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.