Zest Tea

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86

Sipdown (650)!

Thanks for the share VariaTEA – I’ve had the EG from Zest several times, but not this one. If I’m being honest, this is the one that I’ve always been more fascinated by anyway; I love pomegranate tea, and I feel like the pairing of that and mint could be quite nice.

It actually really was too; definitely a bright and sweet pomegranate note that at times felt a little red currant-ish too, followed by a light and cooling mint finish and just a little bit of grassyness. Light to medium bodied overall, and very well balanced. That initial brightness of flavour/fruit is just really interesting too, and the transition into the rest of the profile just feels so natural. Reminds me of several blends, such as Green Seduction (another pom green tea I like) or even Tiesta’s Mojito Turndown or DT’s Raspberry Mojito.

I dare say I like this better than any of the others I’ve mentioned, though.

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72

Maybe it’s just me, but I’m really not getting pomegranate or lime at all here. It just tastes like a minty green to me. And the mint is lingering a long long time in my mouth after each sip. Perhaps I should have steeped it for a shorter time.

This was a sample that came with my purchase of some Blue Lady from Zest a month ago or so. I don’t think I’d purchase any.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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70
drank Earl Grey Black by Zest Tea
717 tasting notes

Third tea from my May Sips By box. Second Zest Tea I’ve tried (and I liked the first one so much I went out and bought more of it as looseleaf).

That said, I’m very picky about my earl greys. I have very high standards for them and most earl greys just do not stack up. This earl grey is….okay. It’s fairly smooth and definitely quite bergamot-y but there’s a touch of extra bitterness that I think is the extra-caffeine tea extract ingredient. It’s not terrible but if I need the extra caffeine, this wouldn’t be what I’d go for, I’d go for a matcha latte or Zest Tea’s Blue Lady offering, which is much better.

That said, if you are a big EG fan, you might want to take a sample for a spin and see if you like it. It certainly does have a HIGH amount of caffeine.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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82
drank Blue Lady Black by Zest Tea
717 tasting notes

I liked this so much from my sipsby box that I went out and bought some in loose-leaf form. This first attempt has served me a little less well since I think I overleafed this round and it’s a touch bitter. I can definitely taste the extra caffeine in here this time. I’ll try a second steep of this to see if that calms it down a bit. I also don’t think my scoops had much hibiscus at all since the brewed tea isn’t even slightly red.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 12 OZ / 354 ML

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82
drank Blue Lady Black by Zest Tea
717 tasting notes

I got this in my first Sips By box that came in April. I was pleasantly surprised by the contents and thought I’d try this one first.

This is a very pleasant tea and doesn’t taste like CAFFEINE!!!! at all, which is nice. The hibiscus is nice and subdued. I actually didn’t see any hibiscus in the dry tea bag at all when I looked. The flavour is nice and fruity and I like how the black tea doesn’t disappear under that. This is a nice little pick me up and I’ll definitely enjoy the rest of the bags sent to me.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Sil

interesting :)

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blech. Not a fan. Too much mint, not enough pomegranate and overall not a blend that is interesting to me :) Others might find this to be a tasty one though, so no rating it.

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77

The dry leaf smelled strongly of pomegranate, so sharp and almost artificial that it reminded me of those emergen-c vitamin c packets. Brewed, this tea is much tastier. The mint and green tea are the driving force in the brewed taste. There is only a little bit of pomegranate and citrus in the aftertaste to distinguish this tea from a typical Moroccan mint/green tea blend. I’m in cold weather today, so I’m drinking it hot, but I think this tea would be well-suited for a summer iced tea. Pretty good!

Flavors: Citrus, Fruity, Green, Mint, Peppermint, Sour, Tart

Preparation
170 °F / 76 °C 1 min, 30 sec

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76
drank Earl Grey Black by Zest Tea
6505 tasting notes

Sipdown (642)!

Another passed along by VariaTEA – I’ve had this one before from a Sipsby box, so it seemed like an easy sipdown for me to knock out. It was nice; I just made a teacup of it to sip on while making supper. Smooth with strong bergamot notes; something pretty mindless and unobtrusive.

I don’t really have any new thoughts about it from last time I had it though.

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76
drank Earl Grey Black by Zest Tea
6505 tasting notes

Sipdown (532)!

I’m super, super sick right now so I haven’t been doing much in the way of tea drinking. I know that seems backwards; most people drink more tea when they’re sick but for me it’s like I just shut down and lose all will to brew anything up. I also feel kind of guilty wasting tea on a butchered palate…

This was one that I felt fine finishing off while sick though – I added in a little bit of honey for my throat, and was all good to go. It’s always kind of just tasting like a normal EG so I’m not missing out on anything by finishing it off, and it was a sachet so it was super minimal effort required for me to make it. Plus, extra caffeine can’t be a bad thing when you have zero energy/drive.

Technically it’s my day off today, and tomorrow as well – I still ended up having to go into work today though despite feeling like a literal pile of human shit. My manager was involved in a car accident this afternoon (he’s fine!) and couldn’t make it in for his shift and since we’re a three person management team and the third person had already worked this morning as the opener, someone had to close the store. So not a very restful day all in all.

You should have heard me by the end of the night; I’m still croaking worse than a chain smoking grandmother! Think Patty & Selma from The Simpsons, time like three…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2hkPVY5gjg

mrmopar

Hope you feel better soon!

Evol Ving Ness

Feel better soon, Ms. Strange!

teepland

I love Patty & Selma — with Mrs. Krabappel, they are my favorite characters on The Simpsons! Hope you’re feeling better soon!

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76
drank Earl Grey Black by Zest Tea
6505 tasting notes

With milk, from a few days ago.

I’m still feeling pretty neutral towards this one; I mean it’s simple Earl Grey. No frills. Still can’t decided if the ‘extra caffeine’ in this one is really a thing? I just don’t feel a noticeable bump in energy after drinking this one; and I can’t be sure what I do feel is anything more than just placebo? Flavour wise this was decent though; brisk and full bodied and especially citrus note heavy.

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76
drank Earl Grey Black by Zest Tea
6505 tasting notes

From my third Sipsby subscription box.

I said I was going to try out the service for three months, and I’m glad I stuck with that since I do think it helped me explore some companies I wouldn’t have looked at otherwise. I also think, flavour wise, they did a pretty good job of matching to my personal tastes. However, this month two of the four teas I received were bagged/sachet teas and that was very disappointing to me as I had VERY FEW things completely ruled off as things I didn’t want to receive (green tea, chai, bagged tea) and this definitely went against that…

There was also some stuff completely unrelated to the box itself and more some tea friends who had very, very negative customer service interactions with the company and I can’t in good consciousness continue to financially support a company that were treat such close friends of mine so disrespectfully. So, this will almost certainly be my last box.

Actual Review of the Tea Itself Starts Here:

Ok, so I’m not the biggest Earl Grey fan, but putting that and the fact this is bagged/sachet tea aside I do think this seems like a VERY interesting company. I personally cannot stand coffee, and there are certainly times I wish that more teas packed the same caffeine punch as a cup of coffee so the fact that this company solely sells teas that are equal to or greater than a cup of coffee really, really intrigues me.

I drank this one today early in the morning as my first tea of the day – and trust me I was definitely both emotionally and physically exhausted still. The tea itself tasted fine; definitely a pretty typical Earl Grey flavour though maybe a little heavier on the bergamot? It was quite brisk/full bodied and the black base itself had a nice, bright citrus quality to it on top of the added bergamot oils. Like I said earlier, I’m generally not a big EG person but I actually really liked this one. A tiny hit of vanilla agave would probably do it wonders, though.

As for the caffeine aspect? I did notice that an hour or so later I was considerably less physically tired as I had been earlier. Still pretty out of it emotionally (work is so stressful right now), but one out of two isn’t bad. I don’t know how much of my feeling so much more alert/awake was placebo, but regardless I’m not complaining if it helps me feel like I have my shit all the more put together.

teepland

I’m curious how the company could sell tea which is higher in caffeine than how it appears naturally. Was it an additive to the tea…?

Roswell Strange

This is the answer they give to that question on their FAQ: We have developed an innovative proprietary blending method that enhances the caffeination levels. The blending is similar to traditional tea blending methods, but with flavoring that increases caffeination levels.

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60

I cold brewed my teabag of this for over 24 hours. What I get is a very bright lemon mint flavor with a sweeter undertone from the pomegranate. It is not bad but also not for me.

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60

This was rather mildly flavored. So mild, in fact, that I don’t really even remember it if I am being honest. That is the downfall of time passing between the writing of the posts and the posting of them. Check out my full review here: http://sororiteasisters.com/2017/08/26/pomegranate-mojito-green-from-zest-tea/

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93
drank Earl Grey Black by Zest Tea
2148 tasting notes

These teas from Zest Tea wake me up like nobody’s business, which is huge since I work nights and as I’ve mentioned often enough, I am not a morning person. I woke up bright an early (for me) at 8:30am, drank a cup of this tea and even though I’m still sick and only had 4 hours of sleep, I feel like I could move a mountain. I probably won’t, instead I’ll channel this extra energy into cleaning the living room (which currently looks like a bomb went off in Santa’s shop.)

Housekeeping have never been my strongpoint, so it’s a good thing I became a writer instead.

Now lets talk about flavor. In addition to packing a caffeinated punch this tea has a bold flavor full of malt and bergamot—it’s a great combination. There is a twinge of astringency and the tea does leave you with a little cottonmouth, so that’s something to keep in mind. But, if you’re looking for a strong flavored tea to get you going this is it my friends. I can’t wait to see how well it works when I’m battling jet lag this summer.

You can read the full review on my blog:
http://www.notstarvingyet.com/index/2016/1/5/tuesday-tea-earl-grey-zest-tea

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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93
drank Earl Grey Black by Zest Tea
2148 tasting notes

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75

With the holiday season about to start I thought that this would be the perfect time to share this tea. We could all use a little boost this time of year and these bags pack a real caffeine-fueled punch. They contain a whopping 140mg of caffeine per bag, so if you’re sensitive to caffeine you may want to proceed with caution. I found that consuming this tea on an empty stomach left me just as jittery as a cup of coffee, but the effects weren’t as noticeable if I had eaten recently. I wish I had discovered these last month during October Unprocessed, they might have kept me from falling off the wagon after the first week of the challenge when I tried to give up my weekly coffee at Starbucks.

As for the flavor, it wasn’t quite what I was expecting. The dominant flavors are peppermint and lime, and I’ll be honest, I was looking for more flavor from the pomegranate—I could hardly taste it. Pomegranate lovers everywhere may find this disappointing, but for you peppermint lovers out there I think you’ll really enjoy this tea, especially if you’re as horribly addicted to caffeine as I am.

You can read the full review on my blog:
http://www.notstarvingyet.com/index/2015/11/3/tuesday-tea-pomegranate-mojito-green-high-caffeine-tea-zest-tea

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 30 sec
keychange

Good to see you posting again!

Short Sorceress

My mom hasn’t been in the best health the past few months so I’ve been needed elsewhere. I hope to get back to posting regularly, I’ve really missed it.

keychange

No stranger to parents who are sick—I’m so sorry you’ve been going through this. We’re always here when you’re up to being here!

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88
drank Earl Grey Black by Zest Tea
4847 tasting notes

Backlog:

I’ve tried all four of the teas offered from Zest Tea and I enjoyed each and every one of them. This one was my favorite! Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/07/01/earl-grey-black-tea-from-zest-tea/

It’s a really good Earl Grey. A strong, delightful bergamot aroma. The flavor is a bit softer than the aroma suggests, but that’s OK. I’d rather the flavor be a bit softer than to be overdone. (An overdone bergamot just ends up tasting like soap or cologne.)

The black tea base is a Nilgiri and it’s rich, malty and robust. Smooth! A delightful base for the bergamot. I like the way the notes of malt mingle with the bergamot notes. It’s really quite a treat.

And with the “high octane” extra caffeine … this one will give you that swift kick in the pants that you need to get going!

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75

Backlog:

I tried all four of the teas that Zest Tea offers, and of the four, this one was my least favorite, but I still enjoyed it! It did require a little experimentation on my part to find just the right parameters to steep it, but it was worth the effort.

I recommend a low temperature for this – I’d go with 170° – 175°F and a steep time of 2 1/2 minutes. These parameters worked best for me to get a very flavorful cup without the flavors tasting off. I found that when the temperature went higher than 175°F the flavor started tasting a little funky. It’s better to go low and a little slower with this one.

But as I said, the extra efforts pay off because this is really a tasty cup. I get flavors of pomegranate, lime and peppermint along with a fresh, light flavor of green tea. The peppermint is strongest and notes of lime weave their way in and out of the sip. I found the pomegranate a little more difficult to pin down, but after a few sips, the pomegranate came through.

Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/05/22/pomegranate-mojito-green-tea-from-zest-tea/

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85
drank Apple Cinnamon by Zest Tea
4847 tasting notes

Backlog:

I really enjoyed the teas that I tried from Zest Tea. My favorite was, not surprisingly, the Earl Grey, but this one was good too. A good balance of apple and cinnamon flavors. The cinnamon isn’t aggressive and kick you in the face, but the extra ZEST of the extra caffeine does give me a nice kick in the pants when I need a little more invigoration than the typical cup will give me. I like that the extra caffeine doesn’t lead to a weird or off taste.

A very tasty Apple cinnamon black tea. The black tea is strong and brisk and flavorful, the apple is sweet and the cinnamon gives a nice warmth to the cup. Yum!

Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/05/12/apple-cinnamon-black-tea-zest-tea/

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87
drank Blue Lady Black by Zest Tea
4847 tasting notes

Backlog:

I’ve tried and reviewed three out of the four Zest Teas thus far (the other reviews/tasting notes coming soon), and overall, I’d give these teas a thumbs up.

I really liked this Blue Lady. Fragrant, sweet and fruity. I like that while the fruit notes are strong, the Nilgiri black tea is stronger and isn’t overpowered by the fruit. I like that even though there is hibiscus in the blend, it seems to do more to enhance some of the contrasting tones of the fruit than it does stand out and taste like hibiscus.

The black tea has a nice malt note. The extra caffeine doesn’t add a weird or funky or off taste at all. In fact, if this had been brewed “blindly” – that is, if I had not known that I was brewing a “High Octane” tea, I wouldn’t have known by the taste that it was a high octane tea. It tastes like a fruit flavored tea. It tastes great.

But it does certainly pack a kick in the pants!

Here’s my full-length review: http://sororiteasisters.com/2014/04/15/blue-lady-black-tea-zest-tea/

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95

This tea is extremely aromatic and tastes delicious. The citrus smell and flavors come through strong. The caffeine kick is also very noticeable. This is my favorite of the Zest Tea blend.

Flavors: Flowers, Lemon Zest, Orange Zest

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec 2 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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