Looking back in my log book, I took some hasty notes with a 10g sample of the Autumn 2018 harvest purchased a month or two ago.

One brew was 5g stewed in my 20oz thermos for several hours. Delightfully tangy, sweet and fruity with berries.

The other 5g I dedicated to gongfu. I was able to pick apart the fruitiness into a dominant sweet-tart red raspberry-red apple-grape-rhubarb with other notes of blackberry, blueberry, red cherry, pear, white toast, baked bread, malt and butter. The minerality and salivation appeared very early and transitioned into a woodier, drier mouthfeel that when combined with the taste reminded me of apricot kernel. Juicy fruit aroma (not the chewing gum).
[5g, 100mL porcelain pot, 205F, rinse discarded due to sharp toastiness, good longevity]

This Vietnamese GABA definitely had that grape quality I find in most Taiwanese GABA oolong of a specific cultivar that at the moment is escaping me. However, this tea was more berry-focused; a nice departure from the floral grape I’ve been experiencing lately.

The flavor notes listed below are a combination of both brewing methods.

Wishlisted — I’ll have to buy a larger quantity next time!

Flavors: Almond, Apricot, Berries, Blackberry, Blueberry, Bread, Brown Toast, Butter, Cherry, Flowers, Fruity, Grapes, Honey, Malt, Pear, Raisins, Raspberry, Red Apple, Rhubarb, Sweet, Tangy, Tart, Thick, Toast, Wood

205 °F / 96 °C 5 g 3 OZ / 100 ML

Ooooh @Derk, this is my all-time favorite GABA tea <3 I’m almost ready to order as well.

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Ooooh @Derk, this is my all-time favorite GABA tea <3 I’m almost ready to order as well.

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If you’re an aspiring or current tea grower, let’s talk! I am slowly beginning a tea farm here in Northern California. Currently growing are young plants pulled from the ground and gifted to me after a visit to Fairhope Tea Plantation in Alabama. The parent plants are sinensis variety from a defunct Lipton research project. I’ve also started seeds from Camellia Forest Nursery in North Carolina. The types include Camellia taliensis, an assamica variety, and 3 sinensis varieties including “Small leaf” “Large leaf” and “Black Sea.” To learn how to process tea into different styles, I plan on traveling to China and Taiwan if/when COVID becomes a relative non-issue. I’m taking Mandarin classes to aid in this journey.

Tea became a hobby and my daily drink of choice some time late in the last decade. My introduction to loose leaf came, following a lone tin of some Tie Guan Yin oolong many years prior, in the form of dumpster-dived Wuyi oolong packets that somebody left upon moving out of an apartment building. From there, my palate expanded to teas from across China and the world. I used to focus more on taste and still harbor the habit, but after trying sheng pu’er, I tend to focus more on how a tea feels in my body. Does it complement my constitution? Does it change my mood or does it enhance my current mindstate? While I may not mention those effects in tea notes, it is what I value most.

Flavored teas are not a favorite but I do drink them intermittently. Drink a variety of teabags at work. Herbal teas/tisanes provide balance. Unfiltered tap water heathen (it’s good here).

In terms of who I am, you could consider me a jill of all trades. Specialty is not my strength, as can be seen in the spread of my tea notes.

One thing I will always love is riding a bicycle.


Sonoma County, California, USA

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