Zhen Quo Super China Black

Tea type
Black Tea
Ingredients
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Flavors
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Caffeine
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Edit tea info Last updated by ashmanra
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 15 sec

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19 Tasting Notes View all

  • “A very sad sipdown. One of my favorite things to do as a rare treat was go to A Southern Season and browse the tea. It was so hard to pick what I wanted! There was the fine tea wall, and the loose...” Read full tasting note
  • “The leaves are very interesting – they are almost…puffy! like chamomile blossoms. Lots of light leaves – very unique looking! I steeped my first cup conservatively – 3 minutes, 200 degree water –...” Read full tasting note
  • “A Surprise gift from Ashmanra! Thank you for sharing this. The dry leaf is fluffy and oh so soft. It is a pretty mix of tan and dark browns. It does resemble a dark version of Bi Lo Chun. The dry...” Read full tasting note
    90
  • “This is a delightful tea! Thank you so much to ASHMANRA for this sample. Although I did not pick up on the soy sauce overtones mentioned in Jacqueline M’s review, I did find it deeply robust and...” Read full tasting note
    96

From A Southern Season

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About A Southern Season View company

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19 Tasting Notes

2533 tasting notes

A very sad sipdown.

One of my favorite things to do as a rare treat was go to A Southern Season and browse the tea. It was so hard to pick what I wanted! There was the fine tea wall, and the loose leaf daily drinkers display, and a whole section of loose and bagged tea of brands from Lipton to Steven Smith and everything in between and sideways.

Gradually the selection got smaller and smaller but there was still always something good to try. And this was one of their best teas. It is flavorful and hearty, mild enough for me and my dodgy tummy but satisfying to the coffee drinkers who came over.

A Southern Season was billed as a gourmet grocery and had everything from a huge wine and craft beer section, to grocery items, small appliances that you don’t see just anywhere, china, candy, a deli, a restaurant, a cooking school, fine handcrafted chocolates, kitchen linens, and a gift basket department. They carried tea from a local woman who had successfully grown tea bushes in their town! Very limited quantity, of course. They were definitely expensive.

Another Steepsterite, Sandy, was the person who introduced me to the place and it was where we bought our first ever puerh (a low quality mini tuo that smelled of shrimp but tasted okay) and where I started building my loose leaf stash.

And now they are gone. Not because of Covid. They closed before quarantine.

But how I will miss the smells of that place. Walking in at the coffee department and being enveloped in the aroma of the coffee beans they were grinding and knowing that my beloved tea section was just up ahead. If I close my eyes and imagine the smell, the feeling of excitement of all the possibilities of lovely tea discoveries floods my memory. I don’t know of any other place that has made me feel that way!

Now my Zhen Quo is gone, and I must eventually try to find another source. I will miss the light bitterness, the way it paired beautifully with desserts.

Martin Bednář

It is always sad to see small shops closing down. No matter what they were carrying, I like to visit coffee shops as well, although don’t drink any coffee. Same with shops like this one, they offer just everything and we love them for that.

Leafhopper

It’s sad to hear about shops like this closing.

tea-sipper

Aw, sad to hear! This place sounded amazing. At least covid wasn’t the reason it closed.

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1112 tasting notes

The leaves are very interesting – they are almost…puffy! like chamomile blossoms. Lots of light leaves – very unique looking!

I steeped my first cup conservatively – 3 minutes, 200 degree water – and I think I could have taken it to 4 minutes. No bitterness or astringency, and that wonderful tangy flavor I love from certain Chinese black teas – but a little different. I don’t want to say it reminds me of soy sauce but it has a sort of sweet fermented quality like soy sauce. Really, really good. I can see this tea being excellent with food (I am picturing a rice bowl with salmon and some sort of green – mmmmm!).

The second steep, at 4 minutes, is just as interesting and delicious. What a great, one of a kind tea! Thank you thank you thank you ashmanra!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec
ashmanra

So glad you liked it! This one reminds me a LITTLE of Harney and Sons Golden Monkey, but I guess it is just the sweetness of it. I don’t add anything to Zhen Quo although I think a little honey might be good in it. I would love a plate of pepper steak to have with it right now….

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90
1719 tasting notes

A Surprise gift from Ashmanra! Thank you for sharing this.

The dry leaf is fluffy and oh so soft. It is a pretty mix of tan and dark browns. It does resemble a dark version of Bi Lo Chun. The dry scent is a bit cocoa to my nose. I steeped a healthy scoop for 2 ½ minutes in below boiling water. This is just a hunch since it works so well with Teavivre blacks.

The brew is dark but not too dark and has honey/caramel notes. The wet leaf is small torn pieces and chocolate in color.

The aroma in the cup is very similar to golden tips. Fruity – winelike. The sip images sweet dried hay. The aftertaste is mildly honeyed. Absolutely no hint of bitterness or astringency. From beginning to end this is a very good cuppa.

Second cup, full roiling boil for 4 minutes. This is very similar to the first cup. No bitterness or astringency. Just good sipping.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 30 sec
ashmanra

Glad you like it! Steepsterite Sandy was my neighbor and she turned me on to this tea.

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96
259 tasting notes

This is a delightful tea! Thank you so much to ASHMANRA for this sample. Although I did not pick up on the soy sauce overtones mentioned in Jacqueline M’s review, I did find it deeply robust and satisfying.

This is a different tea for sure and a keeper. I will have to place an order. It is very smooth. I had it straight up and loved it that way but I also think it could sustain milk and/or sugar and is stalwart enough to be experimented with.

Thank you, Ashmanra.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 30 sec
ashmanra

It resteeps pretty well, too!

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96
61 tasting notes

So I have decided that for me this is the perfect office tea. I like the tast both hot and cold. I like it with out any additives – no trips back top to the break room to grab sugar or milk. It is very forgiving if I forget and over steep.

ashmanra

This is one of the most unique looking teas I have ever seen. It is soooo good and the honey aroma is wonderful. I agree, it is good no matter how you drink it!

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328 tasting notes

Thanks to Ashmanra for this sample. This is a delightful tea- malty and not astringent. And of course, no milk and sugar needed. This almost seems like a high quality yunnan….

ashmanra

Lori, When I go back to Southern Season I will ask them the origin of this tea. I don’t know where it comes from, but it is without a doubt the fuzziest, softest, fluffiest golden tip tea I have ever seen. It reminds me a little bit of Golden Monkey in that aspect…

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67 tasting notes

After steeping these delicious leaves the second time, I pulled this tea up to tap out a quick review. The first thing I noticed is that ashmanra has a history of gifting Zhen Quo to friends, and I consider it an honor to be in that circle.

Full of golden tips , the big fluffy leaves yielded a golden brown liquor as sweet as it is beautiful. I had a similarly flavorful Yunnan Black from Silk Road Teas a while back, and I love them both!

ashmanra

So glad you enjoyed it! It is a real treat to me!

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