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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.

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Library director living in Spencer, Iowa. Trying to spread the good news about tea. Focused on camelia sinensis, only marginally interested in tisanes.

My favorites (so far) are congou and pu-erh (both types). I like some greens, lots of oolongs, and whites and yellows, but I enjoy drinking black tea day in and out.

Besides, oolongs are best enjoyed prepared in a manner that demands a little more time and care. So, I like to save those times for when I can fully enjoy the experience.

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Spencer, Iowa

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