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Zhi

Gong Fu Black/Zhi Tea

Really wanting to use my new gaiwan tonight, I pawed through my tea samples and my eye fell on this. Perfect! I don’t have to wonder if it is a good candidate for the gaiwan. The name tells me so!

The leaves are thin and twisted, and very dark. They have that heady chocolate aroma you find in black and oolong tea sometimes. After warming the gaiwan and allowing the leaves to rest in it for a moment, the scent is now much nuttier.

I experimented a bit and found that I like this one to have a little more time than I would give some teas. It didn’t become bitter – the main incentive for keeping a steep short would be to prevent bitterness – so I let those warm, rich flavors develop over a few extra seconds. The darkest steep was my favorite.

The tea is creamy, nutty, with a little hint of cocoa. It is so smooth that even a black tea phobe drinking with me liked it plain. Although there is virtually no astringency, there is the slightest briskness that develops over time in a very pleasant way. Walnut is the flavor that I most notice lingering.

I lost count but my guess is that we had about seven or eight steeps from this session. Overall, a very pleasant tea. I definitely want to have a look at this company’s other offerings, as well!


Want to Know More About This Tea?

Leaf Type:  Black

Where to Buy:  Zhi Tea

Description

Zhi exclusive. #1 Rated Black Tea in the World!

This exquisite black tea from Fujian Province in China has become the favorite at Zhi. If you like the rich complexity of a classic Chinese black tea with all the hallmark smoothness and depth, be prepared to be enchanted. This is a top-grade exclusive tea with a major wow factor.

Thin, twisted leaves present a deep rich red cup with distinct caramelized sugar and chocolate notes and a long creamy finish. Mouthfeel, mouthfeel, mouthfeel.

If you like a great Keemun or a Gold Yunnan then you will love this tea.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Austin Breakfast from Zhi Tea

Austin Breakfast is an organic Indian black tea. I have the sachets and – BONUS! – they are biodegradable. I love the company’s vision statement.

“We’re a homegrown Austin, Texas company composed of a few die-hard tea freaks, lovers of fine foods, stewards of sustainable agriculture, and passionately dedicated to the human experience.”

I made this for my daughter and myself to have with breakfast. I noted that the website says this will offer some good resteeps, and not to toss the bag until it has given up all of its goodness, so that is what I intend to do.

First steep – My word, this is a super aromatic black tea. At this point, I had noted that the tea was from India as stated on the packaging but I had not looked up the specifics of origin. No matter, there is no mistaking right off the bat that this is a Ceylon tea from the aroma alone.

And it is one of the more aromatic I have tried. There are lovely, deep round dark raisin notes, a nice middle creamy thick feel, and swirling higher notes of orange and lemon. While eating my oatmeal, I detected no astringency at all. After my bowl was empty, I held the tea in my mouth and swirled it around, and there it was! The classic Indian tea briskness.

I take my tea sans additions, and I have a very dodgy stomach that often rebels at tea of Indian origin, kicking me in the gut as revenge. Nicer Indian teas do not have this effect. Dodgy ones get smoothed with milk if I drink them at all.

Happily, my stomach is quite at peace with this tea. Not so much as a burble. I feel like I am drinking a high quality Irish breakfast tea. No milk nor sugar needed, but if that’s how you roll, it can take it.

Steep 2 – While it is piping hot, I think that the low notes have utterly disappeared and the brisk, high lemony notes are mostly what remains. After a couple of minutes cooling time, I find this tea to have its thick and creamy body restored and the briskness is now slightly muted compared to the piping hot sip. Still a good cup of tea, though different from the first steep. I will definitely be trying a third steep.

This would be a great morning tea at work, with the first bracing cup preparing one for the day and tasks ahead, and the remaining cups serving as an easy peasy resteep as you simply add hot water to continue through the morning,


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Black
Where to Buy:  Zhi Tea
Description

Our Austin Breakfast honors the intensity and laid-backness of Austin. The Ceylon black tea is at once bold and smooth. It has a deep character and clean finish like a great Irish Breakfast tea.

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!

Lemon Blush from Zhi. . . . .

This was a pleasantly zen tea! I tried it hot, at directed concentrations, steeped for six minutes, with no additives. I could envision this tea being enjoyable cold for those that love fruit infused water.

Unlike most lemon teas I encounter, the lemon was present, but not overpowering. It required no sweetening, and my sweet teeth are rather demanding, so that’s saying a lot! It is supplemented with stevia leaf, and unlike the dietary sweetener, was not at all off-putting. The hibiscus brings a beautiful deep blush of color to the cup, and a mild flavor addition. I honestly did not detect the clove, but perhaps my teaspoon missed it!

It is a moderately aromatic tea that could serve double duty as a calming aromatherapy. Calming, but not sedating, the aroma and taste would serve well as a morning or bedtime tea. At longer steep times (twelve minutes), the tartness and tanginess of the lemon and hibiscus are stronger, but still remains one of the most gentle and subtle lemon teas I’ve experienced, and now one of my favorites!


Here’s the scoop!

Leaf Type:  Herbal/Tisane
Where to Buy:  Zhi Tea
Description

Straight from customer feedback , suggestions of lemon myrtle and more sweet healthy tea, comes this crafty and refreshing herbal tisane. Great for an afternoon with a book or a friend, this inventive blend certainly has a cool personality.

A lightly sweet, quite lemony, mildly tart cup with a soothing aroma. This blend is designed to balance; it is at once calming and gently energizing.

Organic lemon grass, hibiscus, rosehips, lemon myrtle, stevia leaf, and organic lemon extract.

100% organic caffeine-free drink. Great hot or cold!

Learn even more about this tea and tea company here!