Zealong Tea Estate

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Recent Tasting Notes

85

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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72

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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83

The tea liquid has a beautiful, rich yet bright amber color, clear and transparent. The aroma has potent scents of sweet wood (sassafras), dark honey, and stewed stone fruits. The body is surprisingly full, with a honey-like, very smooth texture. The liquid seems to coat the tongue and throat like honey does. There is no bitterness or astringency. The taste continues the notes of sweet wood (sassafras), dark honey, and stewed stone fruits. The sweet wood and honey also carries over to the aftertaste, and there is even a light, sweetly floral essence that can felt on the breath (at least in the first infusion).

See the full review at https://teajourneyman.wordpress.com/

Flavors: Honey, Stewed Fruits, Stonefruits, Wood

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 4 g 7 OZ / 210 ML

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85

The Aromatic Oolong Tea from Zealong Tea Estate beautifully carried the very high quality torch that began with the review yesterday of the Organic Green Tea. The use of the descriptive term “Aromatic” in the product name is perfectly appropriate for this tea. From the dry leaves to the nectar to the infused leaves, the aroma is very impressive and fresh. Despite the brief, high temperature roast applied to the leaves, I found the floral qualities to be the most pronounced, with lighter notes of tart cherry. The lingering, highly floral aftertaste was also very impressive. The similarities are definitely there between this product and good quality Taiwanese oolongs, notably a light roast Dong Ding style. Considering that the cost of this product is in line with Taiwanese oolongs, I definitely suggest giving this Aromatic Oolong Tea from Zealong Tea Estate a try the next time you place an order. Try something exotic!

Read the full review of this tea at https://teajourneyman.wordpress.com/

Flavors: Cherry, Gardenias, Grain, Roasted

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 0 sec 4 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

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90

The Organic Green Tea from Zealong Tea Estate screams and boasts of remarkable freshness. The appearance of the infused leaves looks as if they are fresh off the bush. The appearance of the tea liquid is beautiful, and visually uplifting. You can see the cleanliness and pureness of the bushes in the tea liquid, in that it is very clear and bright. The light jade green color is also quite memorable. The fresh aroma and taste of chestnuts, chrysanthemum flowers, and vegetal grassiness is truly revitalizing. The texture of the tea liquid is also remarkable, with a velvety character that rivals some of the best teas I have ever reviewed. In fact, the texture is probably the first thing that really struck me when tasting the tea. Finally, and maybe I am just imagining things, but the very light touch of passionfruit in the aroma and taste added another subtle dimension to an already impressive product. This Organic Green Tea needs to go on your list of teas to try as soon as possible, especially if you enjoy a good Kamairicha Japanese green tea.

Flavors: Chestnut, Flowers, Freshly Cut Grass

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec 4 g 8 OZ / 250 ML

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100

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…

https://www.theoolongdrunk.com/single-post/2018/02/12/Zealong—-Oolong-from-New-Zealand

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

Preparation
4 g 3 OZ / 90 ML

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95

Toured the Zealong tea estate in New Zealand in Nov 2016 and bought 50 grams of this tea afterward. It’s priced high ($31 for 50 grams) but I believe the cost of their operation is quite $$$. They are the only tea estate in NZ and when it gets to freezing temps, they fly a helicopter over the fields to push warmer air down and protect the tea for as long as it takes until the temperature comes up. Tea does not grow naturally in NZ obviously because of the freezing temps.

Chestnut aroma. Creamy. Floral and sweet chestnut flavors. Delicious. Steeps 4-5 times for me gong fu style.

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80

This is a delicious sweet red tea. It makes an amazing cold brew, but is also fabulous hot.
Like all Zealong tea, it is a little overpriced for what it is. It IS however a great quality organic tea and I’m happy to buy it to support the farm as I’m from NZ.

It is sweet with fruit and berry notes. Mildly sour, no bitterness,and no astringency. Very (very) smooth and sweet.

My main critique is that it is very thin in the mouth. It has a reasonable, but not fantastic hui gan. Basically it has a great upfront flavor but not too much going on under the hood.

I enjoy it, but at $33NZD for 50g, i’d rather buy a reasonable Chinese red.

Flavors: Berries, Fruity, Sour, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 1 min, 0 sec 10 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

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100

Pure and smooth and strong. Lovely.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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90

Zealong dark oolong from Waikato, New Zealand is a world-class tea.
This “dark” style is soft and gentle, yet complex. It has a roasted, earthy flavour with malt, caramel, honey notes. So smooth with a smoked straw, yet sweet lingering after-taste. Expect to get around 4 steeps (or more!). A 50g pack will yield approx. 80 cups.
Pure New Zealand + Kiwi ingenuity / determination = a 6 star oolong!

Flavors: Caramel, Earth, Fruity, Honey, Malt

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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90

My very first and favourite wulong. Magnificent!
I bought this tea a while ago, as my first foray into good quality teas. Every tea I’ve bought since hasn’t compared to it.
Floral, fruity and sweet, with a beautiful golden liquor and an intoxicating aroma.
And it’s grown right here in New Zealand!
The dry leaves are a deep green, tightly coiled into little bundles of goodness. At first it looks like a lot of stem matter is included, but upon steeping, the leaves unfurl to a phenomenal size. And they’re beautiful – hardly any bruising, tearing or dust.
The flavour peaks around the third steep, but it doesn’t by any means drop off after this – the tea is of such a quality that it can be steeped up to eight times. (Or more if, like me, you use a (very) heaped teaspoon).
The first few steeps (after an initial rinsing, of course) are best at 30ish seconds (this tea is strong!), increasing bit by bit until they’re about 2-2.5 minutes towards the end of its life.
I didn’t realise how good this tea was when I got it. All the teas I’ve had since then (2008 jade Tieguanyin, Taiwan high mountain wulong…), while nice, just don’t stand up to it.
It’s now my “special occasion” tea – I dread the day that I run out!
Time for me to stop rambling and go to bed.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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97

Oh my gosh, I didn’t have the Aromatic when I first ordered Zealong, and now I’m so sad I didn’t. I’ve been missing out!

I feel the Aromatic is more on the Pure side than the Dark side, and it has a floral fragrance and taste. Like a jasmine, which is of course my favorite, but paired with this oolong’s natural sweetness, it’s a whole new dimension of floral tea for me!

I’ve been drinking this one for two days now, and it puts a smile on my face with every inhale and every sip!

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92

So after about 7 infusions, I think that this year’s tea is not as strong as the 2009 (?) tea. Although it could be because the ’09 tea was my first, then everything has to compare to that, lending to somewhat of a bias. Very little compares to the first time! :-)

I think the ‘11 tea doesn’t taste as “roasty” as the ‘09 tea. BUT, having said that, it does have a character all its own. Buttery smooth, roasty vegetable flavor. Cold, the grassy notes come out more, warm is just a nice cuppa to…well, cup. Welcoming scent, you know you’re in for a treat! It still has that layered personality that I know Zealong to have, it’s like a cousin to the ’09 leaves. Same family, some similar characteristics, but still a stand alone individual.

Long story short, IT’S GOOD.

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