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.