Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Zen Tea, Phoenix Pearl
Naturally sweet and smooth with a touch of earthiness. Comprised of only the highest quality leaves and buds, expertly rolled into a pearl like shape. Subtle cocoa notes whisper gently as each pearl unfurls delivering a superior tea experience not to be missed.
Ingredients: Black tea from Yunnan, China
Price: $10/100g or $0.25/2.5g serving
Sample provided by Zen Tea for review.
I cut open the sample envelope and breathed in a wonderfully grainy bouquet. Removing a scoop of leaf reveals dark brown and gold ‘pearls’ that appear more as knots than balls. The picture does not do this tea justice. It is quite pretty to look at. As with previously reviewed Zen Tea samples, the brewing instructions are clearly labeled. I used about half the sample in my press with just under boiling water for a three minute steep.
The brew is golden rootbeer colored in the press and much darker in the mug. The nearly unfurled leaf is long and chocolate in color. The aroma is awesome. Just as described, well except the cocoa notes aren’t whispering. They are calling out loud and clear. Mmmm.
The sip is very smooth. There is no bitterness, or anything resembling harsh in the taste. It is mildly drying. I did notice a little tongue tingle early in the cup. The first cup is not how I would define earthy. As I describe flavors, this tastes grainy, with light malt, and definite cocoa notes. There is a kind of wine-like fruitiness in the aftertaste. This is a very nice cup.
Interesting thing about teas like this, the whole time you are enjoying the cup the aroma of the leaf in the press is begging for a resteep. Obeying the call, I found the second cup developed a nuttiness and more plantlike flavors. This is getting closer to what I think of as earthy.
Mug three still had plenty of color and flavor. I did not detect anything new in this cup but to be honest I was pretty distracted. All I know is I enjoyed it.
If you are hoping for a brisk bite I suggest you look elsewhere, but if like me you are a sucker for the smooth deep mellow flavors of Chinese black tea then this is an exceptional example.
Visit Zen Tea online at www.zentealife.com