Thursday, November 29, 2012

Zen Tea, Coconut Oolong

Zen Tea Description:
If you love coconut milk sweets and sophisticated oolongs, this is tea for you.Creamy smooth coconut perfectly blended with a floral Bao Zhong oolong with subtle notes of lilac.

Ingredients: Oolong Tea, coconut flavor

Price: $19/100g or $0.48 per 2.5g serving

Sample provided by Zen Tea for review

My Review:
I might as well admit it right up front. Every time I try a coconut tea, especially an oolong, it immediately gets compared to Golden Moon’s Coconut Pouchong. What an amazing tea. It’s almost not fair to the competition. I will try not to let this influence me as I taste this one.

I also must admit this one has me baffled. I love coconut. I love oolong. I love coconut and oolong together. I just don’t much care for this one. I have read the reviews on Steepster and it seems everyone else has loved this tea. I must conclude then, that it is just me. Strange. I was very impressed with the previous 5 teas I have tasted from Zen Tea. Not so much with this one. To me, the dry leaf smells of coconut liquor (alcohol). The wet leaf smells pineapple and the mug smells like gym socks. When the cup cools, it does get creamy and the aftertaste is nice, like a floral tiguanyin. I just can’t get passed the smell. Do read the other reviews, as apparently I just don’t get it. Anyway, following is the review I wrote before seeing what others thought:

Cutting open the sample pouch I am met with an aroma that makes me think coconut liquor – you know, alcohol. I scooped out half the sample and what first caught my eye was the amount of stems in the mix. Hmmmm. This is my sixth tea from Zen Tea. I have been extremely impressed with their offerings. This one is not really moving me so far.

I place the leaf, stems and all, in the press, and add steaming water well below boiling. The steep time was three minutes per the label directions. The smell of the wet leaf I recognize but can’t quite place. I think it reminds me of pineapple with alcoholic coconut. Does that make it a pina colada? It’s very tropical, if you are in to that.

The sip is not as expected. To my taste buds this does not taste like coconut and I don’t get the subtle lilac notes in the description either My impression is, if you would make this really sweet it would taste like kettle corn. That would be ok, except the smell is a little like gym socks. The redeeming feature is the nice oolong aftertaste. It is more than a little similar to tiguanyin.

As the cup cools and nears room temperature the smell either goes away or I just stopped noticing it. The creaminess mentioned does come out to play. The taste remains popcorn bordering on kettle corn.

I always try to put my preconceptions aside and judge a tea on what it is trying to be. Not on what I want it to be. This tea does not match the description, at least not in my opinion. It also does not appeal to my personal tastes.

Zen Tea, I have loved all your teas so far but this one. Coconut Oolong, sorry but I am not a fan.

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