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Recent Tasting Notes
I received this sample in the last Here’s Hoping Teabox, so thank you to tea-sipper for organizing and to all who contributed! This is apparently from ZenTea but not that ZenTea (the one that became “zentealife.com” and started selling teaware instead of tea… I’m fairly sure I’ve tried a tea of theirs before, long ago…) as this ZenTea (zenteaco.com) still has an active webpage and appears to be a mom-and-pop teashop out of Georgia.
Fair warning… I’m not a pu-erh person. Not sure why I decided to brew this today, other than the fact I have a lot of pu samples sitting around that aren’t getting drunk, and I keep thinking, “One day, I will get all the amazing tasting notes that I keep reading about in everyone else’s pu reviews instead of just dirt and swamp water.”
100ml shiboridashi | 5.5g | 205F | Rinse/10s/15s/20s/25s/30s/35s/40s
Threw the entire 5.5g sample in my 100ml shiboridashi. After the rinse, the leaf just… had that same marshy swampy smell I seem to always get from pu-erh. Here we go again. Am I broken, guys?
Same earthy/wet dirt/marshy sort of flavor I seem to always get from puerh. I’ve definitely had some that felt a little more abrasive in that flavor than this one, as this isn’t leaning as heavily in that marshy/vegetal realm that I usually get and instead is more like a damp, rank cave, which… is still not my favorite, but preferable to me between the two. It steeped for a long time, but the flavor notes never changed for me. Ah well. Will it ever happen for me? Dunno…
Flavors: Earth, Mineral, Musty, Vegetal, Wet Earth, Wet Moss, Wet Rocks
I am just starting to explore Pu-Erh teas and discovered these mini cakes while at my local ZenTea. On first steeping, the tea has a robust flavor and is as dark as a cup of coffee. The flavor is earthy and rich. Distinctive and not for everyone, but enjoyable. Also tried a second steeping and found that flavor slightly less earthy but still worth drinking! I will note I did NOT brew this in a gaiwan.
Flavors: Dirt, Wet Earth, Wood
There was a grassy first impression, most likely from the lemongrass. The spiciness of the ginger is not overbearing, giving a nice pleasantness. The aftertaste is a beautiful refreshing mint. It was nice feeling all that is part of the tea; the lemongrass, ginger and mint. I did try it out with a bit of sugar; it downs the grassy first taste and brings out more a milky mint taste.
Flavors: Ginger, Grass, Lemongrass, Milk, Mint
I found this tea quite interesting. The color was a lovely reddish brown. It had the smell of spices and cinnamon. The taste quite that spice flavor, but a little calmer than the aroma. Oddly, it gave me a numbness feeling to my mouth (I don’t tend to drink chai, mind you). I did put a little bit of sugar in it, and surprisingly gave it a milky flavor, which was quite pleasant, actually.
Flavors: Cinnamon, Milk, Spices, Spicy
I loved this tea from the first I tried it. It’s smoky, woodsy smell is just so distinct, giving you the idea of a warm fire. The taste is equally pine and oak taste, very full-body, smooth and turns slightly sweet in the end. The aftertaste lingers pleasantly for a while, reminding you of this beautiful elixir long after you finished drinking. The smell and taste reminded me of my mother country, Mexico, when food is cooked in charcoal and wood, very lovely~.
Flavors: Oak wood, Pine, Smoke, Smooth, Sweet, Wood
The flavor was extremely mild, in my opinion, but the earthy-floral aroma helped make up for that. I ordered it with some berry scones during one of my visits to Zen Tea. The scones definitely helped bolster the flavor without overpowering it with too much of a sweet taste.
Flavors: Floral, Green, Roasted
The cinnamon is very strong, and the rose adds a special kind of sweetness. The two work as a wonderful compliment to each other. There is a nice balance of different kinds of sweet. The apple is very subtle and provides a nice balance for the drink. The flavor of the green tea is somewhat lost, but I didn’t mind. I still recommend the drink.
Flavors: Apple, Cinnamon, Rosehips, Sweet
The bitterness of this tea is not very pronounced, and it took me several sips to find it. The strawberry flavor is subtle, too, and it offers a little sweetness. It could use more of that sweetness. I recommend this tea for those who want something different from the standard black tea.
Flavors: Bitter, Chocolate, Strawberry, Sweet
This is a solid green tea blend. My only complaint is the strawberry isn’t strong enough; the papaya flavor is very dominating on my tongue. I could still smell the strawberry. I would recommend this to any green tea or papaya lover.
I write here again because I really love this tea~. It has a beautiful full-bodied, earthy taste. There is the slight fermentation taste with rice accents. It is a great choice during the cold-weather, being a warm-nature tea. For people who are trying to cut down on coffee, it is a great start. I have been brewing this tea for many friends, and they have all enjoyed it~.
Flavors: Earth, Rice, Wood
I have just been introduced to Pu-erh 3 months ago, and it was shocking. A good shocking, to be more precise, because it has such wonderful aroma and taste. The color is such a beautiful deep red. The smell smooth and calming, you can smell the fermentation and woodsiness. The taste is equally smooth, not bitter, woodsy, musty, rice taste that transforms to sweetness. I do hold the pu-erh compacted more to my preference than loose leafed, but it is still very enjoyable and great to make multiple brews.
Flavors: Musty, Rice, Sweet, Wet Wood, Wood
It was quite a shocker to me, actually. Not at all in a bad way, but just in a way that I had not experienced before. I am quite used to green and black teas, so the nuances of this tea were very new to me. It had many flavors, including the hint of chocolate. To me (and m sister who tried it out with me) reminded us very much like wine, an alcoholic scent. It had some spicy hints, and then turned sweet. Not to bad, to recap.
Flavors: Bitter, Red Wine, Rooibos, Spicy, Sweet, White Wine
The smell was tart and sweet, the raspberry very present in the scent. The taste was first a bit bitter and tart, but then turn to a smooth sweetness, which was a nice relief from the first surprise. For someone who has a sweet-tooth, this would be good transition tea.
Flavors: Bitter, Raspberry, Smooth, Sweet, Tart
It had a beautiful nutty and tarty smell, nothing too overpowering. The taste was just as good, a bit smoky and woodsy, with the almond accenting very nicely. It was smooth, again nothing overpowering and left a nice sweet aftertaste. I will definitely have to drink it again.
Flavors: Almond, Nutty, Smoke, Tart, Wood
Genmaicha. I love it but there either something off with how I am brewing my tea or something wrong with me…. or maybe its this tea. I’m not getting that beautiful roasty flavor like I usually do. I found no puffed rice in mine either. Perhaps I will come back to this when my cold is completely gone and taste something new.
Having this as I type. I actually sat in Zen Tea (Shamble, Ga) today and had this and fell in love with it. Bought a couple ounces and am drinking it at home. Im new to pu’ehr and this is phenomenal to me. Caramel and butterscotch flavors come through really well! Very nice mouth feel with a buttery butterscotch finish! The smell is outrageous! I will forever have this in my stash!
Flavors: Almond, Butterscotch, Caramel
Huh. This is not what I expected, thought it might be that this tea has not aged well. I have no idea how old it is.
I’m getting a slight fruity flavour that’s kind of berryish, but not any really distinct fruits, and then a note that’s creamy and makes me think white chocolate. It’s interesting, but not great.
Flavors: Berry, Fruity, White Chocolate
This smells gorgeous though honestly I would say it was more creamy berry than pomegranate. Still I adore creamy berry and if anything I prefer it this way. It’s sweet and light but thick enough to linger pleasantly in my nostrils.
Once steeped it does gain a slight sour berry smell (though still dominantly creamy berry) and in a way it does smell like pomegranate. Flavour is a little sour with a dry, with a floral yet somewhat earthen notes among a sweet, and delicate berry flavour. Not creamy as the scent suggests but nice anyway. Perhaps still not pomegranate but I am truly loving the berry.
A re-steep reveals less sour notes and more berry. Perfect! Only issue now is the dryness as it’s not the best quality white tea base, but it’s easy enough to get past. My husband said it tastes like weak marzipan and in a strange way it does. So like a mild marzipan, sour berry, dry nut like tea. Perhaps not a favourite but certainly one I intend to try cold steeped :)
Flavors: Berry, Drying, Marzipan, Nuts