Fang Gourmet Tea
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Recent Tasting Notes
This tea is my favorite and most expensive Liu Bao. I only have about four or five usually buying Puerh. I went back and steeped it tonight. I steeped it five times for 15 sec, 15 sec, 15 sec, 25 sec and 45 sec. I used boiling water in a 220 ml gaiwan that I recently got from Aliexpress. I detected notes of berries and a couple of other notes I just can’t properly describe. Fang’s Gourmet Tea is an excellent tea store in Flushing, Queens, NYC. They have a small selection but it is all good. Their website is www.fangtea.com. Nothing they sell is cheap and it is all I believe high mountain tea. I have steeped this in the past and sometimes gotten quite tea drunk. In any case it always relaxes me like it did tonight. Alas they no longer seem to list this one on their site. it does not have the same flavor profile of other Liu Bao teas I have drank. There is no off taste to it or stale taste like in some Liu Bao teas. There is also no trace of the fermentation of this tea. I do not know its age. It is a good tea and Fang’s Gourmet Tea is worth a trip if you live anywhere near. For a small price she offers “sampling” which she does as a proper Chinese tea ceremony. Her store is hard to find. If you go in to Queens to see it write down directions. I recommend both this tea if you can get it and her store.
A year after, my perception of this tea has shift much, as I have gained considerably experience since the trip I took to Fang last January. I went through a period of brewing this tea badly, under poor conditions and not being deliberate or considerate about the process. Now, at home, with time, this tea again breathes many of the flavors I originally appreciate it for. Currants, gingseng, buckwheat honey, cranberries, and chervil. I also know now that it’s not quite as good as I once thought it to be, but that it’s still a respectable roasted oolong, although perhaps, not at its going price.
I think perhaps I overrated this tea initially. However, I’m still very fond of it and this style of moderately roasted oolongs. The gently opening teas begin with cocoa, burnt butter, and toasted walnuts, but generally yield more and more “green” character, with warmed bamboo, steeped mint, and black currant juice. The texture does get a little medicinal and dusty at times, but I still believe in this as a solid and delicious tea, with wonderful warming properties.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have had this and the 50% roasted teas at the Fang Tea Expo and at home, having purchased 50 grams of this tea. It may be the most surprisingly delicious tea I’ve ever had. I’ve long been disinterested in TGY, largely due to the fact that most of the green stuff to be found throughout the states is incredibly stale and of poor quality (if it’s even TGY). After enjoying this tea at a tasting in Flushing, I have a new mind about TGY. This tea is incredibly floral and does a wonderful job of balancing the complexity of the green leaf with the added flavor of the roasting. What comes out is a plentiful bouquet of deep honey, light caramel, lychee, chestnuts, and camphor. It leaves a long lingering cooling sensation on the tongue and smacks of ginger and ginseng. A real trooper, it steeps way out into the teens. Beautiful leaves, incredible quality, wonderful tea.
Only to grap a handful of those curled leafs and smell at them is getting close to the word ‘sensational’. The leafs look very appealing.Dark green, moist…can I use the word furtile? I mean there is deffinetley something in the air…something great will happen.
…as far the brew goes…great, earthy, slight smokey tea taste. But the smokeyness is slowly fading during thoses 6-8 brews that one gets out of it. The tea is heading in a more fruity, slight sweet direction. Extremely smooth texture. Beautiful color.
Clay pot/cup only supports those magnificent flavors and aromas that try to play with your mind…