Leaf Type: Oolong
Where to Buy: Butiki Teas
Our Gui Fei Oolong was sourced from Lugu Township in Nantou County, Taiwan and is a particularly unique tea. Green leafhoppers are allowed to bite the tea leaves which causes the leaves to begin the healing process which creates the honey notes in this tea and also begins the oxidation process. This tea utilized traditional Dong Ding processing techniques. Gui Fei Oolong has a natural sweetness to it and produces no astringency. Notes of honey, lightly burned toast, raw almonds and apples can be detected.
Learn more about this tea here.
Good Heavens! This tea smells DIVINE! Seriously I have had this in my stash for ages now and just never got around to testing it out. I am angry with myself for waiting so long! I am kicking myself!
The aroma is peach and honey. The dry leaf is nuggety and a few stems while the moist leaf is still quite dry and I hope for more steeps to follow! The cup is a beautiful sunny orange color.
My first sips emote honey, peach, and candies almonds. What a pure and simple delight! This will be consumed regularly until it is time to reorder. Still angry at myself for sitting on this one!
Subtle notes of oak are peaking through. I do not detect any apple notes but perhaps in the second infusion. I am getting a mouthfeel of brandy like consistency. Thick and syrup like yet not clinging to my mouth like syrup, much brighter than that – not heavy just very juicy and refreshing in a sweet rich sort of way.
There is some astringency to this cup and it is a tad sour on the after taste much like a peach that is not fully ripened yet, but as you wait a little the flavor tames into almost an oak moss flavor and then the sweetness comes back around. There is a palate cleansing effect that follows.
My second steep is still deep in color perhaps even more so which is surprising. The steep turned into more of a reddish orange rather than a bright sun colored orange. The astringency still exists, which is something I have found in Butiki Teas oolong more so than others but it is nice as it reminds me of a black tea’s astringency even though the flavor description says there is none but again, I don’t mind at all. I am now getting a savory sweet note like apples and sage that I often cook with together.
I decided that I needed to “pair” my tea with a chocolate truffle. Okay I was making excuses to have one but hey I wanted a truffle! This brought out the peach notes in the tea by truck loads! Literally it was like a truck load of juicy ripe peaches drove into my mouth! Okay not literally but figuratively. Regardless it was amazing! Now I could easily use this new discovery of the paring as an excuse to have another truffle but alas I would prefer to savor my third steep allowing it to stand on its own.
Steep three although not necessarily the final steep but the last I will write about still has a lovely color to it. It does not seem to be weakening at all! The flavors are still very present with the peachy notes, along with the wood notes. It is becoming more oak-y in flavor now however and a little less sweet. Now it is settling into a tea that one would kick back and really relax with and it may even be making me a little sleepy due to its easy going qualities – no not sleepy but grounded. Like a good meditative tea!
End result is this tea has many layers of flavors to offer someone willing to sit down and contemplate it. One could easily suck down cup after cup and just enjoy and embrace the goodness however for me, I am finding this tea one that I will build a relationship with and discover more depth through each steep as I know there are many more left to uncover! The wet leaf still has more love to give, still some dryness within them, and they still smell strongly of flavors!
Very good tea!
Leaf Type: Green
Where to Buy: Shang Tea
2 oz (57g) makes 60+ cups, 33 cents per cup
Ingredients: Wild Harvested Green Tea leaves- Antioxidant Rich
This special reserve green tea is a wild harvested tea that grows near the farm of Shang’s friend. The leaves are plucked and then processed on Shang’s farm to produce a truly unique green tea.
This green tea exudes a beautiful, vibrant green color that demonstrates the freshness of this tea. As with most green teas, this one has a green, grassy taste to it, but with an amazing umami sweetness and no bitterness or astringency. And being wildharvested, it is full of great flavor that lasts for at least 4-5 good steepings.
This is a tea that you will not want to miss and this year’s crop will likely sell out fast, so order today to enjoy this tasty treat! Learn more about this tea here.
There are not many tea houses, or places to buy quality loose leaf tea in my area, however about one hour from my home is what I consider to be one of the best tea places anywhere in the United States. Shang Tea is on my top 10, perhaps even top 5 list of the best places to get quality teas. I found them online before I even knew they existed so close to my home! I do not get to go to their store often, but when I do I always feel welcome. If you take the time you can sit down and be served gongfu style all of their teas free for sampling and speak to the owner, Mr. Shang, about the teas, how they are sourced, and where they are sourced from. It is an educational experience.
As for this tea, it is funny because Shang Tea gets the short end of the stick when it comes to me and my lack of reviewing their teas. Shang teas are the teas I grab when I really need to unwind, relax, decompress from a stressful day. When my life feels like it is in chaos I grab one of their teas. Often it is this very tea. I know it will never let me down and has meditative qualities I appreciate and desire in tea. More often than not, when I am reaching for my Shang Teas, especially Special Reserve Green, it is in those times I am not in the mindset to review or write about tea, rather I simply want to indulge and fully immerse myself in the cup. So my apologies to Shang Tea, if it were not for the stead fast, calming nature of your teas, I would have been spreading the accolades far sooner! Yes, in fact your tea is so good that I have lacked giving back. As the tea wipes my cares away it also erases my thoughts on telling everyone just how wonderful it is.
This tea is quite simply, clean, brisk, refreshing, glorious! There are of course the grassy notes as in most greens, and a lovely buttery, creamy, mouthfeel. There is the noticeable taste of gently simmered veggies, giving off almost a toasty flavor. I also detect the slightest sesame, nutty, note in the after taste.
The steeped leaves are delicate and pretty, with a mixture of light green and darker green hues.
The aroma of this tea takes me away to thoughts of the rolling tea fields and mountain landscapes that Shang teas come from. It’s bright and cherry but the depth of the aroma allows me to escape, its not a morning wake up tea as much as a focusing and centering tea that allows you to clear your mind and cleanse your spirit.
The complexities of this tea are subtle and it causes you, without pressure to sink into the tea and focus on what it has to offer, which aids in taking your mind off of your worries.
Its difficult to hold a cup of Special Reserve in your hand without just sinking back into your seat and taking a deep cleansing breath soaking in the aroma, and flavors.
As you can imagine, with how this tea makes me feel, I was not rushing back to the computer, or to technology in a rush to pound my fingers to do a review, but it is a tea that so deserves a review so that others can get a chance to get in on this tea while it is still available. I have so many favorites from Shang, and they offer sample sizes both in store and online.