Recovering from an illness I treated myself to a couple boxes of tea, this being one I chose.
Unfortunately, that’s where my excitement for the tea ends. I brewed it, initially at 190 degrees for 3 minutes but found it was almost flavorless. I put the bag back in and steeped it for another 3 minutes. The flavor was better but still far too subtle. I added a bit of sweetener and that seemed to help bring out the flavors of the tea. Even still, I found it to be far more subtle than I had hoped it would be.
The second steep was at 160 degrees. I sipped the tea at one minute intervals as it steeped. At one minute it was almost undrinkable. At two minutes, I got a hint of ‘fruit’ but still not enough flavor for me. At three minutes not much change from the flavor I got at two minutes. At four minutes I noticed another small bump in flavor, still not enough for me. At five minutes I’m getting a little bump again in flavor, but now I’m also getting a hint of bitterness. Since it is now starting to develop a bit of a bitter flavor, I ended the steep at 6 minutes and added sugar/milk to my tea to enhance the flavor.
The last brew I tried was the company’s suggestion of a rolling boil and infusing the tea for 2-3 minutes. This was my least favorite brew of the three cups I tried. It almost instantly drew out a bitter aftertaste.
I still have to try a cold brew of the tea, but, thus far I prefer the flavor at the 190 degree / 6 minute steep with some sweetener and milk. Really, I may return this tea. I find it that uninspiring and I already have a stack of mediocre teas I need to work through. This is the second tea offering I’ve tried from Zhena and both have been a letdown sharing one common descriptor from me: bland.
When I try a cold brew of the tea, I’ll update my review to include my thoughts on it.
Edit to Add: I opted to not try a cold brew of this tea and just return it as I have several teas to get through. I don’t need to waste any more time on a teas I could just return. So that’s what I opted to do in this case.
Flavors: Fruity, Pineapple, Rum, Vanilla