Eco-Cha Club #32 Eco-farmed Jin Xuan GABA

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Oolong Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by Daylon R Thomas
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From Eco-Cha Artisan Teas

This month’s batch of tea being shared with the Eco-Cha Tea Club continues to intrigue us. It has qualities of a delicate Black Tea, with the complexity and depth that defines Oolong Tea. It’s mild in character, but very substantial and well balanced in its flavor profile. Smooth on the palate, with tangy, fruity notes, and a lasting heady finish. It’s got that composition that keeps you refilling your cup to get more!

WHAT MAKES THIS BATCH SPECIAL?
Through hands-on experimentation, our friend Mr. Xie has learned to make the best quality GABA tea we’ve tasted. The methods he uses are based on a recipe that was developed by Taiwanese Oolong Tea artisans who succeeded in making a specialty tea out of a product that was initially a health supplement made from tea leaves (see the sourcing blog post for more info). He also has integrated the practice, common among quality Black Tea makers, of letting the tea settle for one year after its made to improve its quality.

We are convinced that his farming practice is a prominent contributing factor to the quality of Mr. Xie’s tea. These naturally cultivated leaves unequivocally have more substance in their constitution. These are the reasons why we are inspired to share this month’s batch of tea with the Eco-Cha Tea Club. We’re pretty sure you won’t find a tea like this elsewhere!

BREWING THIS TEA
GABA Tea is similar to Black Tea in that it is fully oxidized. But it is essentially made by using modified Oolong Tea processing methods. This is where it gets its complexity of character from. For your reference, we found that 6g of tea in a 150ml gaiwan, brewed Gongfu style works quite well. We encourage you to explore your own preferred brewing style, but start out light on the leaves, and increase from there, if you’re inclined. If brewed too strongly, the richness and complexity are lost.

We’d love to hear what works best for you in brewing this tea! Please share your comments, photos, and even tasting videos on the comments below for all of us to learn from!

*WHAT IS ECO-FARMED?
Eco-Farmed is the term we use for teas that are sourced from farms with organic certification. Taiwan has the strictest of all regulations regarding the use of the term “organic”. So we are not able to represent this certification due to several legal stipulations, including packaging and branding. More importantly, we strongly believe that Eco-Cha’s practice of sustainability in the tea industry has more substance and transparency than the varied and often vague standards of “certified organic”.

About Eco-Cha Artisan Teas View company

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1 Tasting Note

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1124 tasting notes

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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