I’m still getting used to these GABA oolongs. I like them, but I often find them a bit confounding. I finished the last of a 10 gram sample of this tea yesterday afternoon, and now that I have had a little time to process my experience with it, I can safely say that I found it very enjoyable.

I prepared this tea gongfu style. After a brief rinse, I steeped 6 grams of loose tea leaves in 4 ounces of 194 F water for 8 seconds. This infusion was chased by 14 subsequent infusions. Steep times for these infusions were as follows: 10 seconds, 12 seconds, 16 seconds, 20 seconds, 25 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, 1 minute 15 seconds, 1 minute 30 seconds, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, and 5 minutes.

Prior to the rinse, I detected aromas of cream, raisin, and pear coming from the dry tea leaves. The rinse brought out aromas of honey, fig, and prune. I failed to detect any new aromas on the first infusion. In the mouth, I noted flavors of cream, pear, fig, honey, raisin, and prune. Oddly, there was a hint of straw toward the finish. Subsequent infusions brought out stronger straw impressions as well as baked bread, brown sugar, vanilla, malt, orange, mineral, and date notes. Hints of roasted almond, roasted peanut, wood, peach, red apple, and herbs were also detectable in places. The later infusions offered lingering mineral, straw, baked bread, and roasted almond notes that were underscored by traces of orange, pear, honey, red apple, and raisin.

A complex and relatively long-lived tea, I found a lot to enjoy with this one. It was very smooth and mellow in the mouth despite being a touch syrupy at times. All of the aroma and flavor components worked well together. Overall, this was just a nicely balanced, pleasant, aromatic, and flavorful oolong. I could not find any glaring flaws and would have no issue recommending it to fans of Taiwanese oolongs.

Flavors: Almond, Baked Bread, Brown Sugar, Cream, Dates, Dried Fruit, Fig, Herbs, Honey, Mineral, Orange, Peach, Peanut, Pear, Raisins, Red Apple, Straw, Vanilla, Wood

6 g 4 OZ / 118 ML

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My grading criteria for tea is as follows:

90-100: Exceptional. I love this stuff. If I can get it, I will drink it pretty much every day.

80-89: Very good. I really like this stuff and wouldn’t mind keeping it around for regular consumption.

70-79: Good. I like this stuff, but may or may not reach for it regularly.

60-69: Solid. I rather like this stuff and think it’s a little bit better-than-average. I’ll drink it with no complaints, but am more likely to reach for something I find more enjoyable than revisit it with regularity.

50-59: Average. I find this stuff to be more or less okay, but it is highly doubtful that I will revisit it in the near future if at all.

40-49: A little below average. I don’t really care for this tea and likely won’t have it again.

39 and lower: Varying degrees of yucky.

Don’t be surprised if my average scores are a bit on the high side because I tend to know what I like and what I dislike and will steer clear of teas I am likely to find unappealing.



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