Grand Tea’s Chenpi Loose Black Pu-erh

Chenpi Loose Black Pu-erh by Grand Tea
Pu-Erh Tea / Flavoured
$36.00HKD for 25g

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Grand Tea has provided me with Chenpi Loose Black Pu-erh for the purposes of providing an honest review.

First Impressions

I haven’t had the greatest of experiences with pu-erhs, and I’ve never had one that was aged inside of a tangerine, so I was a bit apprehensive about trying this Chenpi Loose Black Pu-erh from Grand Tea. If you’re not familiar with how dried citrus peels smell like, you’ll get a good whiff of it from this tea when you open up the package. If I had to describe it, I would say it smells quite subtle compared to a fresh orange or tangerine. You can smell that it was a tangerine, once upon a time, but it’s aromas have become subdued with time.

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Chenpi Loose Black Pu-erh is aged pu-erh that was kept inside of a hollowed out tangerine. Each unit of tea comes with some of the peel. The peel is still supple, and you can tear it into smaller pieces to steep with the tea leaves for added flavour.

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Preparation

Grand Tea recommends steeping in 90-100°C (194-212°F) water and to do two rinses with boiling water prior to steeping for 1 minute. The rinsing process is to remove any dirt or debris in the tea. I rinsed twice and steeped according to the instructions.

First Taste

Chenpi Loose Black Pu-erh steeps to an incredibly dark amber colour, but in my tea pot it looked quite dark – nearly black – before I poured out a cup. The aroma of the tea is warming and inviting – there’s the soft aroma of the tangerine/citrus, and there’s an almost woody aroma to the tea as well, which I’ll attribute to the pu-erh base. There’s some great earthy notes to this tea, which go great with the woody aroma. It has a bit of musty flavours, something that reminds me a bit of meaty mushrooms (think portobello), which all get wrapped up with a warm citrus flavour. There’s no sweetness here, it’s a completely savoury tea and it’s quite enjoyable (yes, I’m saying that about a pu-erh tea).

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A Second Cup?

I resteeped Chenpi Loose Black Pu-erh a few times (four steeps in total), and found that the citrus/tangerine flavours were fading by the second resteep and almost completely gone by the third resteep. It still had a great warming quality to it, and it still had the rich earthy notes in the flavour.

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My Overall Impression

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I liked Grand Tea’s Chenpi Loose Black Pu-erh. I’m still not a convert when it comes to pu-erhs, but I genuinely liked this one a lot better than the last time I tried (which was a raw pu-erh). I think the tangerine peel made a difference for me, the flavour just balanced out the earthiness of the pu-erh and led to a very well balanced cup of tea. I enjoyed the richness in this tea, it tastes quite good. I think it’d go really well with a heavy, savoury meal. There’s also this lovely warming quality about this tea that I quite enjoyed, it’s a characteristic that I find often with tea blends that have ginger or cardamom, but it was in this one as well and it was nice on the palate.

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Grand Tea’s Premium Pearl Jasmine

Premium Pearl Jasmine by Grand Tea
Green Tea / Flavoured
$35.00HKD for 25g

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Grand Tea has provided me with Premium Pearl Jasmine for the purposes of providing an honest review. I received this product at no charge to me and received no other compensation.

First Impressions

I love a good jasmine tea from time to time, so I was happy when Grand Tea sent me their Premium Pearl Jasmine to try. The sample packet is full of little tea pearls and they smell amazing! The jasmine fragrance is so strong, and the little pearls are just so tightly rolled. It’s really quite a pretty tea and with a tea like this, the nice thing is that you don’t need to use a lot to steep a whole teapot or cup because of how much they open up. Pearl or blooming teas are really fun to watch open up, so I’d recommend doing it in a clear glass teapot/cup for added tea entertainment.

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Premium Pearl Jasmine is a green tea scented with jasmine, that’s been rolled into pearls. Can’t deny it, it’s kind of nice when the name of a tea is a direct description of the tea itself.

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Preparation

Grand Tea recommends steeping Premium Pearl Jasmine in 85-90°C (185-197°F) water for 3 minutes, and to spin the glass (if you’re steeping in a glass) or otherwise just irritate the water so the pearls move and open up. I steeped mine for 3 minutes and moved the infuser up and down to move the pearls as they opened up.

First Taste

My first steep of Premium Pearl Jasmine resulted in a fairly pale yellow cup of tea, the smell is purely floral because the jasmine scent is so strong. On first sip, there’s a sweetness to the tea that goes well with the floral flavour. After the first three minutes of steeping, the tea leaves haven’t fully unfurled and rolled open, so there’s still some flavour locked up! I found that three minutes was a good amount of time for this tea, the tea lacks bitterness and astringency, and has a smoothness that can be hard to find in green teas. It goes down easy and I eagerly steeped it again.

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A Second Cup?

I resteeped Premium Pearl Jasmine seven times (eight steeps total), increasing the steep time by about 30 seconds per steep. The tea pearls were mostly fully opened up by the end of the first resteep, and the colour intensified and became more yellow. The tea became more golden with each subsequent steep. The jasmine fragrance and flavour remained fairly strong until about the sixth resteep, when it began to taste more watery.

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My Overall Impression

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I loved Grand Tea’s Premium Pearl Jasmine. The jasmine aroma and flavour was amazing, and there was a sweetness to the tea that was enjoyable. I found the pearls to be fun to watch as they steeped, and they resteep well! I think this tea would be great either paired with sweets or savouries. I had some leftover tea from the many steeps, so this wound up in a pitcher in my fridge. I’m happy to report that Premium Pearl Jasmine tastes refreshing and crisp when iced, so there’s an option for you as well if you’re looking for an iced tea. I think there’s good value in this tea with it’s ability to be resteeped, and the word premium in its name wasn’t wishful thinking.

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Grand Tea’s Shi Feng Dragon Well

Shi Feng Dragon Well by Grand Tea
Green Tea / Straight
$70.00HKD for 25g

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Grand Tea has provided me with Shi Feng Dragon Well for the purposes of providing an honest review. I received this product at no charge to me and received no other compensation.

First Impressions

I have become a huge fan of green teas over the last two years, and Dragon Well holds a place in my heart at this time. My dad drinks it a lot, and we’ve developed a better relationship since I moved out. When I go back to visit and stay with my parents, my dad always makes tea in the morning grandpa style and he usually steeps some kind of green tea (lately it’s been Dragon Well) or some type of pu-erh tea.

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What is grandpa style? Grandpa style is one of the easiest ways of steeping tea. It’s pretty much just some tea leaves in a cup, and you just keep pouring water in throughout the day. You don’t pay much attention to water temperature or how long you’re infusing the tea leaves for. It’s basically the easiest method of tea steeping because there are no rules.

Shi Feng Dragon Well is a straight, green tea. The tea leaves are flattened in the process of production, and you can definitely see that in the dry leaf. There’s a very mild aroma to the dry leaf – just a bit of saltiness that reminds me of the ocean, and a bit of floral fragrance in the dry tea leaf.

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Preparation

There were no steeping instructions on the sample packet. Grand Tea’s website suggests steeping Shi Feng Dragon Well in 80°C (176°F) water for 1-2 minutes for the initial steep. I steeped Shi Feng Dragon Well in my tea pot for 2 minutes in 80°C water.

First Taste

Shi Feng Dragon Well steeps to a pale yellow for the initial steep. There’s a light floral aroma that wafts up from the tea while I pour it into my cup. On first taste, the first thing I notice is the floral notes and some salty flavour to this green tea. The saltiness reminds me a lot of seaweed snacks, and adds a nice level of umami to the tea itself. There’s a mild sweetness to this tea, which I think comes from the floral notes. It’s enjoyable to the taste buds with good balance between the floral, sweet, and salty.

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A Second Cup?

Grand Tea’s product page for Shi Feng Dragon Well suggests that the green tea can be steeped up to four times (three resteeps) so I had to try it out. The tea gets darker and closer to a golden yellow by the last steep. I found for the first resteep, the floral sweetness was more pronounced. By the third resteep, the flavours are still well-balanced, but it does become weaker. I did try a fourth and fifth resteep – the flavours do become weaker, but the tea still has a decent amount of flavour and I think that Shi Feng Dragon Well can handle six total steeps with the same leaves.

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My Overall Impression

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I loved Grand Tea’s Shi Feng Dragon Well. I love a good green tea, and this one meets all the expectations that I have for Dragon Well these days. I quite enjoyed the balance of sweet, floral, and salty in this tea. The great thing about this Dragon Well is how it does with resteeping and how well the tea leaves hold up over a steeping session. The quality of the tea leaves is high, and I think it’s a great tea to have over the course of the day – and it’d be a good tea to try grandpa style steeping if you haven’t tried it already.

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Grand Tea’s Organic GABA Oolong

Organic GABA Oolong by Grand Tea
Oolong Tea / Straight
$50.00HKD for 25g

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Grand Tea has provided me with Organic GABA Oolong for the purposes of providing an honest review. I received this product at no charge to me and received no other compensation.

First Impressions

Another GABA tea from Grand Tea (the first one I reviewed was Organic GABA Black Tea), only this one is an oolong. Organic GABA Oolong has a very distinctive smell that comes out of the bag when I ripped it open. It reminds me of the smell of golden raisins, which I’ve always found to be brighter and more fresh smelling than the sticky dark raisins that came in those little red boxes come Halloween time. The leaves are tightly squished together. Non tea drinkers probably think it’s weird to call tea leaves pretty, but I do all the time because they are!

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Preparation

The packaging for Organic GABA Oolong didn’t have any steeping instructions, nor did the product page on Grand Tea’s website. I opted to steep my Organic GABA Oolong in 85°C (185°F) water for 2 minutes for the initial steep. As per usual, I used my Breville IQ Kettle.

First Taste

Organic GABA Oolong steeps to a bright gold colour, it’s quite cheerful and it’s very welcome in my teacup with the rather dreary weather I’ve been experiencing lately. This tea smells remarkably like golden raisins, and it tastes like golden raisins as well. There’s this honey taste to this tea that is rather nice, and the tea has a slightly thicken texture to it that coats the mouth well with flavour. Essentially, the entire first steep of this tea tastes like candy because of the level of sweetness and the fruitiness of the golden raisins.

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A Second Cup?

I steeped this tasty oolong an additional six times, I add an extra 30 seconds of steeping time for each steep. For the first resteep, I experienced a mix of golden raisins and peaches, which was really quite tasty. This fruity combination continued throughout all of the resteeps and the intensity of the honey sweetness does decrease as I continued to steep this oolong.

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My Overall Impression

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I loved Grand Tea’s Organic GABA Oolong. I think that anyone who knows me personally knows that I have a huge sweet tooth, so it probably comes to a surprise to absolutely nobody that I really enjoyed this Organic GABA Oolong tea. The level of sweetness in this first tea makes me think of candy and it’s so tasty! Golden raisins are delicious, so the honeyed taste of raisins in my cup made me down the first cup relatively quickly. I really enjoyed the subsequent steeps of this oolong because the flavours changed subtly and it was enjoyable to have the taste of peaches and raisins in my cup. I found that this tea resteeped amazingly well for a total of seven resteeps.

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Grand Tea’s Organic GABA Black Tea

Organic GABA Black Tea by Grand Tea
Black Tea / Straight
$42.50HKD for 25g

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Grand Tea has provided me with Organic GABA Black Tea for the purposes of providing an honest review. I received this product at no charge to me and received no other compensation.

First Impressions

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I have never had GABA tea before. For those not in the know, GABA is short for gamma-Aminobutyric acid (γ-Aminobutyric acid), which is a neutrotransmitter. GABA teas were developed in the 1990s in Japan, where a new type of tea was developed with GABA in the tea leaves and then a method of fermenting tea leaves was developed in an oxygen-free environment to keep the GABA in the tea leaves. I don’t know all the details about this (I did read a little bit about it on the Organic GABA Black Tea page and on Wikipedia).

When I opened up the sample of Organic GABA Black Tea, the first thing I noticed is that there was a lot of tea in there. The tea leaves are huge and wiry with light twists. There are some deep plum notes that I smelled at first, with some subtle notes of grass and hay. Organic GABA Black Tea is a straight black tea.

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Preparation

Grand Tea did not have any preparation recommends for Organic GABA Black Tea. I steeped mine in 100°C (212°F) water for an initial steep of 4 minutes.

First Taste

Organic GABA Black Tea steeps to a beautiful golden orange colour. There are some berry notes when I smelled the tea as I waiting for it to cool. There’s also a bit of a grassy fragrance to this tea. On first sip, I could taste the grassy notes, a fruity taste that reminded me of currants, and light floral sweetness. The tea itself is very smooth, there’s a pleasant mouth coating feel to this tea. I find it to be very ‘light’ feeling for a black tea (especially compared to all those breakfast teas I’ve reviewed lately). It’s quite refreshing to sip. The floral sweet notes are just enough, I don’t think a sweetener is needed. It’s bitter-free and that’s always nice in a black tea.

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A Second Cup?

I found the second steep of Organic GABA Black Tea to be a bit crisper in flavour. It has a bit more of a bite at the end of each sip. There are heavier grassy flavours, a little less floral, and just the hint of plums. The third steep had the least amount of flavour overall, the grassy notes are low and the tea has a bit of a malty note to it. I found the third steep to be the least enjoyable, and would say that Organic GABA Black Tea is excellent for up to two steeps.

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My Overall Impression

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I liked Grand Tea’s Organic GABA Black Tea. I love trying new things, and I’m not sure if I felt calmer after drinking Organic GABA Black Tea or not because the act of drinking tea generally just makes me calmer and happier. I found the flavours to be an interesting mix and was tasty for the first two steeps. The leaves are amazing, I was so impressed with how much they opened up. I was a bit disappointed that it didn’t hold up for a third steep, but the first two steeps were delicious and so varied for being from the same tea, it was fun to taste the differences between steeps.

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