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85

My Canton Tea Co Gold Award sampler arrived on Thursday so Friday morning I opened on the sole black tea to try. The Bai Lin Gong Fu has twisty, red-gold leaves and a strong, distinct scent. After reading the tealogs on it, I can see how others can pick out tomato in it. I steeped two teaspoons for two minutes at 176° F as recommended. The color of the resulting tea was very light for a black. The tea was weak, almost watery, but I could tell it would be a delightful tea when brewed stronger. Either I needed to use more leaf (the wiry leaves didn’t fill the space of the teaspoon well, which is why I suspect two were recommended) or steep longer.

2nd steep: 3 min.
I didn’t think I would get a drinkable second steep. I increased the steep time by a whole minute and fully expected to steep it longer once I checked and the tea was barely colored. Surprisingly, when I checked, the tea was much darker than I expected. I drank and this was what the first steep should have been, maybe a little over steeped even. Fuller, complexer, and definitely caramelly, this steep was meeting the expectations I had for this tea. It is also very different from the other plain black teas I’ve had so far.

3rd steep: 5 min.
Since the second steep was so dark, I thought I might as well try for a third, even if it ended up going down the sink. At first sip, I thought it would but as it cooled, I found it had enough flavor to be drinkable and enjoyed.

I think more leaf and different steep times will yield more even cups next time.

I am rating this tea a 85 (right in the middle of my great range, 80-90).

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 2 min, 0 sec

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Bio

I’m 33 years old, studying pharmacy, and have a surly cat named Bin. I love tea, coffee, beer, wine, and most things food and beverage related. I also love music, movies, reading, writing, and learning new things.

I’ve drank tea all my life but about five to six years ago, my close friend Spautz got into tea and got me more into tea. I drink black teas and tisanes/herbals most. Since receiving a variable temperature kettle from my parents for Xmas this past year, I’ve been drinking more greens, oolongs, and whites. I’m very very new to puerh. That is, I’ve had only one.

Ratings scale:
90-100 Awesome
80-90 Great
70-80 Good
60-70 Nice
50-60 Decent
40-50 Drinkable
30-40 Meh
0-30 Awful

Would I order this again ranking:
5 – definitely
4 – likely
3 – maybe
2 – neutral
1 – no

Location

Charleston, SC

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