Gui Fei Cha Tasting

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Many of our Stone Leaf Tea regulars are familiar with our Taiwanese oolong, Gui Fei Cha (GWAY-fay-cha). The tea is named for Yang Gui Fei, the famous “Precious Concubine”, or Imperial Consort of Tang dynasty times (but that’s a story for another time)

What you may not know is we currently have two harvests in stock: one from summer 2015 and one from winter 2016. And they taste as different as night and day.

I took the liberty of comparing the two harvests (such a burden!) so that you can read about them here and order the one you prefer next time you come in.

Appearance: These harvests are very easy to tell apart, as you can see in the picture below (will upload later). The summer 2015 harvest is light gold, while the 2016 harvest is a rich, shimmery amber.

Aroma: Although you can smell the tea in the cup, you can get a better whiff if you smell the lid of the pot in which you steep the tea; oils from the leaves stick to the lid and you end up capturing your very own tea potpourri. The 2015 harvest smells of rose and honeysuckle, with a slightly roasted note reminiscent of buckwheat or fresh hay. 2016 packs a punch with striking notes of salt, seaweed, tamari, and umami.

Taste: Similar to their aromas, the 2015 Gui Fei Cha is viscous and smooth, floral and sweet, with a toasty buckwheat finish. The 2016 harvest is dry and tannic, bold and savory, with a hint of seaweed and pickled plum tucked away in it.

So next time you’re in the mood for some oolong, ask to try some Gui Fei Cha from either 2015 or 2016!


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