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Recent Tasting Notes

drank Green by Zealong
3 tasting notes

Toured the Zealong tea estate in New Zealand in Nov 2016 and bought 50 grams of this tea afterward. It’s priced high ($31 for 50 grams) but I believe the cost of their operation is quite $$$. They are the only tea estate in NZ and when it gets to freezing temps, they fly a helicopter over the fields to push warmer air down and protect the tea for as long as it takes until the temperature comes up. Tea does not grow naturally in NZ obviously because of the freezing temps.

Chestnut aroma. Creamy. Floral and sweet chestnut flavors. Delicious. Steeps 4-5 times for me gong fu style.

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drank Zealong Black by Zealong
9 tasting notes

This is a delicious sweet red tea. It makes an amazing cold brew, but is also fabulous hot.
Like all Zealong tea, it is a little overpriced for what it is. It IS however a great quality organic tea and I’m happy to buy it to support the farm as I’m from NZ.

It is sweet with fruit and berry notes. Mildly sour, no bitterness,and no astringency. Very (very) smooth and sweet.

My main critique is that it is very thin in the mouth. It has a reasonable, but not fantastic hui gan. Basically it has a great upfront flavor but not too much going on under the hood.

I enjoy it, but at $33NZD for 50g, i’d rather buy a reasonable Chinese red.

Flavors: Berries, Fruity, Sour, Sweet

Boiling 1 min, 0 sec 10 g 7 OZ / 200 ML

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Pure and smooth and strong. Lovely.

185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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Zealong dark oolong from Waikato, New Zealand is a world-class tea.
This “dark” style is soft and gentle, yet complex. It has a roasted, earthy flavour with malt, caramel, honey notes. So smooth with a smoked straw, yet sweet lingering after-taste. Expect to get around 4 steeps (or more!). A 50g pack will yield approx. 80 cups.
Pure New Zealand + Kiwi ingenuity / determination = a 6 star oolong!

Flavors: Caramel, Earth, Fruity, Honey, Malt

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 g 5 OZ / 150 ML

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My very first and favourite wulong. Magnificent!
I bought this tea a while ago, as my first foray into good quality teas. Every tea I’ve bought since hasn’t compared to it.
Floral, fruity and sweet, with a beautiful golden liquor and an intoxicating aroma.
And it’s grown right here in New Zealand!
The dry leaves are a deep green, tightly coiled into little bundles of goodness. At first it looks like a lot of stem matter is included, but upon steeping, the leaves unfurl to a phenomenal size. And they’re beautiful – hardly any bruising, tearing or dust.
The flavour peaks around the third steep, but it doesn’t by any means drop off after this – the tea is of such a quality that it can be steeped up to eight times. (Or more if, like me, you use a (very) heaped teaspoon).
The first few steeps (after an initial rinsing, of course) are best at 30ish seconds (this tea is strong!), increasing bit by bit until they’re about 2-2.5 minutes towards the end of its life.
I didn’t realise how good this tea was when I got it. All the teas I’ve had since then (2008 jade Tieguanyin, Taiwan high mountain wulong…), while nice, just don’t stand up to it.
It’s now my “special occasion” tea – I dread the day that I run out!
Time for me to stop rambling and go to bed.

195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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Oh my gosh, I didn’t have the Aromatic when I first ordered Zealong, and now I’m so sad I didn’t. I’ve been missing out!

I feel the Aromatic is more on the Pure side than the Dark side, and it has a floral fragrance and taste. Like a jasmine, which is of course my favorite, but paired with this oolong’s natural sweetness, it’s a whole new dimension of floral tea for me!

I’ve been drinking this one for two days now, and it puts a smile on my face with every inhale and every sip!

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So after about 7 infusions, I think that this year’s tea is not as strong as the 2009 (?) tea. Although it could be because the ’09 tea was my first, then everything has to compare to that, lending to somewhat of a bias. Very little compares to the first time! :-)

I think the ‘11 tea doesn’t taste as “roasty” as the ‘09 tea. BUT, having said that, it does have a character all its own. Buttery smooth, roasty vegetable flavor. Cold, the grassy notes come out more, warm is just a nice cuppa to…well, cup. Welcoming scent, you know you’re in for a treat! It still has that layered personality that I know Zealong to have, it’s like a cousin to the ’09 leaves. Same family, some similar characteristics, but still a stand alone individual.

Long story short, IT’S GOOD.

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