Brand: Chicago Tea Garden Zealong Dark
Tea Rating: 95/100
Steep Time: 45 second steeps;adding 15 seconds to each steep time.
Steep Temperature: 190 Degrees
Price: 50 grams for $13.75 / 75 grams for $20.25
I bought all three of New Zealand Oolong Teas from Chicago Tea Garden back in August, when Tony started sourcing the teas to sell! It is always exciting to learn of a new up and coming tea producing region. Chicago Tea Garden is an online tea retailer that was started by Tony Gebely back in early March of this year, after he backpacked in Southeast Asia. Throughout his backpacking trip Tony came across many different teas,tea culture,and tea farmers,and found that when he got home to Chicago, there was no places that served good quality tea like he had encountered on his trip. That was the beginning of Chicago Tea Garden, and now they offer around 20 different types of high quality teas, which are all special in their own way.
The dry tea of this tea smells like a charcoal grill, with some floral tones mixed in. Honestly, the smell of the leaves can be a little intimidating, but I recommend to go ahead and steep! I started with a 45 second steep and tacked on about 15 extra seconds with each steep. Lets steep the first three cups of Zealong Dark together!
This tea smells like roasted peanut butter, and is very nutty, with a hint of sweetness.The liqour color is a light pale yellow, and the leaves are enormous. I steeped this tea 8 times, and the tea leaves were still not completely unfurled! Zealong Dark has a very clean taste, with some really interesting charcoal notes. The charcoal flavor tastes as if I took some tea in aluminum, and let it sit in my charcoal grill over night, or over a few nights and absorbed the charcoal taste. I really enjoy this charcoal flavor accent. This tea is very refreshing, and just makes me want more and more. There is no astringency, or roasted flavor profile in this oolong. It is mild,creamy and smooth.
Out of the 3 Zealongs, I can’t decide which I like best, I feel like they are all good for different moods and times of the day, as you will learn this week! I will be reviewing Zealong Pure and Zealong Aromatic within the next week, so keep an eye out for both of those reviews!
Check out Chicago Tea Garden on the web: