258 Tasting Notes
Thank you to SuperStarling! for sending me this tea.
I’m not sure what happened here. Perhaps I overleafed it or used too hot of water but I couldn’t get this one to NOT be bitter. I first tried it with close to boiling water for 10-15 seconds and it was bitter. I poured that out and reduced the water temp to about 200 degrees and steeped it again for 10-15 seconds and it turned out just as, if not more, bitter than the first steep.
Unfortunately, this one is a no for me. It started off promising, as the wet leaves smelled delicious and malty.
Flavors: Bitter, Malt
Yeah, I can see why these are rated so highly. They are delicious. Malty, slightly sweet, slightly citrus-y and bright, very smooth. I’m happy that I discovered Zen tea before they stopped selling actual tea but also sad that I discovered them this late in the game. Everything I have tried so far has been really top notch.
Flavors: Citrusy, Malt, Sweet
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.
Thanks to my friend SuperStarling! for sending me this tea. She is very considerate and tries to send me a mix of caffeine free teas that I can have when caffeine intake is not advisable for me (such as right now. One small latte is enough for me today).
The scent of the dry tea reminds me of a pipe tobacco. Very sweet and syrupy smelling with a woody note. The flavor of the tea is much like that. A little heavier on the woody notes and not quite as sweet but the hint of maple is evident. A nice sipper on this cold and windy spring afternoon.
Flavors: Maple Syrup, Tobacco, Wood
This tea is delightful. I’m not sure how I haven’t rated it yet. Very chocolate-y scent/aroma that comes from both the dry and wet leaves. The flavor is very malty with a slight under note of the chocolate from the scent.
If you are familiar with Feng Qing teas than you already have a good idea of what you are going to get with this one. But for certain, the malt and chocolate notes are amped up a bit here. Very enjoyable.
Flavors: Chocolate, Malt
First steep/sip of 20 seconds reminds me of… earthiness. Like, dry leaves and twigs with some grass in there. Not as roasted as I might imagine. It’s not bad, exactly, but a bit different. Maybe it is a lighter roast and therefore some of the greenness of the oolong is still shining through? It kind of reminds me of some Taiwanese black teas.
It is very smooth and drinkable though. And honestly, though it is different than what I normally like, I am finding it a pretty good offering. There is some drying sensation on the tongue as the session goes along.
Flavors: Drying, Earth, Roasted, Smooth, Wood
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Opened up a sample of this tea today and what an interesting little delight. The dry leaves have a spiced malty almost chocolate like smell that doesn’t translate to the flavor of the liquid. But that is okay. The flavor is really good in its own way. It is light and drinkable. There is definitely a yam like flavor to this. I like it.
Overall, a good tea with a delicate flavor. No bitter or astringent flavors to be found.
Flavors: Malt, Sweet Potatoes
Well this is quite an interesting tea. I bought this tea to pair with our book club selection of the month, Ready Player One. One of the main themes of this book is the love for anything and everything pop culture from the 1980’s. I finally decided that a tea aged from the 80’s would be a perfect pairing.
The dry scent from the bag smells faintly of an earthy chocolate. When I pour the hot water over the leaves, the chocolate mostly leaves but is replaced with a coffee scent. The earthy, musty scent stays and creates this very earthy coffee type of aroma. It kind of reminds me of a sumatra coffee.
The flavor of the liquid is fairly consistent with this. There is the roasty flavor that one would expect from a roasted oolong. There is that smoky coffee type of flavor. Also some musty/earthy flavor but not dominate or overpowering. And the liquor is smooth. Very drinkable but with that being said, I find this to be a sipping tea. There is some complexity here that makes you stop and contemplate the flavors on each sip.
To top it off, this tea may very well be older than I am. How cool is that? I found it to be a pretty reasonable price point as well, all things considered.
Edit: I forgot to mention that there is a bit of a drying sensation in the mouthfeel. Also, the aftertaste has a certain tartness to it that almost makes me think of an under ripe fruit that makes your mouth pucker up a bit. Nothing too strong but certainly there.
Flavors: Coffee, Earth, Musty, Roasted
Since my recent cocoa nib awakening, I have been obsessed and, in turn, delighted with the sweet, creamy, chocolate flavors I have found that they impart.
This tea falls right in line with all of this. A puerh that is also sweet and chocolate-y? Well, yes, I would like to drink that all morning. And I have! This tea really does combine the best of both ripe (smooth, creamy, dark, earthy) and cocoa nibs (creamy, sweet, chocolate).
I am going to have to play around with my own cocoa nibs and other “plain” puerh and see what I can create. Thanks for the inspiration and great tea, Brenden!
Flavors: Chocolate, Creamy, Earth, Sweet