My first of the club, and I so wish I joined before they sent out the Phoenix Village Dong Ding, because man, that one looked good. As for this one, it is certainly unique and the kind of tea my palette likes.

First off, the leaves are very unusual and very colorful. They have a blue black color tented by splashes of auburn red and highlights of yellow and white in the stems. The dry leaf has a great plantain juicy fruit smell with some headiness, and the same can be said for the wet leaf, but it draws out a raw honey sweetness in the process. I went lighter with this tea at first, going 4 grams in 5.5 fluid oz, and got mostly fruit and heady honey notes. The taste starts out faint, and then thickly explodes into juicy papaya and banana notes with a mega honeyed and sticky finish. It was almost like I was eating raw honey straight from the comb. I only got three brews of it gong fu, however. The notes fluctuated in the later two steeps. The front end was sweeter in the second cup, and then it broke out into more floral fruit notes in the middle, then back to honey with another citrus splash. Honey and light papaya were more prominent in the third steep.

Although the advice online was to brew this lightly, I got personal better results from longer steeping western with 5 grams to 10 oz after 3 minutes the first time. The texture was thicker with the same notes I described, and it got me glowing. It also kept me up because I was very focused, but hey, I got good sleep anyway.

I’m playing around with it right now with more leaves, 6 grams in my 5.5 oz vessel, and the first was a little overdone at 45 sec, but it was still good and a little woodsy like an Oriental Beauty. It is like other GABA’s I’ve had in that it had the immense fruit-candy notes, almost bordering on grape candy but beyond the horizon of dried papaya, but it really stands on its own because it has little astringency and no bitterness. It’s also so frickin sweet. I personally have not detected a lot of subtleties other than the weird florals and the flavor explosions, so it is not a complicated tea and very easy to drink.

I will say that I’ve had one better GABA tea, this one does outrank a lot of the others because it does not have the overripe funk that others can have. The fruit notes are very fresh and juicy, and I can a lot of people enjoying it because it is very refreshing. My only knit picks are from my experience with other teas.

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First Off, Current Targets:
Taiwan Sourcing Luxurious Jade Sampler (FRICKIN’ PRICEY)
Taiwan Sourcing Longhan Nectar Red Oolong

The best Alishan and or Lishan for the best price
The best Jade Oolong Period.
The best Dancong Period.

Nepal Jun Chiyabari ‘Himalayan Tippy’ Black Tea
Lishan (I’m always stocking up on it)

My wish list is fairly accurate though it is broad.

Current Favorites:
Shang Tea/Phoenix Tea:
Tangerine Blossom

Golden Tea Leaf Company:
Iris Orchid Dancong Oolong
Dung Ting Oolong (green)
Ali Mountain Oolong

Taiwan Amber GABA Oolong
Vietnam Red Buffalo Oolong
China Yunnan Pure Bud Golden Snail Black Tea
Taiwan Lishan Oolong
Kenya ‘Rhino’ Premium White Tea

Hugo Tea: Vanilla Black Chai

Liquid Proust Teas:
French Toast Dianhong

Floating Leaves Tea:

Beautiful Taiwan Tea Co.:
“Old Style” Dong Ding


I am an MSU graduate about to become a high school social studies and history teacher. I formerly minored in anthropology, and I love Egyptian and classical history. I love to read, write, draw, paint, sculpt, fence(with a sword), workout, relax, and drink a cuppa tea…or twenty.

I’ve been drinking green and black teas ever since I was little living in Hawaii with a dominant Eastern Asian influence. I’ve come a long way since I began on steepster and now drink most teas gong fu, especially oolong. Any tea that is naturally creamy, fruity, or sweet without a lot of added flavoring ranks as a must have for me. I also love black teas and dark oolongs with the elusive “cocoa” note. My favorites are lighter Earl Greys, some white teas like What-Cha’s Kenyan offerings, most Hong-Cha’s, darker Darjeelings, almost anything from Nepal, Green Shan Lin Xi’s, and Greener Dong Dings. I’m in the process of trying Alishan’s. I also tend to really enjoy Yunnan Black or Red teas and white teas. I’m pickier with other teas like chamomile, green teas, and Masalas among several.

I used to give ratings, but now I only rate teas that have a strong impression on me. If I really like it, I’ll write it down.

I’ll enjoy a tea almost no matter what, even if the purpose is more medicinal, for it is my truest vice and addiction.


Michigan, USA

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