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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Grand Tea’s Premium Bi Luo Chun

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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My Overall Impression

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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.

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Grand Tea’s Nan Jing Yu Hua Cha

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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My Overall Impression

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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.

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