Zen TeaEdit Company
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Recent 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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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
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.
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.
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.
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
Here’s Hoping TTB
Mmm, so good! After 3 minutes, the tea was a deep coffee brown and I was thinking I’d over-steeped and would need to add milk to offset the bitterness. But not so. This was a cup of smooth, full-bodied, malty deliciousness! I’ve been so impressed with most of the samples I’ve tried from Zen Tea. Definitely going to have to place an order one of these days!
Flavors: Baked Bread, Malt, Smooth
I wouldn’t call this a very chocolatey chai but it DOES have an interesting flavor to it. There is a relatively nice spiciness to it, a nice balance in flavor of the spices and the black tea has a nice depth to it while not being too astringent. The brew color is an amber brown. The base black tea here seems slightly deeper than Zen’s vanilla chai or coconut chai. I don’t see too many cocoa elements in the blend and didn’t see any of the mini meringues in my two teaspoons. Maybe it’s just my sample. The second steep has even more of a full flavor. I MUST use the suggested two teaspoons though… maybe even more. I like this one. I’m sipping a couple more chai blends before the temp hits 75 this week!
Steep #1 // 2 teaspoon for a full mug// 10 minutes after boiling // 4 minute steep
Steep #2 // 10 minutes after boiling // 6+ 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. This is sad because I like many of their blends.
I keep tripping over the box of teas I put aside when I doled them out for Sil. Yeah, yeah, I know it’s been a month, but the opportunity for revisiting them all sooner rather than later presented itself, so here we are.
I love this tea. I often carry it with me throughout the day. It’s a tea that when I don’t want to make tea decisions of what to drink never fails to please me: slightly chocolatey, slightly caramel, slightly sweet, malty and yet smooth, a not in your face kind of Chinese black—I was under the impression that this one that I have is from Yunnan, but their website claims the new one in stock is from Hunan— with each steep bringing different nuance. My favourite steep is the second and the third. The trick, I think, with this tea is to steep it with cooler water to bring out the scented notes. I don’t find it to be too finicky. Nonetheless, sometimes I get better results on different days.
Flavors: Baked Bread, Caramel, Chocolate, Earth, Malt
No notes yet. Add one?
I wasn’t the biggest fan of this personally, but I think it’s a decent enough hong cha. There’s a lot of maltiness and cocoa to the flavor, along with perhaps a touch of fruit. Towards the middle/end of the session, I started to pick up a bit of a caramel note as well. When I say I wasn’t a big fan of this tea, it doesn’t mean I don’t like it, just that it’s not really to my preference. It reminded me a bit of a “Golden Monkey” tea. I imagine that avid fans of dianhong would really appreciate this tea.
Flavors: Caramel, Cocoa, Malt, Sweet
GCTTB Round 6
God bless you, Tea Sommelier education!
Tonight I’m drinking/eating the best meal I’ve had literally all of 2017 – and I mean to be fair it’s only been twenty eight days but still…
So, I planned this whole thing out as I was going through the tea box for this first time; I saw a traditional black Darjeeling and I remembered the tea/cheese pairing exercise we did as part of the course. I’ve casually practiced this since doing it, but I haven’t really made a big thing out of it yet nor have I revisited cheese pairings with Darjeeling so I figured why not do both! After all, I did receive a Brie baker for Christmas that I hadn’t gotten to try out yet.
So to break it down, my tea was obviously this one but the meal I had was a baked brie topped with red pepper jelly (which was cooked along with the brie) spread over the most heavenly cranberry hazlenut crackers. I know that sounds like a lot of flavours going on but it was thought out, and all came together really wonderfully. The high fat content and butteryness of the brie eliminate the astringency in the mouthfeel of the Darjeeling which can sometimes be unpleasant, and at the same time the butter acts as a flavour carrier. This leaves the beautiful muscatel notes which Darjeeling is so prized for which are drawn out and exaggerated by the sweetness of the cranberry in the crackers.
So like I said, well thought out/planned out – and just orgasmic as well. I was literally moaning with nearly every bite. My only regret is that I didn’t have someone to share it with that would have properly appreciated it.
There’s a crappy quality picture of it in its full glory for you all to be jealous of – and of course it wouldn’t be complete without a song pairing for auditory stimulation as well so here was my selection:
And oh what a night it was!
GCTTB Round 6
Thanks to whomever added this one to the tea box! I currently stock a white Darjeeling from Avongrove which I’ve been enjoying, so I was curious to try out a black Darjeeling to see how they compared. I mean, I knew there would be differences because of the tea type but there were qualities I was curious about to see if they’d carry over.
What I can say is that as far as Darjeeling goes, I found this one to be rather smooth with only the slightest bit of characteristic Darjeeling astringency/bite. That’s kind of in line with what I’ve noticed from my white Avongrove Darjeeling; it’s rather gentle and mild overall. Otherwise, this was really floral which was lovely and then it had a bit of soft malt and just a hint of that traditional muscatel quality in the finish as it was cooling down. I definitely didn’t read the muscat while it was still really hot though.
Pleasant, easy to drink and if nothing else always a good learning experience.