Grand Tea’s Organic GABA Black Tea

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

20170418-grandteaorganicgabablack4

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

20170418-grandteaorganicgabablack1

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.

20170418-grandteaorganicgabablack2

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.

20170418-grandteaorganicgabablack3

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.

20170418-grandteaorganicgabablack5

My Overall Impression

3cups-2

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.

Curious about the cup rating system? Click here to learn more.

Grand Tea’s Premium Bi Luo Chun

Premium Bi Luo Chun by Grand Tea
Green Tea / Straight
$45.00HKD for 25g

20170322-grandteapremiumbiluochun1

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

First Impressions

Bi Luo Chun is known as green spring snail, and it’s a green tea. I ripped open the sample packet and was surprised and how small the tea appeared. I learned from Grand Tea‘s website that the tea is hand picked in early spring, so when the leaves are small. The tea leaves are amazingly soft, completely covered with soft downy feathers on the leaves.

20170322-grandteapremiumbiluochun2

Premium Bi Luo Chun has a very light, sweet floral fragrance. It’s a straight green tea from the Suzhou Province in China.

Preparation

Grand Tea recommends steeping Premium Bi Luo Chun in 75-80°C (167-176°F) water for 1-3 minutes. I steeped my teapot of Premium Bi Luo Chun in 175°F water for 90 seconds.

First Taste

Premium Bi Luo Chun steeps to a pale yellow. On first taste, the tea has a light floral sweetness throughout the whole sip. There is a hint of astringency at the end of each sip, and the floral flavours linger on as an aftertaste. I find the astringency isn’t overwhelming, so the tea is quite palatable.

20170322-grandteapremiumbiluochun3

A Second Cup?

The tea leaves resteep well, I did a total of five resteeps with an additional 30 seconds per steep. The floral flavours are more pronounced in the first resteep. I find that the astringency mellows out and the floral notes grow stronger. It’s quite a pleasant flavour profile in the whelm of green teas, I like that it isn’t savoury or vegetal in taste.

20170322-grandteapremiumbiluochun4

My Overall Impression

3cups-2

I liked Grand Tea’s Premium Bi Luo Chun. I quite liked this green tea in the complexity of the floral and astringency, it’s delicious and it tastes well. I found the astringency isn’t very strong, and the floral flavour is good. I think the sweet floral notes make it a delight on the tongue. I drank this tea while having cookies and can certainly say with great authority that this straight green tea goes well with sweets and desserts. I think it would also pair well with savouries because the light sweetness would mingle well with a savoury dish as long as it isn’t too heavy because the tea is so light and refreshing.

Curious about the cup rating system? Click here to learn more.

Grand Tea’s Nan Jing Yu Hua Cha

Nan Jing Yu Hua Cha by Grand Tea
Green Tea / Straight
$63.00HKD for 25g

20170310-grandteananjingyuhuacha1

Grand Tea has provided me with Nan Jing Yu Hua Cha for the purposes of providing an honest review. I received this product at no charge to me and received no other compensation.

First Impressions

Nan Jing Yu Hua Cha is a tea from the city of Nan Jing (also angelcized as Nanking), in the Jiangsu provice. Yu Hua Cha translates to Rain Flower Tea. The tea itself have a thin needle appearance, and you can see the downy feathers on these tea leaves – it’s so pretty! There’s a very subtle sweet smell to tea leaves, it’s light and floral. There’s a beautiful colour to the tea leaves, it’s nice. According to Grand Tea’s product page for Nan Jing Yu Hua Cha, this tea was first produced in 1958, which makes it fairly young in the grand scheme of things with tea’s rich history in China.

20170310-grandteananjingyuhuacha2

Preparation

Grand Tea recommends steeping Nan Jing Yu Hua Cha in 70-80°C (158-176°F) water for 1 minute. I steeped it in 80°C/175°F for 1 minute.

First Taste

Nan Jing Yu Hua Cha Steeps to a pale green-yellow, it’s very clear. The smell of the tea is slightly salty, and when I tasted it I found that sweet floral that I noticed in the dry leaf. The sweet and salty combination is light, the salty doesn’t overpower the sweet. The light floral taste is nice – the general balance of the sweet, salty, and floral, makes is a very refreshing tea.

20170310-grandteananjingyuhuacha5

A Second Cup?

As a straight green tea, I wanted to see how Nan Jing Yu Hua Cha would do with resteeping. I resteeped it six times (adding an extra 30 seconds per resteep). I found that the flavours became stronger and floral flavours were strongest for the third steep. The fourth and fifth resteep had similar flavours to earlier steeps, the sixth resteep was the lowest in flavour so I would recommend resteep Nan Jing Yu Hua Cha up to five times.

20170310-grandteananjingyuhuacha6

My Overall Impression

rating4

I loved Grand Tea’s Nan Jing Yu Hua Cha. The salty-sweet floral taste of this tea is really quite nice. I love that it holds up to resteeping so well – six steeps total! I almost feel like the tea could be renamed ocean rainflower and it’d be more accurate, since there’s the salty quality to it. The refreshing flavours of this tea are nice to enjoy, and I’d definitely recommend steeping this one again and again. Because it’s so light, it’d go well with sweets or savouries.

Curious about the cup rating system? Click here to learn more.

Grand Tea’s Premium Gun Powder

Premium Gun Powder by Grand Tea
Green Tea / Straight
$19.00HKD for 25g

20170301-grandteapremiungunpowder1

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

First Impressions

The tea leaves are tightly rolled, with a beautiful mix of the green and pale cream colours in the leaves. The tea is called Gun Powder because it resembles gun powder pellets. I’ve had rolled teas before, so I’m always curious about how much the tea leaves will unfurl. From Grand Tea’s website, they mentioned that their Gun Powder tea uses high quality young leaves – which is why the leaves still have the downy feathers on the leaves. Premium Gun Powder has a bit of a grassy-vegetal smell to it. This green tea’s only ingredient is the tea leaves themselves.

20170301-grandteapremiungunpowder2

As with most rolled teas, you shouldn’t use a spoon to measure how much tea to use because it will greatly expand. I use a stainless steel infuser in my tea pot and pour enough tea into it until there’s a thin layer covering the base of the infuser. This is an incredibly generous sample provided by Grand Tea with their Premium Gun Powder. I used about a fifth of their sample packet’s contents for my tea pot.

Preparation

I couldn’t find preparation information on Grand Tea’s product page, so I used the green tea setting on my Breville IQ Kettle (80°C/175°F) and did an initial steep of 90 seconds.

First Taste

After a quick steep of 90 seconds, I had a nice pale green tea. The smell of Premium Gun Powder is stronger than it tastes, with strong grassy notes in the aroma. The tea itself has a light sweetness to it, with a mild flavour of grassy-vegetal notes. With only a 90 second steep, Premium Gun Powder is pleasant with zero bitterness or astringency. I always try to keep the water temperature low for green teas because they can burn so easily and I generally don’t enjoy bitter tea. The tea leaves opened up quite a bit, but not fully with the initial 90 second steep.

20170301-grandteapremiungunpowder5

A Second Cup?

I steeped Premium Gun Powder a total of 5 times (4 resteeps), with an additional 30 seconds per sequential steep. I noted that the flavours were strongest in the first resteep, and the grassy-vegetal flavours held up very well throughout all of the steepings that I had done with Premium Gun Powder.

20170301-grandteapremiungunpowder6

My Overall Impression

rating4

I loved Grand Tea’s Premium Gun Powder. I’m always a fan of a good quality tea that can be resteeped over and over again, and Premium Gun Powder did not disappoint on that front! From dry leaf to steeped tea, Premium Gun Powder remained consistent and had a nice vegetal flavour to the tea. It’s a nice mild tea that could be easily paired with sweets or savouries, if you’re looking for a food pairing. The mild sweetness in this tea is a nice touch, as it doesn’t require anything and I think it should be had plain.

Curious about the cup rating system? Click here to learn more.

Grand Tea’s Organic Fragrance Tikuanyin

Organic Fragrance Tikuanyin by Grand Tea
Oolong Tea / Straight
$58.00HKD for 25g

20170215-grandteagrandfragrancetikuanyin1

Grand Tea has provided me with Organic Fragrance Tikuanyin 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 always love a good oolong, so I was excited to try the Organic Fragrance Tikuanyin from Grand Tea. The tea leaves are tightly rolled and the leaves have a nice mix of light and dark green to them. There’s a light floral scent from the tea leaves. The leaves themselves are quite compacted and the floral scent to them is enjoyable without having a sweet smell to them. Organic Fragrance Tikuanyin is a straight oolong tea. For those that enjoy learning about different teas, tikuanyin is also called tieguanyin or Iron Buddha oolong. Grand Tea’s Organic Fragrance Tikuanyin is a non-roasted, green oolong.

20170215-grandteagrandfragrancetikuanyin2

Preparation

I steeped Organic Fragrance Tikuanyin in 90C (195F) water for an initial steep of 2 minutes.

First Taste

Organic Fragrance Tikuanyin steeps to a pale yellow in the first 2 minutes. There’s a sweet floral smell to the tea that just wafts up from the tea cup – it’s very inviting. While sipping this tea, I found that it has a slight nutty finish to the tea. The tea itself has no bitterness, with a pleasant, smooth mouthfeel to the tea as I drink it. The floral taste to the oolong is enjoyable, and the sweetness to the tea isn’t overpowering the complexity of the flavour profile as it changes from floral to nutty in the same sip. The change in flavour is enjoyable.

20170215-grandteagrandfragrancetikuanyin3

A Second Cup?

I always resteep my oolongs, so it should be no surprise that I resteeped Organic Fragrance Tikuanyin as well. The second steep (steeped for 2 minutes 30 seconds) was deeper and richer in flavour, the nutty flavours at the end of each sip was more pronounced, and the tea steeped to a deeper yellow. I steeped the same leaves a total of eight times, adding an additional 30 seconds for each steep. I found that the flavours were the strongest for steeps 2 to 4, and began to lose its intensity after the fourth steep. The eighth steep was quite watery, so I would recommend up to seven steeps total.

20170215-grandteagrandfragrancetikuanyin4 20170215-grandteagrandfragrancetikuanyin5

My Overall Impression

rating4

I loved Grand Tea’s Organic Fragrance Tikuanyin. I really enjoyed the complex flavour profile that this oolong has, the changes in flavour in the same sip is pretty enjoyable. I love a good oolong that can be resteeped over and over again, and this tea does not disappoint! Because it does resteep so well, it’s definitely a tea I would recommend starting the steeps in the morning and having throughout the day.

Curious about the cup rating system? Click here to learn more.