Sky Between the Branches (Gu Zhang Mao Jian)

Tea type
Green Tea
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Floral, Sweet, Vegetal
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Edit tea info Last updated by Jason
Average preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 30 sec 2 g 3 oz / 100 ml

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From The Republic of Tea

Gu Zhang Mao Jian Tea – Harvested ten days each spring on the banks of Qiushiu River in the Wuyi Mountains. This Chinese green tea is renowned for its tender silver tips, faint sweet cup and chestnut character.

About The Republic of Tea View company

The Republic of Tea is a progressive and socially conscious business recognized for being the leading purveyor of more than 200 premium teas and herbs, ready-to-drink iced teas and more. Founded in 1992, The Republic of Tea sparked a tea revolution in America with the purpose of enriching people’s lives through the experience of premium teas and a Sip by Sip Rather Than Gulp by Gulp lifestyle.

17 Tasting Notes

368 tasting notes

A good way to make this seem much better than it is (to me) is to make it my first cup of real tea in a full week.

I still don’t like drinking flowers, though.


Floral teas are not really among my favorites, either

Jim Marks

That’s because it isn’t good :-)


Huh?….Oh man, I love a good Jasmine tea —ie Jasmine Pearls. I don’t drink it every day, it wouldn’t be as special if I did.


RoT has some good blends, and I haven’t tried their loose teas, but I find I need two teabags sometimes-even for average size cups. I think their loose teas are a little high when compared to the competition’s prices. They spend too much on packaging and looking good.

Jim Marks

I just hate flowers. The smell gives me a headache. Whether it is growing on the plant, crushed into a perfume, or scented onto a tea. It just isn’t for me.

I get RoT in bulk bin canisters from my local snootsville grocery store, so the packaging and whatnot has been taken from the equation. It is still pricy, but it saves me shipping costs compared to ordering online. I haven’t found a dedicated tea retailer in Houston that sells anything I actually want to buy, yet, so I get these loose RoT as daily drinkers and save the online order materials for the more occasional cup.

But yes, their tea bags are awful.


I’ve only tried their teabags and just don’t like the fluff with their marketing. I think that’s another reason I avoid their loose teas.


@Jim my local Whole foods has some pretty nice quality teas in bulk from the Silk Road. Do you know if yours does?


I don’t remember seeing bulk tea at the WF near my son, but I will def check it out Monday when I drive up there!

Jim Marks

I’ve never seen their marketing.

Our WF’s seem to focus on Rishi as their provider of loose teas.

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767 tasting notes

this tea. nicely played little tea. i brewed it up kind haphazardly and wasn’t trying too hard to choose a tea, i was like whatevs, and the second i tasted it i was all “hey! … i like this! yum!” gulp gulp gulp

it was gone in record time.
could have been the hours i spent in the sun i suppose? but yum!

so good Shelley_Lorraine. so good.

to bad this isn’t for sale! but hopefully eventually…

“The Tea Calendar has been launched in a limited special edition. It is very expensive, handmade and not commercially available in this form. This first edition will be followed by a longer development phase in which the Tea Calendar is to be brought to market.”

eventually brought to market. i’ll be looking for it cuz i’m SO CURIOUS.

BrewTEAlly Sweet

That looks so cool. I hope it comes out!


Die Beschreibung ist in deutscher Sprache, aber die Kalender ist Englisch :( I want a German calendar :)


I don’t know any German, but that looks freaking awesome! I wonder if the teas contaminate each other if they’re so close together like that though. I’d think they’d each need to be individually packaged and sealed. But very cool!

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511 tasting notes

oh yummy, savory, vegetal green, I would be lost without you <3

And what this? Do I finally detect some of that woody and earthy flavor that others have described. Why yes, I think so. How many more secrets do you hold mysterious green tea?

I think that you have been so aptly named.

175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec
Terri HarpLady

This used to be one of my favorites, back when I was drinking lots of green teas. I actually used the name of this tea in the lyrics to my song, TeaMind (Zen Breakfast CD). The actual verse reads:
“Music, in his moment, note by note, the whole of life,
Teamind, just this moment, sip by sip, this is life.
Drinking tea, like playing music,
subtly alters both mind & mood,
from the sky between the branches to the dragon well,
journey within, return renewed.”


oooh, pretty :)

Terri HarpLady

Thanks! That’s the 2nd verse :)
That CD is no longer available as a disc, I sold them all! But it’s available for download on itunes, if you’d like to hear it.


oh swell, ill have to look for that then (^^)

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911 tasting notes

Okay, this is surprisingly good. I was at the grocery store the other day and poked around to see what offerings RoT had in the Chinese green department. Chicago Tea Garden made me like them (with their lovely Wuyu and Bi Luo Chun). I just ran out of the BLC and since it’s not like I can buy any more, I’ve been kind of hoping (but not expecting) to find something that could replace it.

This isn’t quite there, but maybe with some tweaking it could be a good contender. It’s got the nice sweetness that CTG’s BLC has and a good nuttiness. It does have a prickle of saltiness and astringency and a bit more sharpness to it than CTG’S BLC, but it’s not so strong that it is unpleasant. I wonder if, with a shorter steep time or less leaf, I could get that astringency to back of. If I could get it to do that without losing the sweeter notes, I’d be a happy camper.

I will say, I’m pretty sure this stuff is fairly fresh as the store didn’t offer this in their bulk section the week or so before I bought it. I’m starting to think that the fresher a Chinese green is, the more sweetness this is. Can anyone confirm or deny that thought?


oohhh, love the name of it!


Fleurdelily – it is a pretty name, isn’t it?

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42 tasting notes

Second time drinking this. The taste to me would be like water in a pristine stream that just grazes the silt of the riverbed. Earthily mild.

185 °F / 85 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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124 tasting notes

Not sure why I said it tasted like white last time. This is definitely green and has an earthy flavor. Nice, but basic. This is the last of my stash and I doubt I’ll be replacing it.

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec

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1014 tasting notes

Drank some of this at work and smiled as it reminded me of Butiki’s organic Spring Twist.

Sweet, yet with the vegetable taste… such a wonderful cup for what $6/ounce… it’s a pretty good deal for the quality … which I did not expect from Republic of Tea (aka, one reason it’s in a baggie where I store my highlighters :p )

p.s. this is the loose leaf version I had/have


TROT has some very good teas when you start to dive into their Limited Edition and Rare tea selections. This is one I haven’t tried but I’ll have to make myself some tomorrow at work.

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291 tasting notes

This green tea looks rather thin and delicate like mei hua or a bi luo chun but less fuzzy. The scent is sweet and has a note of tropical fruit, maybe passion fruit, as well as a lightly floral quality and a vegetal kind of green bean scent.

The taste is gentle. The most obvious to me is a lotus flavor, which is sort of a creamy and delicate floral and anise-like flavor if you’ve never had it. As the tea cools it tastes rather umami, a bit like gyokuro, and there’s a hint of pleasant bitterness in the finish.

On the second infusion, the flavor is similar but a bit sweeter and milder. Same with the third, but yeilding a little more bitterness.

I brewed it at 2.5g/100ml. When I brewed it again with only 2g of leaf per 100ml the flavor was much more delicate and the “pleasant bitterness” wasn’t even present at all, so it’s a much smoother cup. I’ve been experimenting with leaf amounts for green tea in a pseudo-gongfu style lately to try to find what works best for me. It’s been a lot tougher for green teas than most other types. I keep fluctuating between 2.5g and 2g per 100ml, and much like with this review, the higher amount gives stronger tasting results with more distinguishable flavors, while the lower amount tends to produce a more agreeable and delicate flavor, but bordering on so subtle as to be bland, not in the sense that it doesn’t taste good, but in the sense that it doesn’t taste significantly different from other green teas. Particularly, the repeated infusions seem really dull with this amount of leaf.
As for Sky Between the Branches, I think it’s one of the better green teas you’ll find from Republic of Tea. It’s worth a try if you have it in bulk nearby. They stock it at Whole Foods near me. I wouldn’t buy a whole can of it without trying first though.

Flavors: Floral, Sweet, Vegetal

175 °F / 79 °C 1 min, 0 sec 2 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

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45 tasting notes

I don’t think I prepared this correctly. . . it’s so mild it’s almost not there at all. I pick up a vague vegetalness that clings to the tongue a bit after I’ve swallowed. I do adore the currrrrrly little leaves, though!

I’m gonna hafta make another cup before I decide whether or not I like it; indeed, or if there’s even anything to like.


I noticed there was very big difference in flavor just between using 2g of leaf per 100ml water and 2.5g leaf per 100ml. One was almost flavorless and the other was almost too flavorful. It is a kind of picky tea, I think.

Jilly Beane

Thanks, I’ll add more tea :)

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47 tasting notes

This tea was both good and somewhat disappointing. I think I would have liked it better if I had approached it as just a regular Chinese green, but I was expecting more. For one, I started using filtered water (my city’s tap water tastes good, so I didn’t think it would change much, but it improved the other teas I had tried. Moreover, both the price ($22 per tin—but I only got two teaspoons’ worth at Whole Foods, which was lucky) and the description made me expect a spectacularly fantastic green. Maybe it was, and my taste buds just aren’t yet used to all the subtleties in Chinese greens, but to me it tasted like others I’ve had. Good, but not fantastic.

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