13 Tasting Notes

drank GABA Tea by Tea from Taiwan
13 tasting notes

Method: Gongfucha with 7 grams of leaf to 120 ml of water with a quick rinse
(The pot I’m using is my porcelain oolong pot with a pour of around 10 seconds, so subtract 10 seconds from the steep time to get the tea’s “idling” time.)

TeaFromTaiwan Sample #2!

I would like to start by pointing out that the TeaFromTaiwan website says that this tea was grown at an elevation of 2,650 meters, which is basically the peak of Alishan (2663 meters, if Google can be trusted). The leaves themselves seem very dark for a gao shan tea. There are some red-ish tones in there on a backdrop of a very deep grey-green. The scent of the dried leaves is almost sickly sweet, with a slight creamy note on it.

1st Steep (15 seconds): The Color of the liquor is definitely not what you generally expect from a Taiwanese tea that was grown at such a high elevation, its orange-yellow. The Smell coming off of it is odd as well, like red tea and sugar. The Taste is very light, it’s actually fleeting. It has a fruit sweetness, but then, it’s gone, leaving only a lingering sweetness in the mouth as an Aftertaste, which is definitely reminiscent of a red tea, but different.

2nd Steep (20 seconds): I want to say that the Color is sort of like that of Oriental Beauty, a deep orange-yellow that seems on the verge of being classified as a red tea. The Smell is now very sweet, with fruit undertones, it’s actually very nice. This is weird, the Taste is like a red tea! It’s got those characteristic “red tea” tastes, but it’s also fruity and I can almost taste the gao shan creaminess. The Aftertste is clean, it leaves a sense of invigorated cleanliness on the palate.

3rd Steep (20 seconds): The Color’s orange, there’s no yellow left. This looks like a red tea. The Smell, though, is sweet and lightly fruity. It lures you in. The Taste is like a red tea as well, like the fourth and fifth steepings of a Dian Hong, though the color’s lighter than Dian Hong. The Aftertaste isn’t much, just a clean lingering taste like you get from straight red tea.

4th Steep (30 seconds): The Color is still like either a weak red tea or an Oriental Beauty. The Smell is still sweet, but it’s still got a light fruitiness to it. The Taste is like a red tea all the way, but the Aftertaste is fruity, with a slight bitterness in the finish.

Summary: This isn’t a bad tea, and for the price ($26 per 150 grams), it’s not too expensive. tea has red tea notes mixed with some darker oolong notes, which you don’t usually see in Taiwanese gao shan. GABA tea is reputed to have all these additional benefits due to it being processed with nitrogen gas in order to alter a chemical (glutamic acid) that’s naturally found in the leaf into GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), which is also naturally found in the human body. It doesn’t have an unpleasant taste, so if you believe that this tea is ultra good for you, by all means buy some. I won’t not recommend this tea, the main people who would purchase it (I believe) are the health junkies, and they’re not in it for taste, but for health benefits.

190 °F / 87 °C

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Method: Gongfucha with 7 grams of leaf to 120 ml of water with a quick rinse
(The pot I’m using is my porcelain oolong pot with a pour of around 10 seconds, so subtract 10 seconds from the steep time to get the tea’s “idling” time.)

The dried leaves are predominantly a nice deep green, with a fair amount of lighter shades thrown in there. The smell of the leaf is roasted, It’s not smokey, but it smells like its been through the heat, which is what you’d want to look for in a light roast TieGuanYin.

1st Steep (15 seconds): The Color of the liquor is a very pale green, but the Smell coming off of it is divine! It’s roasty and has a vegetal sweetness on it. The Taste is quite light, but it is vegetal with some roast in the finish. The Aftertaste is a clean, simple, and lightly lingering toasty flavor.

2nd Steep (20 seconds): The Color has gotten obviously deeper, with just a touch of yellow added to it. The Smell has also gotten a fair bit stronger; it’s now similar to how Genmaicha smells, a little like roasted popcorn with some vegetal green-ness underneath. The Taste is sweet; the roast, even if it is just a light one, is at the forefront, with just a light and refreshing mouthfeel as it’s backdrop. The Aftertaste is definitely roasty, mostly on the sides of the tongue, like popcorn that’s almost been roasted too long.

3rd Steep (20 seconds): The Color’s slightly greener than the last steep, but the Smell shows no hints of letting up on it’s roast (keep in mind that it’s not overbearing, simply strong and present) anytime soon. The Taste has taken on a slightly fruity not, not too much though, like fruit that’s been roasted and dried. The Aftertaste is slightly astringent, I can feel it pulling on the inside of my lips, but it’s not at all unpleasant and has that nice roasty flavor.

4th Steep (30 seconds): I’m not really sure, but the Color seems like it’s gotten richer, although it might have just gotten a bit more yellow, not too sure on that count :). The Smell, though, is still that sweet roast, strong, but not overpowering, yet somehow delicate. The Taste is roast, roast, roast. I don’t think I’d like anything much more roasted than this. This, however, is nice. There’s some astringency in there, more than in the last steep, but it’s not too bad at all. I like having that light pull in the mouth. It’s not bitter, just corn-roasty. The Aftertaste has more corn than the taste, and the roast flavor has migrated to the back of the cheeks.

5th Steep (35 seconds): The Color on this is holding up incredibly well, not a single drop in shade or tone. The Smell is still roasty, but it’s starting to lessen a bit, so that the smell of the leaves themselves can begin to come through. The Taste is vegetal on the front, but in the finish it hits you with a roast that’s just as strong as the others, with no signs of letting up. The Aftertaste is still quite roasty, and the taste has come back to the sides of the tongue.

Summary: This is a good tea. And for the price ($9 USD per 50 grams) it’s a fantastic introduction to roasted oolongs. I’m not the biggest fan of roasted teas, I’ve had a few and only really liked one. This, however, has a light enough roast that it’s almost endearing. I could see how this would be comforting as a daily drinker, it’s got a welcoming roast scent and taste. Beginners unfamiliar with roasted teas would find this to be a nice tea to start wit, since it’s not overpowering. Roast-lovers probably already have some stashed away. Again, a great tea at an affordable price with just the right amount of roast on it.

195 °F / 90 °C

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Method: Gongfucha with 8 grams of tea to 140 ml of water with a quick rinse
(The pot I’m using is a Zisha pot that I’ve dedicated to Sheng Puerh. It has a pour speed of around 5 seconds, so subtract 5 seconds from the steep time to get the tea’s “idling” time.)

Upon looking at the cake, you can tell that it’s got some age on it. It’s darker than most of the other Sheng in my closet. The leaves are a very dark grey with a slight brown-ish tinge and have a moderate amount of small silver-gold buds streaking through the cake. The smell off the dry leaf is still fairly gasoline-ey, even after 10 years of storage, but there’s also a smokey tone underneath it.

1st Steep (10 seconds): The Color is a light honey-orange. The Smell is odd, I’m getting smoke, but it’s also a more colorful aspect that I just can’t place. The Taste is surprisingly delicate, mineral-ey, smokey, lightly fruity, but altogether far more delicate than I’d expect. The Aftertaste is clean and smooth, but there’s a smoke-ey mineral taste in the finish.

2nd Steep (15 seconds): The Color’s a bit darker, more like a moderately dark amber. The Smell has more mineral-ey fruit in it and much less smoke and a bit more of that petroleum scent. The Taste is mineral-ey with that “aged” taste, it’s actually quite good (I’ve had this tea earlier this year, but it was unbearable in it’s harshness). The Aftertaste brings in more of that petroleum bitterness, especially in the finish.

3rd Steep (15 seconds): The Color’s remained much the same, but the Scent has taken on a much lighter tone. It’s not sweet, but it’s far more mellow, like the scents of the last steep without the harshness thrown in. The Taste is also significant;y more appealing. It has a full mouthfeel that coats the entirety of the mouth and a taste that seems younger than it probably should be, minerals and petroleum covered in smoke (I swear it’s not as horrible as I’m probably making it sound! :) ). The Aftertaste brings some not-so-subtle astringency to the mix, but it’s not enough to make me turn away from it.

4th Steep (20 seconds): Color’s the same, still a beautiful amber. The Smell hasn’t dramatically changed either, but the Taste hits you right on the middle of the tongue, a smooth mineral bitterness that’s a world apart from simple “bitter”. The Aftertaste has some astringency still, but it too has evolved into a more refined aspect other than simple “astringency”.

5th Steep (30 seconds): The Color’s actually holding up remarkably well, most teas would have altered their color by now. The Smell is a sort of sweet bitterness; it’s not harsh, it more delicate than you’d expect. The Taste hits you at the top of the throat, and guess what, the smoke and honey are back!, which isn’t what I was expecting at all, but there mixed in with the mineral-ey-ness off the tea. The Aftertaste lingers on the middle of the tongue, a slight bitterness with a moderately tart astringency.

Summary: Not a bad Cake. I’m thinking that the Zisha clay took off some of the harshness. This is definitely not a daily drinker, nor is this something that I would encourage someone new to tea to drink. It’s quite harsh, even with the Zisha softening. I’ll brew this every now and again, but definitely not once a day, or even once a week, probably not even once a month.
It does evolve though, which gives me hope for it’s future. I’ll drink this when I feel the urge to be punched in the face with the bitter Fist of a Thousand Tea Cakes!

195 °F / 90 °C

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Method: Gongfucha with 7 grams of tea to 120 ml of water with a quick rinse
(I’m using my porcelain oolong pot, so be sure to subtract 10 seconds from the steep time to get the tea’s “idling” time)

Be warned, I know next to nothing about Dancong teas, but I’ll give it my best shot! :)
Right from the bag, the leaves are long and voluminous, they take up much more room compared to the Taiwanese teas that I usually drink, and are nearly black in color, with twinges of lighter casts around the insides of the twisted leaves. The smell coming off the leaves is very thick, like a fleshy fruit, kind of like a peach.

1st Steep (15 seconds): The Color of the steep is a sort of roasted gold, definitely lighter than what you’d expect from the color of the leaves. The Smell is fruity, there’s not much else to say, it smells like creamed peaches. The Taste is a bit more interesting, the fruity flavor is there, but the mouthfeel is brisk and relatively short lived. The Aftertaste, though brings in a bit of honey to the mix, not too bad so far.

2nd Steep (15 seconds): The Color’s only slightly darker, a tad more orange. The Scent is nicer, with a distinct honey presence entwined with the fruits. The Taste is fruity, but there’s a bitterness there, which is far more pronounced in the Aftertaste. I will, however, admit that this has a great silky mouthfeel on it.

3rd Steep (25 seconds): The Color is significantly more orange now. But the Smell has weakened a fair amount, which is odd. It sort of smells like pears, but in a weak sort of way. The Taste is fairly bitter, it’s still fruity underneath the bitterness, but the bitterness is the main taste, and the Aftertaste isn’t much better with it’s lingering bitter plum taste.

4th Steep (35 seconds): The Color’s dropping off, it’s not weak, but it’s a shade or two lighter, which is certainly noticable. The Smell is also weak, it’’s not bitter, it’s fruity, but only weakly so. The Taste, however, is not weak. It’s bitter to the core, with some light fruit thrown in there. It gives you an acrid bitter taste on the back of your tongue. The Aftertaste is just bitter as well, but there’s also some astringency for a kick.

Summary: I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t like this for the same reasons that I don’t like Wuyi teas, they leave a gross taste on my mouth and their flavors turn my stomach. Now, it’s not a bad tea, in fact, the base material of the tea itself is of fair quality, definitely better than Yunnan Sourcing’s Wuyi teas, but that doesn’t make up for the (to me at least) disgusting taste. I’m sure there are Dancong lovers out there who would diagree, but it’s just not a flavor that I enjoy.

195 °F / 90 °C

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Method: Gongfucha with 7 grams of leaf to 120 ml of water with a quick rinse
(The pot I’m using is a porcelain pot I use for Oolongs. It has a pour of aorund ten seconds, so subtract 10 seconds from the steep time to get the tea’s “idling” time)

TeaFromTaiwan Sample #1
Be warned! This is the first of MANY Taiwanese Oolong reviews. I just got in a bunch of smaples, so I’ve got TONS to review.

On opening the sample pouch, the leaves are very tightly rolled, they’re much smaller than the other teas I’ve gotten from TeaFromTaiwan, and are mostly deep green in color, with a few lighter streaks mixed in there. The smell coming off the dried leaves is very milky with just small hints that this is actually tea (not too surprising since this is a milk oolong), but it caught me off guard since this is my first nai xiang (milk oolong).

1st Steep (15 seconds): The Color of the liquor is a pale green-yellow. The Smell is light, but is slightly creamy; it’s a pale rendering of the strong smell off the leaves. The Taste is actually very sweet, kind of like the creamer that you’d put in coffee. The Aftertaste is just that same mouthwatering sweetness that lingers in the mouth.

2nd Steep (20 seconds): The Color has darkened and become somewhat greener. The Smell is definitely milky, a creamy sweetness in the nose. The Taste is MILK! It’s actually very delicious, and has a satiny mouthfeel. The Aftertaste is just a lingering milkiness.

3rd Steep (25 seconds): The Color has taken on a slightly greener cast, but it’s still pale and beautiful. The Smell is incredibly sweet, sort of like the taste of milk with sugar in it. The Taste is, incredibly, even sweeter. It’s sort of like drinking liquid sugar with a touch of oolong and milk in there, or maybe some kind of mellow Halloween candy. The Aftertaste is sweet, but there;s a twinge of bitterness in the finish, it’s not bad, it’s just a bit different after the flood of sweetness.

4th Steep (35 seconds): The Color’s now verdant, like a very green green tea. The Smell is almost sickly sweet, like I’m breathing in crushed up Smarties. The Taste is still very sweet like those Smarties with light hints of that green oolong flavor. The Aftertaste is a touch sour, it’s not unpleasant, but it’s not something I particularly enjoy.

5th Steep (45 seconds): The Color is starting to yellow up a bit, so now it’s more like an actual oolong. The Smell has also mellowed out a good bit, it still has a sharp sweet smell. The Taste has finally regained some of that milk taste, and the Aftertaste is almost gone.

Summary: This is a very sweet tea. I find it amazing that this doesn’t have any added flavorings. While this tea is very sweet in the first steepings, it does mellow out in later steeps. This is my first nan xiang, but I have to assume that there are others that are less intense than this one. It’s not my favorite tea, I’ll admit. If you have a sweet tooth, I guess this tea would be for you.

190 °F / 87 °C

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Method: Gongfucha with 7 grams of leaf to 120 ml of water with a quick rinse.
(The pot I’m using is the porcelain pot I use for Oolongs. It has a pour of around ten seconds, so subtract 10 seconds from the steep time to get the tea’s “idling” time)

The leaves are shaped much like other Gao Shan teas I’ve had, large, dark green balls with gold-green stems connected. The smell coming off the leaves is great, a mouthwatering creamy, fruity, sugary smell. Can’t wait!

1st Steep (15 seconds): There’s a lot of green going on in the Color here, and the Scent, while still light, has that mice mouthwatering effect. It smells sweet, with hints of that Gao Shan creaminess. Te Taste, especially for the first infusion, is very good. There that creaminess that just rides on a silken mouthfeel. The Aftertaste is sweet, like water with just a bit of sugar in it.

2nd Steep (20 seconds): The Color has a deeper green-yellow color, which is actually quite nice to look at in the cup, but the Smell is gorgeous, flowery fruit scents everywhere. The Taste is a bit floral with a slight astringency, but there’s a nice slick mouthfeel, like it’s just gliding along the tongue. The Aftertaste is lasting, a sweet creaminess that simply lingers on the middle of the tongue.

3rd Steep (20 seconds): The Color’s gotten a bit darker, now it’s more like a yellowed jade color. The Smell is great, floral with some creaminess, but the Taste, God, the Taste. Sweet, floral, creamy, perfect, it’s incredibly smooth and has a wonderful viscosity, not too thick, but not weak at all. The Aftertaste is splendid, a sugary floral taste with a very pleasant bite. This might be my favorite steeping since I started recording my tastings. :)

4th Steep (25 seconds): Color’s holding up very nicely. The Smell is like I’m sniffing a flower, I just have no idea what that flower is, it’s beautiful, though. The mouthfeel is the first thing I’m noticing, it’s still slick (TeafromTaiwan calls it “buttery”), but’s it’s effecting a different part of my mouth, the sides of my toungue and the back part of the roof of my mouth. The Taste has homogenized a little, it’s still smooth and sweet and floral, but the tastes are running together a bit. Te Aftertaste is really long-lasting.

5th Steep (35 seconds): Color, still just being beautiful. The Scent’s weaker, a light flowery-thing with come Gao Shan cream in there. The Taste, though is drastically different. It’s sugary. you feel it on the tip of your tongue when you first take a sip. It’s ultra smooth, though, with a sweet fruity-ness in the Aftertaste. It’s wonderful. :)

Summary: Please do not stop at 5 steep, I beg you! This tea has much and more to offer in terms of taste and mouthfeel development. I am in love with this tea! It’s not ultra cheap, but it’s not super expensive. At $25 USD for 75 grams, I’m running around $2.33 USD for a gongfu session. While it’s coming up on double the price of the Ali Shan Four Seasons ($1.21 per session), it’s not wholly unreasonable or even something to save for special occasions (think Da Yu Ling). I like this tea, it has all of the qualities of a wonderful Gao Shan without the “Mega-Ultra-Super-Price” of a Da Yu Ling ($46 USD per 75 grams). I recommend this to every one! Beginners, this is grown at 1900 meters, if you want to get higher up the slopes without breaking the bank, this is a good place to start. Veterans, this is a Great stand-by, not super expensive, but of impeccable quality!

185 °F / 85 °C

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Method: Gongfucha with 7 grams of tea to 120 ml of water with a quick rinse
(The pot I’m using is a porcelain teapot with a pour of about 10 seconds, so subtract 10 seconds from the steep time to get the tea’s “idling” time)

The leaves are very nice, dark green in color with dusted-gold stems connecting the leaves. The dried leaves smell interesting, a little like oatmeal cookies with that high mountain creaminess mixed in (not surprising since this is grown at 1300 meters). The wet leaf after the rinse has more of that green oolong-ey smell, but the weird cookie smell is definitely still there.

1st Steep (15 seconds): The Color is a light green-yellow, and has a fair depth for a first infusion. The smell is sweet, with only a little bit of that high mountain cream. The taste is pretty light (not surprising, first infusion), but it’s light and refreshing, with a bit of that “green-ness” that comes out in green tea. The Aftertaste is also really light, but it is slightly lingering.

2nd Steep (20 seconds): The Color is significantly more vibrant, with a twinge more green in it. The Scent is elegant, with just a little high mountainy-ness. The Taste is great, like I’m drinking the smell of fresh baked cookies (if that makes any kind of sense :) ). There’s not much of an aftertaste, but that’s okay.

3rd Steep (25 seconds): The Color is still that nice yellowed jade. The Smell is nice, like your average green oolong, but the Taste is wonderful. like the oatmeal raisins I was smelling on the dry leaf, but with a nice, thick moutheel. There’s some slight bitterness in the aftertaste, but that’s probably just the work of me using slightly hotter than normal water on this steep.

4th Steep (35 seconds): The Color of this is holding up very nicely. The Smell is still very nice, but it doesn’t jump out at you. The high mountain creaminess is definitely coming out a lot more in Taste here, and the mouthfeel has become more silky. Not too much of an Aftertaste, just a lightly lingering feeling in the mouth, which I promise isn’t bitterness or astringency.

Summary: A very nice Taiwanese oolong. Thoroughly enjoyable to the veteran and the novice alike. As an intro tea for Taiwanese oolong, or even just higher elevation, you can’t really go wrong. The price, at $13 USD for 75 grams, is probably too reasonable for the quality that you’re getting. I heartily recommend that a beginner in Taiwanese Gao Shan start with this tea (or at least something similar), but for the “pros” out there, this is an inexpensive standby for you high mountain cravings! :)

190 °F / 87 °C

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Method: 8 grams of tea to 140 ml of water in a Zisha Pot with a quick rinse.
(subtract 5 seconds from the time in order to get the tea’s idling time)

The Cake has a nice deep grey-green color with a fair ammount of silver buds running through it. The dry leaf smells slightly fruity, with a subtle hinting of that Shen bitterness.

1st Steep (10 seconds): The Color is a pale yellow with a touch of gold. The Smell is light (especially since it’s the first steep), fruit and bitterness, you can tell it’s young. The Taste is very good for a first infusion, which makes me want the second really bad! There’s a moderately strong fruit first, but in the Aftertaste, you get that slight bitterness and astringency which reminds you that this is definitely a young Sheng.

2nd Steep (15 seconds): The Color has gotten darker, but not nearly so dark as the Ye Sheng that I reviewed. The Smell’s gotten just a bit stronger, not much though. The Taste, however, has gotten a major overhaul! It’s still got some fruit in the beginning, but it’s bitter and astringent, possibly so much that the weaklings would have to stop. The Aftertaste is similar, but there’s a slight roasty flavor there.

3rd Steep (20 seconds): The Color’s still a light amber-ish shade. The Scent is weak, though, not much to note there. The Taste, though, is fresh, green, with some fruit and strong bitterness and astringency; but in the very long Aftertaste, you get the characteristic Sheng gasoline taste. This is a really good tea!

4th Steep (30 seconds): The Color is still so pretty! The Scent is still bitter fruit. The Taste is less “in your face” than the last steeping, but it still has those same tastes. It serves them to you in a more drawn out way, rather than all at once. The Aftertaste is still the same. I really like it, as a lover of Young Sheng.

5th Steep (40 seconds): Color’s the same as before, nice yellow amber. The Scent is a bit more bitter, but otherwise hasn’t dramatically changed. The Taste, on the other hand, has mellowed quite a bit. It’s still strong, but the front of the taste has changed dramatically, from the bitter fruit of previous steeps, to the succulent fruits of now, with some bitterness thrown into the back. Aftertaste is much the same.

Summary: This is a really good tea if you’re like me and enjoy the strong, bitter, and gasoline-ey tastes from your Sheng. I would recommend this to those people all day. For a beginner, however, there are more friendly places to start with Sheng. A good tea for daily drinking, since the $25 -$28 USD price tag isn’t gonna break the bank.

195 °F / 90 °C

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Method: Gongfucha with 8 grams of leaf to 140 ml of water with a quick rinse in a Zisha Pot
(The Pour speed of the pot used is ~5 seconds, so subtract 5 seconds from the time to get the actual steeping time.)

The Leaf of the cake is yellow-ish. It’s not sickly looking, just an interesting turn of color from the grey-ish greens that I usually find in Sheng Puerh (possibly because this is an Autumn harvest, but I’m not really sure). The dry leaf smells smokey, with light touches of honey. After sitting in my preheated pot, however, it changes to become more honey scented.

1st Steep (10 seconds): The Color is a honey-yellow, which I expect will darken in the steepings to come. The liquor Smells unambiguously like honey with a touch of smoke; it’s sweet, but has that slight smokey bite to it. The Taste is very light and sweet, which I do not think will last (I probably should have rinsed this twice or infused a bit longer). The Aftertaste, even though I probably under-brewed this, is thick in comparison to the taste, with a lingering honey taste.

2nd Steep (15 seconds); The Color has a good bit more orange. The Smell is an interesting melange of honey and smoke. The Taste is still incredibly light, which is very surprising in the world of Sheng. There’s not much of an Aftertaste, unless you want to count a slight lingering honey in the back of the throat.

3rd Steep: (25 seconds): I doubled the idling time! The Color has gotten a touch more orange, which is nice, I’d like to get some flavors other than weak honey from this. The Smell still has that interesting “smoked honey” scent on it. The Taste has gotten more interesting. There’s a fruit presence now which is aided by the sweet tones of honey. The Aftertaste is on the middle of the tongue, but it’s flavors are still fairly muted, just a lingering sweetness, not bad, but not too impressive either.

4th Steep (35 Seconds): Ten more seconds! Color still looks nice, holding up. I must admit, the color is more orange than this tea’s year of age would attest to. The Scent is still nice, but hasn’t gotten any more complex. The taste is like fruit that has been put in a smoke-house for a minute or two, it’s not too weak, but’s again, it’s not too impressive. The Aftertaste is clean, but that’s about all that can be said for it.

5th Steep (50 Seconds): The Color is still that nice orange. The Smell hasn’t changed noticeably. The taste is just weak at this point. Not really an Aftertaste.

Bonus Round!: (3 minutes at boiling!): Color’s a bit darker. Smell is strong (comparatively). Taste is more interesting. Fruity, smokey, honey-ey(?), with some slight bitterness int he background. THIS is what I wanted!

Summary: This is a light and smooth tea, but for a Sheng puerh, it’s unbearably delicate. If someone wants something smooth for just occasional drinking, this would be okay, but I can’t really recommend this. If a beginner wanted an introduction to Sheng, there are far more representative selections out there for almost the same price ($22 USD).

I will be trying this again in a month or two. I will admit that the Zisha that I used is young (possibly too young to make great tea) and is also un-seasoned, possibly a mistake(?).

195 °F / 90 °C

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Method: 3 grams of tea to 85 ml of water with no rinse.

The leaves are tightly curled into countless, deep green ringlets. I can not get over what a deep green these leaves are, it’s actually quite astonishing. They smell very nice, corny with hints of theat green tea sweet grassiness.

1st Steep (30 seconds): The Color is a jade-ish green-yellow, but it’s really the Scent that hit’s you first, a warm bouquet of thick corn with a very slightly grassy undertone. The Taste is delicate, a simple, light grassiness, but the Aftertaste is corny with touches of sweet fruit in the finish.

2nd Steep (30 seconds): The Color is still that nice jade-green with a bit of yellow, but the Smell has changed very noticeably. It’s very grassy, but I want to say that it’s also a little smokey, it’s a complex smell, but I find it intriguing. The Taste is far more grassy, the corn has almost been forgotten. The Aftertaste is where that odd “smoke” flavor comes back. It’s not smoke like Lapsang, or the taste you sometimes get from Sheng puerh; it’s infinitely more delicate than either of those. It’s fascinating.

3rd Steep (45 seconds): The Color retains all of it’s beautiful hues, which is wonderful for such a delicate tea. The Smell is weaker, but still carries that sweet grassiness of good green tea. The Taste has opened a bit more, the grassiness is paramount, but there’s also more fruit note mixed in there. The Aftertaste is where that strange “smoke” remains, but it’s accompanied by more fruity and grass notes.

Summary: This is a really good tea. It’s complex enough to give seasoned veterans of the tea world something to enjoy, but is kind enough to allow for a novice to come in an appreciate it. At $20 USD for 100 grams, this seems quite affordable, but seeing as how this is my first Yun Wu tea, I don’t have any quality/price standard to go by. I would, however, pay for this again, as I actually enjoy it quite a bit.

175 °F / 79 °C

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Hi, I’m Dylan. :)

I’ve been really into tea for a couple of years now. I started out with Twinings tea bags from Publix and now I’m having Taiwanese Gao Shan and Sheng Puerh. That’s a /massive/ step up.

I much prefer the lighter oxidized teas like greens, green oolongs, and sheng puerh, but I do keep a fair stash of shou puerh and a red tea or two for when I feel like it.

I usually brew my teas gongfu style (I have a bamboo tea tray, yixing pots, gaiwans, the whole nine yards), but I’ll also brew tea “grandpa style” in a pint glass if I’m feeling particularly lazy that day.
If you go by volume, I drink around 2.5-4.5 liters of tea in a day, which usually comes to around 10-25 grams of leaf in a day, a lot of tea, I know. :)
I hope to learn all I can about tea and drink some fine leaf along the way. :)

My Brewing Vessels:
1. 85 ml gaiwan for green tea
2. 120 ml porcelain teapot for green oolongs
3. 140 ml Yixing teapot for Sheng Puerh
4. Identical 140 ml Yixing teapot for Shou Puerh
5. 16 oz pint glass
I also have a simple white cha hai and several simple white cups for my teas (except greens, because the gaiwan came with a beautiful matching cup.)


Athens, Georgia, Untied States

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