Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Zen Tea, Curled Dragon Silver Tip

Zen Tea Description:
The name refers to the unusual and striking shape and color of the leaves, which are rolled into tightly-curled dragon-like shapes with a silvery color. It is a good example of the high level of hand-work. Infused it produces a complex, sweet and somewhat floral liquor. Entirely handmade, it is a must for green tea lovers.

Ingredients: Tippy green tea leaves

Price: $22/100g or $0.55/2.5g serving

Sample provided by Zen Tea for review.

My Review:
The samples come sealed in aluminum mylar pouches with a description and steeping instructions clearly printed on the label. I cut the top off, opened the bag and inhaled. It is a sweet aroma that reminds me of cut raked grass that has been raked and left until it is moist from the morning dew. A truly calming aroma.

I scooped out half the sample and examined the leaf. At first it looks a little like oolong nuggets until you focus on them. They are not balls like pearls. They remind me of the Phoenix Pearls I recently sampled except these are green and silver. Seeing dragon on the label, you can easily make the connection. They are quite gorgeous. Did I mention they smell good?

In the press they go, along with 12oz of well below boiling water. The resulting liquor is a lovely light yellow green and very clear. The curls have unfolded to reveal tiny little whole leaves. The scent of the wet leaf is definite veggies.

The sip is, harrumph, I don’t think I got this as hot as I thought I did. It is cool already. The unaltered taste is a little sweet but light and passes through a short but nice bitter bite that fades into a light green aftertaste. I unapologetically add some sweetener at this point and the flavors really pop. This is now a wonderfully creamy green tea. The bite is smoothed out in the late sip yet asserts itself well in the lingering aftertaste. Zen Tea continues to impress me. This is a really nice cup of green tea.

Second mug. Apparently this is a day I should not be allowed to touch the kettle. I got the water too hot this time. Amazingly the tea did not seem to care. It did not become bitter or gross. After it cooled enough I would not burn my tongue, it turned into almost as delicious as the first cup.

In the hands of a master tea brewing this would be a really good tea. In the hands of a bumbling boob, this is still a pretty good tea. This is not completely idiot-proof tea but it’s fairly close. I think this would go another cup, but I think I have done all the damage I want to do for one day.

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