Gong Fu Tea Shop

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Recent Tasting Notes

57

Day 2 from 12 Days of Christmas (Backlog~been quite ill)

Nicely Spiced…reminds me of Constant Comment which I love…one of my fave Christmas time teas

Thank You :~}

Lala

Hope you are feeling better soon. It looks like New Years is translating into sick steepsters day.

gmathis

I’m going to have to go get me some Constant Comment. Brings back some pleasant memories!

Sil

poor sick steepsters… hope everyone feels better soon!

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85

Oh my, this is such a delightful treat! This would be a perfect black to pair with dessert, although it is so good I think it is dessert in and of itself! These delectable Ceylon black tips have a wonderfully smooth and sweet taste. I especially enjoy the lovely, lovely chocolate notes. The leaves themselves even smell of chocolate before they are steeped! How unusual to find a “chocolatey” tea that is naturally that way and not with added flavor. Yet the chocolate notes are just that: light notes that dance on the tongue in tune with the other flavors. Excellent!

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec
Nicole/Tea-Historic

I need to get back up to Des Moines to hit up Gong Fu Tea Shop again for some of the teas I’m seeing reviewed on here. I was kind of overwhelmed by the wall o’ tins last time and stuck with what I was reasonably sure I’d like. :)

Charissa

Yes, their monstrous “wall of tea” is a bit daunting! That’s why I have to spend several days before I go there browsing their tea catalog, reading the descriptions of the tea offerings and narrowing it down by marking the ones I’m interested in trying… Then when I’m at the shop I can make my final selection(s). It’s always hard, though, because there are so many I want to try! :-)

Nicole/Tea-Historic

What I need to do is go with 3 or 4 other people and we all get a pot of something different. And then another pot of something different. :) I guess I’ll be there for awhile… :)

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79

Sipdown (205)!

Wanted to get one in today while I had the computer to properly log it. I’m sad to see this one go, but I also felt silly hoarding the last cup worth when I really wanted to make it. I was really happy to receive this in the 12 Days gift exchange.

It tastes great today, though my first few sips were tomato heavy. Yeah, you read that right – I said (wrote) tomato. It’s my fault, I was being careless and stupid and I used the same spoon I was eating my Spiderman Alphaghetti with to test out the tea to see if it had steeped long enough. It’s all oily and kinda tomato-y now – but still good regardless.

This is what happens when I coop myself up in my house for long periods of time, with no regular internet access or music or anything to do with absolutely no one to talk to. I do stupid and maybe slightly insane things like shift all of the posters in the house over by a foot to see if they look better, and dip alphaghetti in my tea…

VariaTEA

I was at 205 yesterday! Then I went to a mall. That is not the case anymore…

Roswell Strange

I went to a mall yesterday too, except I had the restraint to not buy anything even though I really wanted to stop at Tea Desire to get some Caramel Pu’Erh.

VariaTEA

Also I laughed at the shifting of the posters. Did you move them back after deciding you liked it better at first?

Roswell Strange

Yeah, I moved them back. I have a lot of untapped time on my hands…

VariaTEA

Hahaha. Awesome. It is like a scene from a movie :P.

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79

On the 2nd day of Christmas Steepster gave to me two turtle doves…

Ok, so it’s not the second day of Christmas, it’s the third – but alas this one didn’t make it in time for me to drink it on the 2nd, so I’m happily enjoying it now! It’s been a while since I had a basically straight up orange and cinnamon tea!

I really love TeaTiff’s explanation for why she picked this one: basically it was that the two turtle doves is significant of a long lasting relationship/couple (she explained it much better, but I don’t have to piece of paper with me), which is super cute!

For preparation, I’m using 1 1/2 tsp. of leaf for 8 oz. of tea, steeped with boiling water for five minutes. TeaTiff suggested adding a bit of sugar, but I typically try my teas straight the first time, so that’s what I’m doing now. I do have enough leaf left for another cup so maybe I’ll have the second cup with sugar, whenever that winds up being. The steeped smell is a nicely balanced cinnamon and orange combination. For the orange, it’s a bit more like an orange rind than a juicy orange. I sort of smell cloves, as well.

The taste is a decently balanced cinnamon/orange/clove combinations. Orange rind is definitely the right descriptor for the orange. It’s just a little astringent, but altogether not that bad. It definitely seems a little seasonal; I can’t see myself reaching for something like this in the summer. Maybe in the fall. I like it though! It’s not something I’d personally keep stocked, but I wouldn’t pass up the opportunity to try it again, and I’m really glad I have enough left for one more cup!

Thank you TeaTiff!

Sidenote: It’s been a little over three weeks since my Della Terra order from Black Friday shipped, and I’m still waiting for it. The wait is killing me! Is anyone else in Canada still waiting for theirs? My first Della Terra order made it to me in about two weeks, so I’m getting a little bit impatient. I just hope it gets here before I leave to Regina – there are a few things I wanted to take with me on my trip…

Lala

Your Della Terra order may be stuck at customs. I have had them hold a Harney order for 3 weeks before. Do you have tracking? It will say if it is at a customs facility or not.

Roswell Strange

No tracking :/

VariaTEA

Email Della Terra and ask them about your order. When mine didn’t come in they sent me tracking information and let me know where it was.

Roswell Strange

I’m gonna give it another day or two, just because of the whole Canada Post getting backed up thing. But if nothing by Monday, I’ll send them a message…

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38

Day 2 of the 12 Days of Christmas from TeaTiff

A mildly astringent black tea with strong orange rind flavors (slightly bitter orange flavors). Nice cinnamon spiciness, though. The orange becomes more prominent as the tea cools, and becomes more bitter too. Not my cup of tea (pardon the pun).

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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79

This is the tea I had picked out for day 2 of the 12 days of Christmas. The description and smell of the tea sounded like a good holiday tea and the name was very fitting to my day 2. It is a black tea with spice and orange which reminds me a lot of the smell coming from the kitchen in the winter time when I was little. My mom would always boil water with orange peel and spices. The taste for me is a bit strong on the spice side. I would like to get more of the citrus flavor from this tea. With a little sugar I do get more of the orange, but would like it to be a little stronger. This is one that I can see my self enjoying every once in awhile, particularly on the cold winter nights.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec
Roswell Strange

I really enjoyed this one :)

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70

Day 2 of the 12 Days of Christmas exchange, from TeaTiff! An orange and spice tea, though this is quite different than the bulk of the ones I’ve tried. Something about the spices. Sometimes spices can taste a little astringent/fake in tea, but that isn’t the case here. If you prefer spices to be the main note in your orange spice tea, without it tasting too fake, I would give this a try.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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94
drank Nilgiri by Gong Fu Tea Shop
73 tasting notes

Very nice! A light, tasty tea that is faintly reminiscent of Darjeeling but stands apart with its own flavor. Its taste is of a smooth, mellow black tea with notes of pine and a sweet blackberry finish. It leaves a slightly dry lingering taste on the tongue that, for me, is rather pleasant.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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72

I am doing my best to clear out some of my older teas. This is one of my oldest left in my collection. When I first bought it, I didn’t much care for it. Now I have started to enjoy DHP oolongs and so I have been sipping on this in the evenings. This is nice. Deep charcoal/ coacoa notes. As the brews go on there is a slight juicy taste mixed with some mineraly-ness. Not my favorite, but enjoyable.

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72

I am going to have to have a few more cups of this before I can write too much but my initial impression is yummy! It reminds me a lot of the iron goddess, but not as strong. This might be a great compromise for me.

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100
drank Milk Oolong by Gong Fu Tea Shop
73 tasting notes

My husband and I were in Des Moines this weekend because I was running a 5k, and lo and behold it just so happened that the race was practically right next to my favorite tea shop: Gong Fu Tea! Naturally, as soon as the race was over we headed over there to splurge on some tea (gotta have my post-run “recovery” beverage, of course!)

I ordered a cup of this milk oolong and thoroughly enjoyed it to the last drop. Admittedly I am not a very knowledgeable or experienced oolong drinker so I don’t have much to compare this to, but in my opinion is was very wonderful and unique. My son had fallen asleep in his stroller, the tea shop atmosphere was perfectly relaxed and soothing, and I just sat in their comfy chair and had a peaceful moment all to myself as I savored each sip of this tea, letting its warmth envelop me and its exquisite taste take me away to another world. Every so often I would open my eyes between sips and jot a note on what mouth was experiencing.

This tea’s flavor consisted of pleasing, warm, mellow notes reminiscent of coconut milk. It was rich and buttery with a lovely light sweet lingering finish. It was delicious, like a homemade butter cookie right out of the oven, yet at the same time it was not at all too heavy or rich. Mmmmmmmmm. I REALLY would have liked to purchase more of it in bulk to take home, but I had some other teas I’ve been wanting to try and my budget was limited. Alas, I will just have to wait to get it another time.

Preparation
4 min, 30 sec

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81
drank Cream Assam by Gong Fu Tea Shop
636 tasting notes

I really thought I had reviewed this tea before. Oh well. I had this tea this weekend while staying at a friends house near Gong Fu Tea Shop. I had an ounce of this in my collection early in my tea exploration and loved it. I had it again this weekend and loved it again. I hope over the holidays I am able to get to Gong Fu to get some of this and Pacific Breeze. This is creamy and sweet and for me it blended really well with the base. I found a splash of milk helped take out the slight astringency from the base.

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81
drank Cream Assam by Gong Fu Tea Shop
636 tasting notes

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85

I am still not sure what to make of this tea. I split 2oz of this with a friend. She described it as “smokey”. That might be a good description. When I first brewed up a cup of this I had just washed out my steeper so when the cup had froth on the top I almost dumped it out because I thought maybe I had gotten suds in there. It turns out it is just the tea. The smell is a burned, tobacco-ish smell and it isn’t an inviting smell for me. I convinced myself I still needed to try this. So I took a sip. Okay, not bad, not great. Another sip. Mmm this is getting better. Another sip. I like. I will describe the flavor as a roasted /burnt toast flavor. It is not one that I think I will crave, but when I brew up a cup I seem to really enjoy it. With so many teas out there I am not sure I would purchase this one again.

Update: I am really enjoying the second steep of this tea. The burnt flavor and smell that was a little off putting for me is not there. It’s is a more balanced flavor.

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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87
drank Masala Chai by Gong Fu Tea Shop
636 tasting notes

This is one of my oldest teas in my collection and one of the teas I had quite a bit of. When my mom found out I was starting to get interested to tea she latched onto it for christmas. I mentioned that I wanted some of this and she showed up to Christmas with 6oz of it. I had just purchased 2oz so I ended up with 1/2 lbs of chai. At first I wanted to try all the different chais out there and I did not make it back to my stash of this until this fall. This is a great chai. Nothing fancy, good combination of spices, good solid base tea, and it is a good price. I think I have about 1-2oz left of this one. I don’t think it will be around after this winter.

Evol Ving Ness

So sweet of your mom.

I am glad that you managed to move through that quantity. wow.

Are you steeping it western-style or are you cooking it up on the stovetop?

TeaTiff

Yes it was really cool of my mom. She has always been a really good gift giver. I have done this one both ways, western and stove top. I am usually too lazy to do the stovetop method, but it is always my favorite way.

Evol Ving Ness

Yum. I will have to make some soon. Thank you for the reminder.

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87
drank Masala Chai by Gong Fu Tea Shop
636 tasting notes

Chai + an orange chocolate thing. I would say it is a great combination.

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87
drank Masala Chai by Gong Fu Tea Shop
636 tasting notes

Working from home today so I am starting my morning with a cup of chai. I really like chai with a little milk and rock sugar which I do not have at work so here is to a delicious start! Now to find the motivation to get through the short week.

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87
drank Masala Chai by Gong Fu Tea Shop
636 tasting notes

A comforting cup of chai! So my brain keeps going over a conversation from today. Ever blurt out way to much info to someone you probably shouldn’t have…. yeah that was me today……

Veronica

Oh yeah… been there, done that. Don’t be too hard on yourself.

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87
drank Masala Chai by Gong Fu Tea Shop
636 tasting notes

I have had this a few times this week. My supply is almost gone. With the holidays coming up I think this is one I will have to replace. I tried using both honey and rock sugar. I really like the rock sugar. This is just so warming and comforting. I am excited to try a few other chai’s in comparison, but this is really good. I am getting a lot of cardamom today.

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec

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87
drank Masala Chai by Gong Fu Tea Shop
636 tasting notes

Being new to loose leaf tea, this is my first chai that I have had that hasn’t been the pre mix stuff that coffee shops serve. I really like this! The spice mix on this is really nice! I have been using 2 tsp for 10oz of water + 2oz milk then adding sugar or honey to taste.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 5 min, 0 sec

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81

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93

The great thing about this tea is that they use real bits of fruit instead of just using berry flavoring. The result is that you are treated to an amazingly genuine, delicious, rich, berry-filled delight that is slightly sweet and slightly tangy! And the aroma is enough to make one’s mouth water. Oh so good! (Too bad it’s not organic though!)

Preparation
5 min, 0 sec

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93

The ginger gives this Puerh a nice bit of warmth and zest. It’s an uplifting beverage for overall good health, and a nice way to aid digestion after a meal. Very, very good!

Preparation
5 min, 0 sec

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81

This is a very merry and mellow white tea. The coconut adds a hint of buttery flavor which is nice, although I don’t taste the pineapple quite as much.

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