that I’d recommend are the black tea blends like the Sweet Amber and the Zealong Grey if you can get them cheaper on Amazon or Kiwi Importer. I liked them a little bit more, but did enjoy the fresh qualities of this one.

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One thing I liked about this variation of oolong is its unique taste that heavily reminded me of vanilla and coconut water — something I’ve never tasted in a green oolong before. Another thing I liked about this oolong is the number of steeps I was able to get out of it. I think that Zealong was a fun experience, mainly because I haven’t tried too many other oolong teas that were grown outside of Taiwan or China.

You can read my full review here…


Flavors: Autumn Leaf Pile, Coconut, Grass, Sweet, Vanilla, Vegetal

4 g 3 OZ / 90 ML

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