Tea Blog

Be our Valentine! Zhi Hosts Chocolate & Tea Pairing

Get in the mood! Let Zhi guide your heart and your taste buds at our upcoming Valentine Tea & Chocolate Pairing.

Together, we’ll explore the relationships between two great loves: tea and chocolate at the Zhi Tea Gallery, where we’ll present four decadent courses. We’ll consider their qualities, their complements, their contrasts, and how they pair with each other.

Each coupling has romantic potential, but what pair will steal your heart?

For your tasting pleasure, Zhi is proud to partner with the culinary wizards at The Chocolate Makers Studio. This talented chocolatier is new to Austin, and you’ll be delighted with their work. You’ll also receive a special event discount for 10% off all teas in the Gallery, plus a teaZer-sized sample to take home ($4 value). Seating limited! Please RSVP today.

Sat, Feb 9.
5 pm- 6:30 pm.
$25 a person; $40 a pair.

-In person at the Zhi Gallery (cash/check/cc)
-Over the phone via credit card (512.539.0717)
-Or by PayPal to jeffrey@zhitea.com

Questions? email info@zhitea.com 

A Tea Anniversary in Review: 5 years of Zhi

After months of anticipation and loads of planning, the Zhi Tea 5-year anniversary week has come and gone. We wish every week were party week here at Zhi because we had a wonderful time with our friends and neighbors, celebrating a great half-decade of the best premium organic tea Texas has to offer.

The week began with an exclusive blending party, where Zhi’s own Dr. Oolong led attendees in mixing their very own Zhi Tea creations. We also had a full day of free tea that concluded with a private tea tasting, offering varieties of green, white, rooibos, and oolong teas for our friends to enjoy. The low-key gatherings ended with a flower arranging class led by Austin’s Ikebana.

Friday night marked Zhi Tea’s very first cocktail party, which featured a diverse array of tea mocktails and cocktails to please every palate. Homegrown brands like Kickin’ Kombucha, Texas Sake Co., and Paula’s Texas Orange served up some exciting new flavors to combine with Zhi teas. Plus, local band E is for Eagle brought down the house with plenty of original tunes and some fun covers to keep the crowd engaged.

Our final anniversary event, the Austin appreciation picnic, was an afternoon potluck gathering where participants baked, simmered, and stir-fried various tea-infused dishes to share with everyone involved. Guests voted for their favorites and prizes were awarded to the top four plates of the day.


Impromtu Tea Tasting Zhi Tea Gallery

Last week my friend Nick stopped by the store with his bag of tricks. He suggested I take a well-deserved break and we could gung fu it for an hour or so to get my soul back on track.

Well, it definitely worked. He busted out the last remnants of a nice 1994 Aged Bao Zhong and we took it from there. I had to bust out my 2002 Aged Oolong to show off a bit as Nick was impressing me with not only his awesome tea (obtained from Hou De Tea) but his fantastic and humble execution of the gung fu tea method. I have witnessed the gung fu method of tea preparation several times, but never by someone who seemed to be connected to the process in such an unselfconscious way. It was fun and educational and very grounding, as well. We had a blast. And we got about 5 good steeps from both teas.

The Bao Zhong you could tell had lost a bit of its jinginess or freshness. That said, it still the great bao zhong qualities; the complex floral notes, misty lingering long finish, and that dark hint of granny’s attic in the background you get from some of these aged teas. I likened it to sitting in grandma’s house and she had baked a peach pie the day before, but had left the door to the attic open and the window in the attic was open and it had just started raining. Safe to say I was transported.

We followed up with the 2002 oolong. It definitely had more punch and presence; it was only 7 years old and was more highly oxidized to begin with. It was also really enjoyable. A solid roasted, round body, hints of chestnuts and spice. The next couple of steepings we were rewarded with some really nice floral richness. Very evocative. Earthy and sweet with a really long nectar finish. Very nice.

A great break from the day.