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From West China Tea Company

Gamma Ray (丙種射線紅茶, Bǐngzhǒng Shèxiàn Hóng Chá, “Gamma Ray Red Tea”) – For many years one of our most beloved and classic teas has been Ultra Violet, the sun-dried red tea produced from the purple-leaf Zi Juan varietal of Yunnan tea plants. Widely regarded as one of the best “party teas,” it has a strong somatic energy that makes people want to dance and socialize. Gamma Ray can be thought of as a powered-up version of Ultra Violet – both are Nannuo mountain sun-dried red teas, but whereas Ultra Violet is made from the cloned Zi Juan plants, Gamma Ray is made from the seed-propagated mutant purple Zi Ya plants that are used to make Wild Purple. While not being as purple in color, the Zi Ya plants are much more potent energetically. The combination of warm red energy from the oxidation and the intense electric Qi of these “Wild Purple” plants has given this tea the nickname “Carnival Ride Tea” at the West China Tea House. Not for the faint of heart, the sweet, earthy, fruity red liquor belies a rush of body-centered Qi that can be overwhelming to sensitive individuals. For anyone who has struggled to feel the “Qi” of tea before, a session of Gamma Ray might just do the trick. We named this tea Gamma Ray because of its relationship to Ultra Violet – Gamma Rays are a higher-frequency waveform than Ultraviolet light on the electromagnetic spectrum.

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1 Tasting Note

11940 tasting notes


My first tea from West China Tea! I have several friends on IG who speak very highly about this company so I finally decided to play a big order from a bunch of samples to see what the hype was all about.

The tea leaf looks gorgeous – it’s spindly leaves scattered w/ gold tips. Mild aroma until hit with water, and then it’s a building bouquet of plum & oak wafting from the gaiwan. Deep red liquor, and a warming feeling very early on into the tea session compliments smooth notes of just slightly unripened plum & pine/oak woods. Late session is a touch more syrupy, with some red fruit & a fleeting flowery top note. More umami/earthy overall & not overly sweet or intense, this was a delightfully easy sipping tea that held up well when pushed!!

Is it the profile that I normally gravitate towards in a black tea? To be honest, not particularly – but for that flavour profile I do think it’s really beautiful and almost, in a way, understated. I don’t know that I feel like the name matches the flavour though; it’s pretty calm and gentle and “Gamma Ray” to me seems like it would convey some sort of punch or heavy impacting flavour.

I’m excited for the other black tea that I ordered – my snap impression here is that this was very good (even if possibly not my typical style) and I understand the love of it!

Photos: https://www.instagram.com/p/CJUNwG5AA42/

Song Pairing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X6wIoui2NC4&ab_channel=NiceGuys

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