Tag Archives: tea

Chicago Tea Garden Zealong Dark

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:

Website: HERE
Facebook: HERE
Twitter: HERE
Want this tea right now? Here!

All photographs included in this post are property of Melissa Wrzesniewsky and are not to be taken,shared, or used without the artists consent. except for the logo, which is property of Tony Gebely and Chicago Tea Garden.

Naiveteas’ Passion fruit Oolong

Brand: Naivetea Passion fruit Oolong
Tea Rating: 90/100
Steep Time: 3 minutes
Steep Temperature: 190 Degrees
Price: 2 oz. for $20.00 ~ 4 oz. for $35.00

Naivetea was gracious enough to send Expanding Leaves a plethora of their teas to sample and review! There are some flavored, and some traditional oolongs, but I cannot wait to sip them all! Naivetea specializes in offering only premium oolongs from Taiwan, and boy do they offer quite a few teas! They were also awarded the Flavored Oolong World Tea Champion in 2009! I also really like their packaging, it is elegant and simplistic, with a cohesive theme. Their business card, their company information packet, tea packaging and website all have the same theme, which I really like because it makes you remember the company better as a consumer. Onto the tea!

First impressions of this tea is in the smell. The scent of the dry leaves smells a lot like candy, and smell very sweet. After steeping, the dry leaves and the tea liquor smelled a lot like the Acai Emergen-C vitamin C drink packages. I do not know what Passion fruit smells like, but this tea smelled very sweet, like acai, and had hints of crisp apple and peach in the scent as well.

Now, let’s steep the dry tea leaves! I recorded this tea steeping at I steeped it, I really enjoy watching oolong unfurl, and this one was no different! Enjoy! This will not be the last time you see Expanding Leaves videos of Time Lapse Tea steeps!

The liquor of the tea really smelled very sweet, fruity, and slightly floral as I mentioned above. However, this strong scent did not carry through in the flavor as much. The sweet passion fruit scent really mellowed in the tea.The passion fruit flavor is still there, but it is not nearly as intense as while it was steeping. The tea had a slightly drying mouth feel, as well. What I mean by drying is after I swallow the tea, my mouth feels a bit dry and cotton-y. There is a nice oolong flavor hiding behind all that passion fruit too, which is nice. The oolong flavor makes the tea creamy while in my mouth and smooth while i’m swallowing. I like this tea, but I do wish it was just a bit less passion fruit and a bit more oolong.

I steeped this tea 4 times and imagine it might be able to go even longer than 4 steeps! The tea stood up very well to the subsequent steeps! Something that always impresses me with oolongs especially, is how many steeps you can get out of them and how the flavors morph and change throughout each steep! Throughout each subsequent steep, the passion fruit flavor remains part of the flavor profile, however with each passing steep, it did lessen, while a more rounded sweet and fruity flavor appeared in the subsequent steeps.

Check out Naivetea on the web:

Website: HERE
Facebook: HERE
Twitter: HERE
Want this tea right now? Here!

All photographs included in this post are property of Melissa Wrzesniewsky and are not to be taken,shared, or used without the artists consent.

Shui Teas’ Four Seasons Oolong

Brand: Shui Tea Four Seasons Oolong
Tea Rating: 86/100
Steep Time: 2-3 minutes
Steep Temperature: 190 Degrees
Price: $5.00 for 1 oz/ $10.00 for 2 oz

This Oolong is sourced from the Ming Jian village, Nantou, Taiwan. This region of Taiwan is very mountainous,with varying elevations and climates, which makes a great tea producing area. This area is also one of the largest tea producing areas in Taiwan.  Four Seasons Oolong is also known as Evergreen Oolong, and is very lightly oxidized (5-15%) and is similar to some green teas.

First and foremost, the rolled oolong  is beautifully rolled, bright green leaves. They smell slightly floral and have a very heavy fresh scent as well. The color of the liquor is a golden yellow-green color. The best part of the tea is the flavor. This tea is pretty light, but its subtle flavors are fantastic. The first thing that hits me is the fresh, buttery mouth feel, which just paints the tea all over your palette.

The floral aroma of the steeped liquor really enhances the floral flavors in this tea, especially after a few infusions. From the third steep and on,  the floral aroma starts to calm down,but the sweet, floral taste is still there with a creamy finish, instead of the buttery flavor found in the first and second infusions. The finish of this tea was a very refreshing flavor, which was menthol like after you swallowed and breathing in. I really enjoyed this tea, and would recommend it to people who are just starting to get into Oolong Teas and are unsure which ones would be best to try. Thank you so much to Jim from Shui Tea for including some samples with my Matcha Bowl Order!

To learn more about Shui Tea:
Follow them on Twitter
Like them on Facebook
Or visit their store to buy this tea!

All photographs included in this post are property of Melissa Wrzesniewsky and are not to be used without artist authorization(minus the logo,which is property of Shui Tea)

Episode 4- Indonique’s Rooibos



I hope you enjoyed this. I am still working out the bugs with the videos, but hope they are coming together better. If you have any questions or comments you cal always comment or email me!

Episode 2- Indonique Passionfruit Black

Indonique’s Passionfruit Black Tea is a blend of indian black tea, flowers, and passionfruit. Enjoy the episode!

Update on Indonique Long Ching Leaves

Here is a picture of the dry and wet leaves.


Episode 1-Indonique’s Dragonwell

Here is my first video review ever. I hope you all enjoy it.

Also, I am still working on my layout,which will be changing soon. Have a great day!