149 Tasting Notes

drank Gaba Cha by Camellia Sinensis
149 tasting notes

I’m not one usually for hype, and I’m also not really one for oolongs, but this was a great exception!

It had this sickly sweet taste, almost reminds you of caramelized bananas foster, except in a dark rum (that’s been aged in a new world oak barrel). There was also a touch of lychee/other sweet tropical fruit.

I’m actually going to buy some of this tea to give to some of my Muslim friends to explain what rum tastes like.

Taste = 93
Price = 50
Representation = (NA)
New Score of 71.5

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This was a lovely Long Jing. A slightly bitter vegtal notes, think like a belgian endive, mixed with roasted chestnuts, and some light chocolate notes. While it wasn’t as ‘full-bodied’ or long lasting mouth feel, this was still a very enjoyable tea to enjoy.

Way too pricey though in my opinion.

Price = 31.25
Representation = 90
Taste = 94

New Score of 71.75

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Hmmm. Unfortunately I just can’t seem to brew this tea in a way that I like it. I get a decent Chinese green tea taste, with a fair bit of minerals, but other than that it just feels weak with no character.

I love the shape of how pretty these leaves are, but dare I say that this is a tea that is even too delicate for me.

New Ranking
Taste = 82
Representation = 80
Price = 19.1

New Ranking of 60.35

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This is one that I really could find myself loving. This one has a little longer oxidation time, and is darker. Which is exactly what I like in my first flushes. No surprise there is also a bit more muscatel taste.

Overall I like this tea, I like the tangerine/cashew tany/sweetness of it, but I also getting a feeling of this tea not being at its full potential.

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This was a delicious First Flush, but I’m leaving the recommend area blank, as I enjoyed it, but I’m not really sure it was worth the money.

I probably brewed this one a little too close to the 95c mark, and it it would do better with a longer, but colder brew. After my tea had reached room temperature, I got some delicious tropical fruit tastes, almost a papaya green mango salad thing. But while it was warm/hot, the dominant tastes were bitter vegetable.


I thought it was good but not great. Good compared with other Darjeelings from other retailers. Not great as I would expect from Mariage Freres and the high price tag.


Yeah. It had a nice full-mouth feel, and I could really see that it had complexity, or at least the potential for complexity, just didn’t follow through. There was this “sour” element to it, I’ve never had pickled mango before, but maybe it would be something like that?

I’ve still got my two other MF’s FF to go, so maybe I will like them more.

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I didn’t taste that much distinction at first, however as it cooled I got some nice woody tastes, as well as more enjoyable floral aromas. I did enjoy this after some roasted hummus though so maybe my taste buds were combining the two!

Good floral tones of gardenia and magnolia, as well as some pepper and not so distinct vegetables.

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This is a perfectly fine Darjeeling, its just a little bit mediocre, especially compared to the others I have tasted so far. I get a nice oaty grain taste, and a oily vanilla taste. If you are into wines, think American oak over French oak.

The fault with this one may be with me though, as it certainly had a higher bitter vegetal note. As it cooled I got some nice floral tones of gardenia too.

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A little less pricey than the Thurbo, I had a hard time distinguishing between the two. I would describe the Seeyok though as being more “fruity” and more “woodsy” though. The astringency was mild, and I got some roasted red pepper, as well as some almost artificial cherry tastes underneath the ‘green’ first flush taste.

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While I enjoy oolongs, I’m not one to become obsessed over them. This tea has a lovely vegetal floral aroma as it brews (think steamed spinach with gardenia flowers), but the taste didn’t quite live up to this heady aroma. The brew was almost a salty bok choy, or endive, which was pleasant, just wasn’t expecting.

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This was the most expensive FF black Darjeeling that Camellia Sinensis offered; which set a high standard in my book.

Luckily this tea followed through. While a little more light and delicate than I usually appreciate in my FF’s, this had a lovely floral aroma, that had a soft sweetness to it that I would describe as nectar.

Jasmine and roses and faint honey suckle, with a honey crisp apple astringency/sweetness. As it cooled it gained a bit more nutty/full bodied taste that I would describe as dried walnuts.


Is this a green Darjeeling? I am looking to taste a good one again, this sounds like a decent one to consider.


Yeah, its been pretty good. So far the best one I have tasted, but I still have 7 more to go. I liked this one because it was more floral and fragrant, and less “woodsy” “peppery”. I think I am also going to buy some of this estates second flush as I could see this having a very very good muscatel taste.

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blah blah blah, come on people, not every tea can be ranked 80+. Rant, rave; but honestly not every tea you drink can be ranked the same, otherwise you defeat the point of giving the grade!

So as other people have broken down their ranking systems, I am doing the same.

I’ve also decided to update my reviewing system. I’m going to be ranking across a 3 system scale on: taste, accurate representation, and price.

Taste = 0-100 (see old ranking)
Accurate Representation = 75 being average (how true it is to its style of production. So a Darjeeling that tastes like an Assam would rank lower)
Price = Percent difference of what I think the tea is worth


Old Ranking
90-100 = I’m quite happy to buy again
70-89 = Acceptable representation
50-69 = Wouldn’t order again
20-49 = Meh
10-19 = Average tea bag ranking
0-9 = Needed to brush my teeth immediately



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