98

Note: the crop reviewed here was purchased from Upton in late December 2013.

This tea is OK steeped Western style, but seems to really shine with Gong Fu treatment. All experiments used 1 tsp (2.3 grams) of leaf.

I tried two forms of Western steeping, both with 6 ounces of water. The more traditional 4:30 steep produced a powerful aroma of raw honey with an undertone of chocolate chip cookies baking in the oven, but was somewhat less impressive in the cup with just a muddled note of the underlying sweetness that was hinted at in the aroma. Two subsequent 6 minute steeps brought faint reflections of the first cup along with a hint of pepper in the final steep. Modifying this with 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 minute steeps produced a better cup, especially in the early steeps, with the honey aroma translating into a nice honey sweetness in the cup. Pepper again made an appearance in the later steeps. The liquor varied across the spectrum of red-amber.

It was the Gong Fu treatment, however, that made me order more of this tea. I pulled out my 90 ml pot, skipped the wash and jumped right into a series of 15 second steeps until the flavor started to fade around the eighth one, whereupon I lengthened each steep considerably. Early steeps smelled and tasted like raw honey, with Yunnan spice slowly increasing as I went. The sweetness morphed from honey to something less distinct out through the 16th steep (a hail-Mary at 10 minutes), but never left. The liquor was a beautiful golden color that seemed to glow in my little clear glass teacup. This was an outstanding session which I’ve repeated several times since.

I’ve never tasted legendary teas such as Golden Fleece. Until I get that chance this stands as one of my favorite Yunnan blacks.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec
boychik

I think I should send you samples fr Teavivre yunnan golden tips so you can compare;)

TeaExplorer

If you could spare enough for a Gong Fu session, I would not say no :)

boychik

Sure. I recently ordered some nice cake from DTH ( I hope it’s nice) Usually it takes like 10-15 days from China. I want to include it for you

TeaExplorer

Cool … my order from Jing’s tea shop finally arrived … there’s some things in there you might be interested in.

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boychik

I think I should send you samples fr Teavivre yunnan golden tips so you can compare;)

TeaExplorer

If you could spare enough for a Gong Fu session, I would not say no :)

boychik

Sure. I recently ordered some nice cake from DTH ( I hope it’s nice) Usually it takes like 10-15 days from China. I want to include it for you

TeaExplorer

Cool … my order from Jing’s tea shop finally arrived … there’s some things in there you might be interested in.

Login or sign up to leave a comment.

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Bio

I’m fairly new to the world of fine tea, having begun my exploration in earnest in mid-2013. I had given loose tea a try a decade ago but what I chose was not to my liking and I never finished the couple of hundred grams I ordered.

I’ve spent most of my life as a coffee drinker, and have studied and practiced the art and craft of coffee roasting for the past decade. I drink coffee until about noon, at which point my palate needs a change.

This eventually led me to try good quality tea one more time. The Internet is a great resource and I got pointed in a more solid direction this time. I started at Upton Tea with mostly black teas, a Jasmine-scented green and samples of some flavors. I’ve been enjoying three or four cups a day.

Then I stopped into a tiny Chinese restaurant in rural Pennsylvania and in response to my request for hot tea the proprietor brought me her personal Pu-Erh, which had just arrived from China, in a portable Gong Fu teapot. OMG … I found something new to obsess about! She kept bringing me hot water and I did multiple steeps until I could swallow no more. My research on this tea eventually led me here.

I’m a voracious reader and can consume a book a day when I have the time. I’ve been an obsessive geek since childhood and that spills over into all areas of my life, driving me to try to attain competency in more areas than I can count, especially technical subjects. I once took “The Visual Display of Quantitative Information” on vacation and my wife asked why I wasn’t reading something fun. I had no idea what she meant.

I love almost all genres of music, but am most fond of Jazz (Miles’ Blue Period, Mingus), Delta Blues (Sleepy John Estes, Son House) and 80’s British alternative rock (The Smiths, Bauhaus, The Pogues). I also followed the Grateful Dead for a short while. Yup I’m getting old, but then 50 is the new 30, right?

I hope to make some of your acquaintances, and swap both knowledge and tea.

Location

Palm Bay, Florida

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