Gong Fu Tea Shop
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Recent Tasting Notes
I am enjoying this tea more having prepared it in a gaiwan. The higher ratio of leaves to water and the shorter steeping times allow the flavors to express themselves more succinctly. In my tea explorations I have tried several highly oxidized oolongs, but this the first strip-style Wu Yi Shan Da Hong Pao I have tried. This definitely qualifies as highly oxidized, being about 80%. The neat thing about tea is the you can have teas fairly close on the oxidation spectrum, but their flavors and characteristics can differ so much.
The tea’s aroma is that of an earthy broth; whereas the flavor is all peatiness and scotchiness. The after taste is distinctively reminiscent of the slightly smoky bite of scotch. I assuredly enjoy this tea.
I drank all of my last order from Upton without adding a single tasting note. I will try to do a beutter job with this set of teas from Gong Fu.
This was a fine Keemun. The dry leaf has a pleasant sweet smoky smell. The liquor has a pleasing aroma as well and the flavor includes the burgundy notes you would expect in a fine Keemun. Very enjoyable! This tea delivers what you expect from it, which is a flavorful cup of a Chinese classic.
I have bought this tea a couple of times from Gong Fu, and really enjoy it. I would have to call it the French Roast of oolongs, for I really cannot imagine a more heavily baked tea. The appearance of the dry leaf is really quite different from others. They are very dark, almost carmelized-looking rolled nuggets of tea leaves. I don’t know if tea leaves carmelize, so let’s leave it as a waxy appearance. No matter how many times you infuse it, the leaves do not really open up fully like other oolongs; rather they hold their crumpled shape throughout infusing. Evidently, these leaves’ agony was on the roasting rack. Where the tea really shines for me is during the second and third infusions, where the chocolate and coffee notes really come out. For some reason, I usually choose to prepare this in my Chatsford teapot like I would a black tea. I will have to try it in a gaiwan. I usually prepare it as directed 205 for three minutes.
When I first tasted this tea I didn’t know what to think. It was full bodied with a viscosity due to its limited processing. It is now in my top 5 and I am always amazed at the beauty of this tea. One step down from matcha, this tea is perfect on a day in March or April as we prepare our minds for the onset of Spring. If you haven’t tried this tea, you must!
I love starting out with this tea on winter mornings. It is a bold style that remains restrained enough not to overwhelm your taste buds with those characteristic astringent tannins. For those of you who feel the tannins are still too much, add milk. There is a subtle smokiness in this tea alongside an element of autumn grass. Unique quality for an english breakfast. I dig it.