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Recent Tasting Notes
I think this swap sample came from Arby. It’s in the tiniest ever little kraft paper zip-top bag. I was chortling to myself trying to imagine how she managed to get the tea in there while I was steeping it… XD
This is an interesting one, and not at all what comes to mind when I think of Taiwanese black teas. It seems closer to an Indian Assam to me, with the main notes I’m picking up on being malt and raisin. Luckily, it lacks the strong astringency of a typical Indian Assam, though there is perhaps a hint. It’s a rather smooth and somewhat light tea, and I can taste a bit of grain and slightly musty hay.
I enjoyed the small cup, though it was not at all what I expected. Typically with a Taiwanese black tea, I find strong honey and usually cinnamon notes, which I didn’t get here at all. Still very pleasant though!
Flavors: Astringent, Grain, Hay, Malt, Musty, Raisins, Smooth
Cold Brew Sipdown (329)
This is one of the teas from my swap with Evol Ving Ness back in 2017 that is sort of just lingering around. Thank you Evol! It’s been a while since I have seen her on here though so hopefully she see this…and perhaps I shouldn’t take forever to go through swaps
This tea is the same as the blend that I really enjoyed from Tea Desire. I had a lot of that and grew tired of it. Plus, it got sort of bland so I mixed it with things near the end of my stash. It was nice to have just enough for a few cold brew cups to revisit it.
This is not punch-you-in-the-face flavorful but it does have flavor. It is soft, light, and refreshing with a fruity sweetness. I actually get more goji berry than anything else but overall it is like a generic fruit flavor with a goji note at the tail-end. Nice and definitely different from a lot of the other herbal/fruit tisanes out there…except for the Tea Desire version which is the same tea.
Sadly, I’m coming to the end of this bag. I didn’t love it quite as much as the other black tea I tried from Zen, but it’s still very nice: long, unbroken twisted black leaves that brew up smooth and malty and rich. Perfect for this grey, rainy Wisconsin morning!
Flavors: Malt, Smooth
Brews up deep golden and there’s a satisfaction in watching the tightly curled leaves unfurl in the infuser. Definitely one that needs room to breathe – very tempting to just drink the second steep grandpa style and say screw the finely honed infusing process.
There’s a mellow earthy flavor that reminds me of the smell of freshly broken twigs with a mouthfeel that’s almost silky. It’s not a robust kind of tea, but the mild comfort of its mineral notes are soothing in a way that entices you into multiple cups before you realize what’s happened.
Earl Grey is usually black tea, but this one is white. I didn’t like it at all; the smell of the lavender was so strong it burned my nose. The taste of lavender was so strong it made me cringe. Oddly, the lavender taste was so strong, it almost tasted like lemon. It was just bad.
Flavors: Lavender, Lemon
I was not a good as other oolong teas that I’ve had, but I don’t know if it’s just because of how I brewed it. It wasn’t as flavorful as other oolong teas that I’ve tried, but I still liked it because i just like the wonderful tea taste. It was kind of disappointing because the tea was grown in the Wuyi Mountains in China, and that location is supposed to be famous for really good tea. Of course, again, it could have been my own fault, or it could be because of how it was stored and shipped.
It was very bitter and tasted like grass, but somehow I still liked it. If anyone wants to make matcha themselves, I would recommend straining it. I don’t have an appropriate strainer so the powder clumped together even after mixing it and it was kind of gross. Besides that, it was good. If you like bitter tastes, matcha is the right choice
I don’t like green tea as much as other teas but this one is okay. I didn’t notice the nutty taste until I read the other reviews, but when I had some more I could taste it. I would recommend this tea to people who enjoy green tea.
Zen Tea’s ceremonial matcha was a little more bitter than their regular organic matcha. (Although this could be due to user error, since this was my first time making matcha the traditional way.) It was still very enjoyable, though, both with and without sweetner. If you feel the need to sweeten it, sugar tends to taste better than honey in this one. For now I’ll say that I liked the regular organic better, but I appreciate how the higher quality one doesn’t clump up at all.
Flavors: Grass, Green
This is the second kind of white tea I have tried. I’m not a tea expert, but I don’t think white tea is as bitter as other teas. It’s more delicate, I think. I’ve been trying to experiment more with different brews. I tried two brews: one with one teaspoon of tea and one with two teaspoons and slightly lower temperature. They tasted the same. They were good though.
If anyone knows a good way to brew this tea, please tell me.
Second time trying this tea, but this time my husband made it since he wanted to give it a shot. It was very strong and very sweet, but I was expecting that since he usually adds enough sugar to fruity teas to rot someone’s teeth. It was a little much for me, but I still love the overall flavor and aroma of this tea. Definitely one of my favorites that I’ve tried from Zen Tea so far! The last time I went to Zen Tea, I made sure to pick up a bag. Definitely recommend it for any fruity tea lovers!
Flavors: Berries, Fruity, Mango, Strawberry
Although I always prefer my fruity teas sweetened, this one was delightful even without sugar or honey. The strawberry was the strongest flavor, but it didn’t overpower the other flavors. The aroma was so pleasant and refreshing that I wish I could smell it all day, every day. I tried it in house at Zen tea House
Flavors: Berries, Hibiscus, Mango, Strawberry
This is some of the best matcha I’ve ever had (excluding my obsession with iced green tea lattes from Starbucks). It was sweeter than others I’ve tried, which was perfect for my tastes, and not nearly as astringent as some of the first matcha teas I ever tried.
Flavors: Astringent, Grass, Green, Sweet
I like the smell of this tea; I keep taking sniffs of the tea leaves. It had a delicate flavor that went down smoothly. I don’t know if my brew was ideal but I thought it tasted good. It was relaxing. I think I like white tea.
Flavors: Jasmine, Rose
This was my first time drinking pu-erh tea. The pack I bought had been fermented since 1992 and does not contain artificial smells or flavors. When I first smelled it, I thought I would not like it because it was so strong; however, I liked the taste. It definitely was not delicate, but I liked the gritty bitterness of it. The smell grew on me as I was drinking it. Unfortunately, my taste and smell are not very refined, so I can’t give much more detail about it.
I don’t think I steeped it for as long as I should have. My first cup was kind of weak, but my next cup was much better. I’m happy I drank it though. I’ll try for a better brew next time.
Flavors: Bitter, Burnt
It had been a few years since I had a bowl of matcha, so it was quite invigorating to drink~. I missed its bitter taste and gave me good boost of energy in the morning. I particularly loved and missed the sound of whisking the drink, and that alone brought me a nice sense of focus and calm. After taking some swigs of the mix alone, I had a little sweet with the rest, and it was quite enjoyable. I am pretty sure that there are better powders that I have to look for, but at least for now, this has been a good comeback~.
Flavors: Bitter, Freshly Cut Grass, Grass, Green