Those of you who are familiar with oolong teas would know how precious Wuyi oolongs are. There are four famous Wuyi oolong teas: 1) Big Red Robe, 2) Iron Arahant, 3) Golden Water Tortoise and 4) White Cockscomb. I have been great fan of Big Red Robe so far, and always kept a box of it available at my cupboard all the time. Yet unfortunately I haven’t had the chance to try other three oolongs so far. This month Global Tea Hut have sent its subscribers a box of White Cockscomb Oolong Tea alongside with its magazine. So finally I’ve had the pleasure to sip this rare cliff tea from Wuyi.
White Cockscomb (aka Bai Ji Guan) is one of the Wuyi Shan strip style oolong teas. It consists of highly oxidized dark brown/black colored tea leaves. They are not roasted as much as Da Hong Pao. Dry tea leaves are comprised of long and intact leaves which is a good omen of a well produced oolong tea. They smell fruity and citrusy, more like lychee.
I brewed it gongfu style using one of my yixing teapots. Before making my first steep I rinsed tea leaves for a few seconds in order to get them ready for the first infusion. The liquor was dark orange in the first infusion. It’s definitely very complex tea, hard to get all the details. Taste is rounded in the mouth alongside with chocolate-like sweetness. It has a mild finish with sweet aftertaste. In total I’ve made five infusions starting with a minute and adding 15 seconds for each following infusion. If you like you can go for another one or two infusions easily.
- Region: Ming Jian, Nantou, Taiwan
- Year: Winter 2014
- Dry tea leaves: Tightly rolled tea balls
- Liquor: Golden yellow and crystal clear
- Brewing: Gongfu style using gaiwan
This is not first time I’m reviewing milky oolong (aka Jing Shuan) tea. I’ve tried one from Eco Cha Teas earlier and I’ve loved it. Generally I’m great fan of Taiwanese oolong teas and milky oolongs are among my favorites. Last month’s tea by Global Tea Hut is another great example of milky oolongs. It’s organically grown and unlike some milky oolongs it’s inherently milky, not artificially scented with steamed milk. It was produced by Mr. Xie Yuan Zhai who is a third generation farmer in Ming Jian, Nantou.
Jing Shuan oolong is a hybrid varietal (Tai Cha No. 12) that’s mainly grown at Mt. Zhu in central Taiwan. This cultivar is also referred as Golden Lily which is relatively new varietal developed in the 1980s. The leaves of this varietal are naturally sweet and milky which makes this tea stand out among other oolong teas.
Dry tea leaves are both light and dark green. They are semiball-rolled with attached stems. The aroma is very rich, mainly buttery and milky. The flavor is so sweet and milky as well, you’ll get enough of it. I used five grams of tea and it’s brewed more than five times easily.
To recap, it’s another great tea from Global Tea Hut particularly for those who really like lowly oxidized, greener and light oolong teas. It’s a very delicate tea with no astringency at all.
Country : Pinglin, Taiwan
Dry tea leaves: Ball-shaped tea leaves with nutty and floral aroma.
Liquor: Crystal clear, golden yellow liquor with floral and fruity aroma.
Another good oolong tea from Global Tea Hut. This month’s tea, Buddha’s Palm (aka Fo Shou), coming from Pinglin, Taiwan. It’s a ball-shaped, highly roasted oolong tea. It’s roasted and donated to Global Tea Hut by a tea master named Master Lü Li Zhen who is also featured in this month’s magazine by Global Tea Hut.
When you smell dry tea leaves you get the feeling that it’s gonna be a bitter tea due to aroma of tea leaves, however it’s quite contrary. The liquor is very sweet and floral alongside with its crystal clear appearance.
I’ve already reviewed another Puerh Tea by Global Tea Hut which was a Sheng or Green Puerh Tea. As you know there are two types of Puerh Tea: Sheng (Green/Uncooked) and Shou (Black/Cooked). This month I have been sent a small box of Shou Puerh Tea named ‘Old Man Camphor’ from Lincang, Yunnan. It’s a blend of two different teas (grade one and grade three teas) from 2007.
It smells earthy and woody. It’s got a very creamy and somewhat sweet flavor. There’s a little touch of bitterness also which goes quite well with this tea. It’s a powerful and full-bodied tea.
You can learn more about Puerh teas, particularly Shou Puerhs at this month’s magazine by Global Tea Hut. There is an article covering different leaf sizes of Puerh Tea, processing of mao cha (rough tea) and Shou Puerh Tea for those who want a better understanding of this type of tea.
What is GABA tea ?
GABA tea is semi-oxidized tea which is mostly categorized as oolong tea because of varietals used to make it. However it can be easily categorized as a new type of tea. GABA (Gamma Amino Butyric Acid) is an amino acid which naturally exists in human body and works as neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. Actually all types of tea contain GABA; and you can mostly find it in green tas. GABA Tea is produced in a way that GABA amount in tea is maximized.
It’s been first discovered in Japan and recognized for its health benefits since. For a detailed understanding of GABA Tea health benefits check out the post by Peter Wescombe at Tching.
Tasting Notes for Peaceful Slumber
This month’s tea by Global Tea Hut is coming from Pinglin, Taiwan. It is an organic tea which is withered in vacuum-sealed bags. This one is striped style GABA tea compared to other tightly rolled ones.
Dry tea leaves are comprised of mostly black and somewhat golden leaves. It’s a complex tea with many subtle qualities. By the look of it you easily get that it’s a freshly picked and produced tea. The liquor is dark brown. It tastes so sweet beyond your expectation. No bitterness or astringency at all! Furthermore It’s very smooth to drink.
I’ve tried it at night time as it’s suggested to assess calming and relaxing effect of the tea. I must say it’s as relaxing and therapeutic as it’s argued in this month’s magazine. As soon as you take your sip you get why it’s called “Peaceful Slumber“.
Having subscribed to Global Tea Hut Magazine has been the best thing in my tea odyssey recently. I’ve had the chance to try new and exquisite teas and learnt a lot from their magazine. I highly recommend you to give it a shot and see it yourself!
This month Global Tea Hut sent a box of famous Sun Moon Lake Red Tea of Taiwan alongside with their magazine. Taiwan is known for their aromatic oolong teas yet when it comes to red tea they know a thing or two about red tea too!
Although this is first time I get this tea from Global Tea Hut, it’s their only tea they send every year to their subscribers. It’s hand-picked, organic tea produced by Mr. Shu. It’s this summer’s tea and consists of large, dark black, wiry and uniform tea leaves.
The liquor is between brown and red. Although It’s slightly astringent you can get chocolate flavor easily. It’s very sweet tea with a little astringency, kind of bittersweet.
One of the best ways to review the quality of tea leaves is to examine spent tea leaves. If you take a look at the last picture below you’ll get what I mean. This month’s tea is full of whole, uniform tea leaves which proves us how meticulously it’s produced.
In a nutshell, Sun Moon Lake Red Tea is now among my favorite black teas. It’s very unique and special red tea which deserves a permanent space in my tea cabinet. I’m sure it will make same impression on you too, especially if you’re into red teas.
To tell you the truth, I’ve never been a continuous Puerh tea drinker. I don’t even remember the last time I drank it. The underlying reason for that is I kind of get the impression that Puerh teas are the most complicated of all teas and it takes a lot of competency to really appreciate it. That unconscious belief has led me to stay away from enjoying this category of tea so far.
This month I subscribed to Global Tea Hut magazine and they sent me a box of Sheng Puerh Tea from Bing Dao village, Yunnan. Global Tea Hut is basically a tea magazine which is run by volunteers. When you get subscribed to their magazine you’ll get a box of tea and some tea accessories alongside with it each month. What tea you get is complete surprise to you which is good for breaking out of your rut. I myself mostly tend to drink my favorites and rarely get out of my comfort zone. The magazine itself is great source for those who want to get their knowledge of tea deeper. This month’s magazine is all about Puerh tea that includes how Puerh tea is produced, history of Puerh tea, types of Puerh tea and etc. So I highly suggest any tea lover give it a shot and see themselves. For those who’re into Puerh teas I think this month’s edition is a must-have.
As you know there are two types of Puerh Tea: Sheng (Raw/Green) Puerh and Shou (Cooked/Black) Puerh. The main difference between two is that Sheng Puerh is fermented naturally which takes a lot longer time than Shou Puerh. In order to meet the demand for Puerh tea, starting from early 1970s farmers started to accelerate fermentation process. This led to production of a new type of Puerh Tea which is Shou or Cooked Puerh Tea.
This month’s tea by Global Tea Hut was produced by Mengku Shuanjiang factory. It’s stone-pressed, air-dried and organic which is kind of rare for Puerh teas. I must say it was quite bitter and astringent. This tea is not good match for those who’re looking for sweetness in their tea. Following first infusion you can see the freshness of tea leaves. Watching dark black tea leaves turning into green is kind of an amazing experience.
Thanks to Global Tea Hut I once again met with Puerh teas and this time I’m quite determined that it’ll be a life-long journey. I’m already loooking forward to getting next month’s edition of Global Tea Hut.