Zen Tea

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73
drank Vanilla Chai by Zen Tea
1596 tasting notes

This is a decent chai but nothing I haven’t had before. The base is smooth and the vanilla palpable, but I think I would have preferred if they were a little more heavy-handed on the spices. Cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves are the most predominant spices here, and in that order (at least to my palate), but it is still lacking something. I added some half and half which subsequently drowned out the vanilla.

One day, when I’m feeling ambitious enough, I’ll concoct my own chai blend loaded with spices galore. But for now, it’s still exciting exploring various companies’ renditions of chai.

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72

Good job not logging this tea when you actually drank it, Fjellrev. It’s all gone now too. From memory, I wasn’t overly impressed with this. The flavours were a little weak facing the strong rooibos base, but on the plus side, the vanilla was detectable, creamy, and dainty. The almond wasn’t a heavy almond extract kind of almond either, but more like roasted almonds. This had the potential of being great if the vanilla almond weren’t so overpowered by the dry, woodsy base.

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83
drank Taiwan Ruby by Zen Tea
198 tasting notes

Major thanks to mtchyg for this sample! He’s classing me up with these straight teas and I am always sending him bizarre picks. “This one has molten cherry and glitter-lava and the giggles of a monkey mixed with a green base.”

This tea was the first I tried, and I’m onto the third cup before actually getting around to tapping out a review. The first cup was far and away my best cup. I was sipping it while making brunch for house guests and I kept going “(sip) this is niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice (sip) (cook).” I think I oversteeped and understeeped 2 and 3 respectively, but here’s what I’ve found to be the case!

This is a semi-sweet, earthy, honey-nectar flavor. The dirt that bees carry into their mudrooms after a long day swirling among flowers.

HONEY,” the bee yells, “I’m home! What’s the BUZZ around here?”

The nectar sweetness is gentle, in the background, unaggressive. But it’s still there. There’s also a little bit of a tang, like the striking of a bell, that’s maybe a little bit raisin-y. A thing that I totally like.

I would be remiss, before pulling out of this quick post, without making note of one last thing: the leaves. They are SO LONG. OH MY GOSH. So much DRAMA. They’re the tea equivalent of the Penguin’s long cigarette lighter and umbrella collection.

Flavors: Earth, Honey, Nectar, Raisins

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88

Zen has brought us quite a tasty Assam. Malty, not all that astringent, at least to my tastes, and a hint of caramel-like sweetness. I added some whole milk and it brought out the sweetness even more. It’s like I’m drinking tea with cream and sugar yet I didn’t add any sugar to this.

It was a good thing that I’ve run out of coffee to brew in the morning because it only pushed me to try this. It’s going really well with the new Pure Protein Mocha Brownie bars.

Oh look at that, according to Steepster, this is the 800th tea I’ve rated on here. I know I’ve tried even more than that, but that’s still cool.

teepland

Sounds good—I will have to add this to my list of teas to try!

Fjellrev

Totally worth checking out. :)

Arby

Congrats on 800!

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81
drank Coconut green by Zen Tea
219 tasting notes

It is hard for me to get green tea (especially flavored green tea) to come out right using my gaiwan. But I continue to try. For this tea, I’m glad I did.

This comes out surprisingly smooth with no trace of bitterness. The coconut flavor is present and creamy. I am enjoying this after a perfect spring trail walk. Life is good, friends. Drink it up.

Flavors: Coconut, Creamy

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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90

This tea smells amazing. Just like blackberries.

Hot, I kind of lose the blackberries, which take a backseat to the tea itself. I get the tang, but not the taste. I do get a nice greeny spinach finish from the sage.

So, I cold brewed this overnight and I found my blackberries! They’re fruity, and juicy and tangy and right there! The spinach splash from the sage becomes more prominent too, as the tea itself just seems to bind all the flavors together smoothly without making itself known as much.

I like this tea both ways for sure, but I think iced edges out hot just because that’s where the blackberry flavor is!

Flavors: Blackberry, Creamy, Earl Grey

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 7 OZ / 200 ML

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85
drank Phoenix Pearl by Zen Tea
219 tasting notes

Yeah, I can see why these are rated so highly. They are delicious. Malty, slightly sweet, slightly citrus-y and bright, very smooth. I’m happy that I discovered Zen tea before they stopped selling actual tea but also sad that I discovered them this late in the game. Everything I have tried so far has been really top notch.

Flavors: Citrusy, Malt, Sweet

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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75
drank Chocolate Chai by Zen Tea
1596 tasting notes

Sipdown already. I actually rather enjoyed this for what it was. It could potentially satisfy chocolate cravings, but not so much chai cravings.

Evol Ving Ness

Yeah, that would work for me. I have an abundance of chai teas I like, but few chocolate ones for when the craving hits.

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75
drank Chocolate Chai by Zen Tea
1596 tasting notes

I went into this not expecting much because I haven’t had the best of luck with their chai blends in the past, but this is better than expected. Not nearly as spicy as I would like, but it’s like nibbling on some chocolate cake with a light spiced drizzle on top. In terms of spices, I taste mostly super muted cinnamon and cardamom, but the licorice is overpowering the spices a little bit. The chocolate is realistic but not as prominent either, more like milk chocolate than anything else.

Not repurchase-worthy but it’ll be easy to sip down my sample.

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72
drank Taiwan Ruby by Zen Tea
219 tasting notes

This is a nice daily tea. Nothing too noticeable that stands out. It is very smooth and drinkable. If you are at all familiar with Taiwanese black tea, you’ll know what I’m talking about when I say that it is evident in the flavor profile that it is in fact a Taiwanese black.

The main flavor in this style of tea that tends to stick out at me is almost a greener umami flavor. More than you’d expect in a black tea. And while this tea has those flavors, they are subdued. Which is fine by me.

Overall, glad I bought some tea from Zen during their sale.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 6 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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75
drank Chocolate Mint Rooibos by Zen Tea
495 tasting notes

Not really getting any chocolate flavor out of this one. But on the plus side, it has real mint in it instead of just mint flavoring!

Flavors: Mint

Preparation
Boiling 6 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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58
drank Coconut Chai by Zen Tea
1596 tasting notes

Sorry, Zen, but I had to chug the remaining dry leaf out despite having around two cups worth because it just wasn’t worth it. The notes were all over the place and the coconut was on the soapy side.

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58
drank Coconut Chai by Zen Tea
1596 tasting notes

I don’t remember the last time I had so many teas in my cupboard. 72! That is crazy talk. I’m opting for this tonight because the weather is brutal and sucky in my neck of the woods. It’s cold, damp, and half rainy/half snowy.

Despite loving coconut and spices, I went into this chai not expecting much. My gut told me that the coconut was going to be soapy and the spices mild due to the licorice root. I know, I’m so optimistic, right? But sadly, I was right. The coconut is soapy, the licorice is drowning out the majority of the spices. To be fair, I’ve had much soapier coconut and more cloying licorice root. The ginger is more prominent than the cinnamon, and I can’t taste any cardamom, sadly. With half and half, the astringency of the base is toned down a little bit.

So glad they have 10g options. Is it sad that I’m not even sure if I can bring myself to finish it?

Oh wait, weird, a few minutes after I finished my cup, I’m picking up on the cardamom. It reminds me of the kheer I had earlier this week, especially blended with the coconut and cream.

If the coconut were fresher and the spices a little more balanced, this could have been pretty good.

CrowKettle

There’s no shame in throwing the soapy coconut out. When I first started drinking tea I never thought coconut would be such a finicky ingredient. XD

Fjellrev

You’re right, why torture yourself?

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70

Here’s Hoping TTB

This is a very fresh-tasting green oolong. Nothing terribly special or memorable, but I definitely enjoyed it!

Flavors: Green, Smooth

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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80
drank Japanese Treasures by Zen Tea
495 tasting notes

Here’s Hoping TTB

This tea wasn’t what I was expecting at all based on the description, but I really liked it! It has a strong strawberry flavor and a smooth, slightly sweet green tea base. Hanging onto another serving of this so I can try it iced this summer!

Flavors: Strawberry

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 2 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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80
drank Sweet Coconut Island by Zen Tea
495 tasting notes

Here’s Hoping TTB

This is yummy! Sweet and creamy with lots of pina colada flavor. Sad they sold out of it before I got to snag some in their clearance sale.

Flavors: Coconut, Creamy, Pineapple

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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89
drank Jin Xuan by Zen Tea
603 tasting notes

This seems a little more mineraly than the average milk oolong, probably because it’s winter harvest. Still, great flavor and beautiful leaves. I got a hundred grams and I’m already wondering why I didn’t order more, which is what I wonder literally every time I buy Jin Xuan. You really cannot have too much of it.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C 3 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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94

I just received this with my small Zen order. I had to stock up on a few favorites. Tightly bundled green tea with lovely fresh jasmine scent. Very thirst quenching! A summer staple. There is also some sort of creamy smooth element to both steeps that I don’t usually find in green tea. The second steep was a little astringent. I don’t think I needed to use a teaspoon and half… one teaspoon or one and a quarter would be plenty for this tightly bundled tea. A great green tea with strong jasmine. I’m very happy with this one!
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for a full mug// 30 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // 25 minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Zentealife.com’s sale is still going!

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I ordered probably tooo much tea when browsing their clearance, couple that with all the spending I’ve been doing at DavidsTea, I need a tea spending break.

This tea though! I made it iced and it’s like sweet but unsweeted coconut juice! Recently I tried Coco Colada and really disliked it because it tasted like coconut water, which can sometimes have that strange slightly sour potassium? taste. This is what I was looking for when I tried that tea! There’s not much else to say about it though? It’s really yummy and refreshing, but it’s also at first taste pretty one dimensional. I’m pretty tired though, so maybe I’ll rewrite this review later

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82
drank Taiwan Ruby by Zen Tea
603 tasting notes

Sipdown for this too. It took me awhile to notice the instructions on the bag that said steep this at 180 for God’s sake, so I made several cups with boiling water. And it was good that way, but 180 was DEFINITELY better. Smoother, mellower, and more balanced. This was a good tea, but not exactly a must have. Nice but not distinctive. If Zen Tea ever starts actually selling tea again, I might grab a bag, but I am not mourning over it like I am mourning their Coconut Oolong, because how could they just stab us in the heart like that? The world NEEDS their Coconut Oolong.

Preparation
180 °F / 82 °C

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82
drank Taiwan Ruby by Zen Tea
603 tasting notes

I was terribly sad to hear Zen Tea isn’t going to sell any more tea this year once their supply runs out, especially since my all-time favorite, Coconut Oolong, is already out of stock. The prices are so good right now, though, that I snapped up a couple of things from them that I’ve never tried before, including this Taiwan Ruby. Typically unflavored black teas are not my favorite, but whenever I have visitors I find that is what they ask to drink, so I try to keep an eye out for nice ones.

This one is very smooth and has a pleasant maltiness. I think I messed up the directions, because I see on the website they recommend using 2 heaping tsp., but I just used 1 tsp. It was still flavorful, but it might be better if it was a little stronger.

Preparation
1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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65
drank Blueberry cream by Zen Tea
2314 tasting notes

Hopefully this will not be the last review I ever get to write for a Zen tea? Please don’t deprive me of my favorites forever, Zen! This is a decent enough no-caff option. Blueberry, apples, hibiscus, rosehips. There are little leaves that look like blackberry leaves that aren’t listed in the ingredients list, so that is questionable. Possibly using 1 3/4 teaspoons is the problem, but this one is mostly hibiscus which I don’t love. Definite blueberry flavor, but that takes a backseat to the hibiscus/rosehips. I don’t get the ‘cream’ flavor from the name, especially with the hibiscus involved, but there is a slight sweetness. I would LOVE this blend if there wasn’t hibiscus included.
Steep #1 // 1 3/4 teaspoons for a full mug// few minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep

I’m looking at Zen’s website to post this review and it looks like they took MANY teas off the sold out list? Maybe it’s a mistake though. So it’s worth another look if you were thinking of buying some teas.

Evol Ving Ness

I like this tea precisely BECAUSE it contains hibiscus.

tea-sipper

You must be the one person who likes hibiscus then. :D I kid.

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90
drank Coconut Oolong by Zen Tea
495 tasting notes

Here’s Hoping TTB

So nice! Smooth, creamy coconut goodness.

Flavors: Coconut, Creamy, Smooth

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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80

Another from Zen… a no caffeine option FULL of flavor! Rooibos, almonds, calendula petals and plenty of flavor. It tastes like marzipan (almonds, cherry) with under notes of maybe not the most genuine of vanilla flavors, but it isn’t the worst vanilla flavor I’ve sipped either. The rooibos is a great quality and adds lovely flavor as well to that deep red cup. I always think that calendula petals add sweetness too… I wish I could try a brew of ONLY calendula petals to try out my theory. A tasty second steep too. This is a great blend I haven’t seen much of anywhere else. I love the elements that fit together for this one!
Steep #1 // 1 1/2 teaspoons for a full mug//few minutes after boiling // 3 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 4 minute steep

Zentealife.com is having a clearance on their teas! Use code ‘CLEARANCE’ for 50%-80% off the teas. I guess they won’t be selling teas for a while and are focusing on their teaware. Many teas are sold out but some of my faves are still available. I recc Sweet Tropical Island, Chocolate Mint & Phoenix Pearls but almost everything is delicious!

Flavors: Marzipan, Vanilla

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