Gong Fu Tea ShopEdit Company
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Recent Tasting Notes
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!)
The first time I made this, I made it to the package instructions. 1 tsp per 6oz @ 195. It was way to weak for me, it tasted like drinking water and I got none of the sweet taste that I enjoy about silver needle. Last night I made this and altered my preparation a bit. I used 3ish tsp for 12 oz water, steeped for a little over 2 mins @ 175. Much more enjoyable. I could taste the tea and not just the water. Will have to try this again to see if it was really the preparation or my mood:).
Okay, maybe i just don’t like chamomile at all.
I discovered several months ago that chamomile seems to help with my heartburn, though, and so i’ve been searching high and low for an infusion that i enjoy drinking. I started with Tazo’s Calm, moved on to Mighty Leaf’s Chamomile Citrus, tried Lipton’s Chamomile Pineapple blend, Celestial Seasoning’s Honey Vanilla Chamomile, and finally Bigelow’s Cozy Chamomile. Each tea was worse than the last. I thought perhaps that a full-“leaf” chamomile would be the ticket, but this still just tastes like a handful of prairie in a cup to me.
The one infusion i tried recently that i really enjoyed was Traditional Medicinal’s Chamomile with Lavender. So perhaps i’ll toss a handful of lavender in with the rest of my Cleopatra’s Cuppa and hope that it’s a little more tolerable that way. The worst part is the smell, so i think some lavender would definitely help out in that department.
I’m so disappointed, mostly with myself. I really wanted to like this!
Just poured the rest of my leaves into the strainer and steeped for a little under 4 minutes. a-HA! THIS is the renowned Assam flavor! Bold, sweet, honey-esque, a translucent flavor. Kind of a classic “black tea” taste with little to no astringency.
This is really good. I don’t know how often I’ll drink Assams, but I’m glad I now have more than one reference for the flavor. I recommend this to anyone who’s an Assam fan, or even just a black tea fan.
Backlog from this morning.
One of the samples from Nicole again. Was more careful about proper leafage this time, as well as only steeping it for 3 minutes. It was better. More honey-esque Assam-y flavor as well as more body. I dunno, I read things about Assams and I haven’t found one that matches up to my mental image of what I get when I read those things. I keep picturing a REALLY boldly malty and rich cup, and all the ones I’ve tried are not as bold or as malty as what I imagine. Then again, I haven’t tried all the Assam samplers I have yet… :D
Uh oh. Methinks I may have underleafed this?
I steeped it just under boiling for 5 minutes. The first sip made me go, WHOO ASSAM – and then all the subsequent sips have been a lot more mild. I’ve heard Assams are supposed to be bold, and while I’m certainly getting an Assam quality, it’s muted. I’m afraid to try brewing it more because I let it steep for 5 minutes.
No numbers for now. Next time I’m going to try more leaves. Oh well, still a pleasant morning cup.
EDIT: Forgot to credit Nicole for the sample! Also, it got more Assam-y as it cooled. Tea is so weird. Science.
I got this to go with me when I left Gong Fu Tea on Friday. I was tempted to buy some leaf to take with me, but again, 2 full ounces for a new to me tea is a bit much. Plus, it smelled a whole lot like another tea I already have. :)
Again, I think the staff is mistaken in steeping this for 5 minutes. The honey notes were slightly burned tasting and the base was pretty in your face. Other than that, it was a very good tea.