Last week I had the chance to visit Sydney. As in all my trips around the globe, I had discovered a few tea houses to visit and drink tea. This week’s blog post is dedicated to the Zensation Tea House which is located on Bourke Street. Zensation Tea House is 13 years old and run by a father and daughter; Raymond and Cristina. It’s in a relatively quite neighborhood compared to the hectic flow of downtown Sydney. As soon as we stepped into the shop we were welcomed by Christina. The place is as tranquil as its name suggests and the music in the background complimented the authentic decor of the shop.
It’s got a wide selection of teas ranging from puerh teas to flavored teas alongside with some tisanes. They’ve got also lots of teaware including high-end yixing teapots and more affordable pots such as gaiwans. I pampered myself and bought an aroma cup set.
First tea I tried was Da Hong Pao, having been deprived of nice tea for few days that was just what the doctor ordered. While I was enjoying Da Hong Pao, my friend went for milky oolong tea. Both of them were decent quality and served beautifully by Christina herself. Following Da Hong Pao, I decided to quench my thirst with shou puerh. I left it to Christina to pick one and she came up with one that’s ten years old.
Overall, having tea at the Zensation Tea House was quite relaxing and authentic following an exhausting day of sightseeing in Sydney. Highly recommended if you happen to be visiting Sydney!
I’m a great fan of lowly oxidized floral Taiwanese oolongs such as Baozhong, Jin Xuan and so on. That’s said I’ve recently grown accustomed to more oxidized, roasted, darker oolongs from Taiwan. This is because of the depth and richness that roasting process adds to the tea. Particularly when it’s done in a traditional way which is quite hard to come across nowadays.
This week’s tea, Eco Cha Tea Club Award Winning Dong Ding Oolong, is one of them. It’s oxidized twice as much as High Mountain Oolong. And furthermore, it’s roasted masterfully. Handpicked from Shanlinxi (1500 m elevation) in Winter 2016.
Dry leaves are mostly composed of tightly rolled, dark green leaves which are quite uniform in shape. Because of high oxidation and roasting process, they smell quite nutty.
I brewed it Gongfu style using about 7 grams of tea for about 150 ml water. The first infusion cupped out golden yellow orangish liquor with great clarity. It’s smooth and has a quite nutty character. The mouthfeel is mildly thick and velvety. The aftertaste is quite persistent and refreshing. In total, it held up to seven infusions without losing its touch.
Overall, this week’s tea has got everything if you’re looking for a traditional style Dong Ding oolong. Highly recommended! To learn more about Dong Ding oolongs, please take a look at Global Tea Hut Dong Ding Oolong Tea review.
This week’s tea, Nannuoshan Mei Zhan Hong Cha, is coming from Ya’an in Sichuan province and harvested in Spring 2016. It takes its name after its cultivar, Mei Zhan, which is mainly used to produce oolong tea until very recently.
The aromatic and floral smell of dry leaves is very promising. Dark black tea leaves are quite uniform in shape and slightly curly. They consist of both short and long leaves which are shiny in appearance.
I brewed it western style using about 3 grams of tea for a 150ml teapot. I let it sit in the water about 5 minutes which was a bit long considering the bitterness of the liquor. It cupped out between orange and yellow liquor with great clarity. The first thing that hit my palate was the smoky texture alongside with fruity tones. It’s sweet and smooth with some astringency. The aftertaste was short but it left a touch of smokiness in the mouth.
Because of the cultivar used to make this tea, Nannuoshan Mei Zhan Hong Cha has got characteristics of both a nice floral oolong and a strong/rich black tea. I’ve found it quite successful and it definitely satisfied my curiosity and palate.
This week’s tea, Eco Cha Teas Longan Charcoal Roasted Oolong Tea, is coming from Shanlinxi, just above Lugu township which is located in Nantou county of Taiwan. Lugu is known for their Dong Ding oolongs and this week’s tea is a type of Dong Ding oolongs.
Dry leaves are composed of tightly-rolled ball shape tea leaves. They are uniform in shape and consist of mostly dark green whole tea leaves. Since it’s gone through an extensive roasting process (around 50 hours!), the smell of dry leaves is mostly associated with the prominent roasted character.
I used five grams of tea and brewed it Gongfu style. I went for 15 seconds for the first infusion following a quick rinse. The liquor was golden yellow with great clarity. The aroma is fantastic. The taste was quite smooth and sweet; no bitterness at all. It’s roasted masterfully which created very rich and complex taste profile. The aftertaste was very long and quite persistent.
I brewed it 30 seconds for the second infusion which produced much stronger tea alongside with darker liquor. The charcoal taste was much more dominant, both in the mouth and throat. There is also some smokiness, reminiscent of Lapsang Souchong tea. The smoky taste is very well-balanced. Although I’m not a great fan of smokiness in tea, I love it in this tea.
In total I’ve made five infusions; second and third being my favorite. It’s a great tea particularly if you’re looking for traditional style highly roasted Taiwanese oolongs rather than more aromatic and greener oolongs. It’s really hard to find this kind of extensively roasted Taiwanese oolongs nowadays, so thanks to Eco Cha Teas for sourcing and sending this beautiful tea to us.
This week’s tea, White 2 Tea Dianhong Black Tea, is a very good representative of Dian Hong black teas. Dian Hong black tea (aka Yunnan Black Tea – Dian meaning Yunnan and Hong meaning red) is among top Chinese black teas.
It’s large leaf Puer material from Lincang area. This tea came with White 2 Tea Club June shipment and has been sitting in my tea cupboard since then. That’s because I just want to cling on to good things as long as possible. Since it’s pressed in 100-gram cakes, you’ll need a tea knife to uncompress the tea leaves.
Dry tea leaves are mostly dark black with some brown tones alongside with yellow tips. I brewed it western style using around 3 grams of tea. It cupped out beautiful red coppery liquor with great clarity. The taste is sweet, reminiscent of cacao and chocolate. There’s almost no astringency, yet just right amount of bitterness. It’s very forgiving as well, it does not feel bitter when over-steeped. The mouthfeel is quite smooth. The aftertaste is quite persistent and leaves a refreshing and sweet taste profile.
As someone who still drinks a lot of black tea, this tea is a definitely perfect match for my palate. Recommended particularly for black tea lovers!