Imperial Dark - Bu Lang Gong Ting 2009

Tea type
Pu-erh Tea
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Baked Bread, Berry, Chocolate, Cocoa, Mushrooms, Autumn Leaf Pile, Creamy, Nutty, Pastries, Wet Earth
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Edit tea info Last updated by Jason
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 1 min, 15 sec 6 g 10 oz / 291 ml

Available from 1 seller.

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35 Tasting Notes View all

  • “I haven't been drinking much puerh lately, but I think that will be changing especially now that the rainy season appears to be upon us here in San Francisco. I don't tend to drink much shu pu-erh...” Read full tasting note
    amyoh2 2475 tasting notes
  • “Somehow, I drank green & white teas almost all day. A couple of Dragonwells, some white, & before I knew it the day was nearly gone. I realized around 6:00 that I really wanted something else. I...” Read full tasting note
    Terri HarpLady 3008 tasting notes
  • “My first time using my yixing pot (after a seasoning). I sat with my Zojurishi (sp?) and enjoyed multiple steepings which were seamless with that wonderful machine from Mandala! Steep One: 30...” Read full tasting note
    azzrian 807 tasting notes
  • “I still love this one. It's just easy to drink, not fussy, not finicky - let it steep for 6 minutes on your desk and it just gets deeper with out anything nasty happening. Honestly this one...” Read full tasting note
    Dexter 734 tasting notes

From Mandala Tea

We totally scored with this find! We have sampled so many different ripe teas over the years both in China and here at our shop. Samples are continuously sent here from various tea merchants and most of the time, we find them ok at best. But when we tasted this gong ting (imperial court quality, smallest leaf) tea, we immediately had every last bit of it shipped to us so we could share it with our customers not to mention drink it ourselves!

Hailing from Bu Lang mountain in Menghai, this is an expertly crafted tea. Rich and sweet, hints of dark chocolate and slight nuttiness with a creamy aroma becoming more pronounced as the post-fermentation smell quickly becomes a memory. We are sure that this gong ting, given a bit more age, will easily rival our favorite Golden Gong Ting from 2005. We are extremely pleased when all the conditions come together to create a memorable tea and this, my friend, is one of those teas.

Brewing Recommendations: Gong Fu Cha Method

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35 Tasting Notes

372 tasting notes

Casey made vegan ribs (they were amazing) and mashed potatoes for my birthday dinner, and Allie and Andy came over and brought a vegan chocolate cake and raw cheesecake (also, Casey had baked a pumpkin pie, so had a lot of desserts). I’m holding back rating this one, because my mouth was too full of cake and pie to really give the flavor of the tea proper attention. It was yummy, though. :-)

Boiling 0 min, 30 sec 3 tsp 24 OZ / 709 ML

Happy Birthday! Sounds like an amazing b-day dinner!


Happy birthday!


Thank you both!

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5079 tasting notes

Dexter inspired me. I’m sure i’ve had this before but i guess i forgot to log it? I’m too lazy to deal with a gaiwan today so i just made this up as a western brew and let it steep. for ages. sooo good! i’m almost tempted to add a splash of milk or maple syrup to this but i’ll opt for passing on that this time,. Instead i’m just enjoying this bold cup of delicious.

Boiling 6 min, 0 sec

Glad to inspire you. The question is: Am I nuts, or is this similar – in a toned down version sort of way – to Special Dark when western steeped for quite awhile?


in some ways..this one tastes better than the western brew of special dark…though i like western brew of special dark after a few steepings..if that makes sense.. they’re similar and yet different as you mentioned :)


I need to try this one western

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1505 tasting notes

Oh this is good! Thanks so much, Dexter3657!

I rinsed for about 20 seconds, and did a first steep of 2 minutes or so. It’s nice and earthy and mushroomy. Mmm.

No, it’s not super complex or fancy, but it’s delicious and I could see enjoying it any time of day. I’ll probably have a couple more steeps tonight, and I have enough left for a couple more rounds. Definitely something to consider purchasing, as I wouldn’t be scared to waste the tea, yet is is something I can sit and enjoy.

(1.5 tsp, 12 oz)

200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec

And then I made scones to go along with this tea because I’m hangry.

230g mixed gluten free flours, 2 tbsp coconut flour. Worked quite well, yay!


Those look amazing! Were they as tasted as they seemed in the pictures?


Well, they’re white chocolate and berry scones… they were pretty good! Mine weren’t as pretty as I used a flour mix with a lot of buckwheat flour in it.


Appearance doesn’t matter as long as they’re tasty! They sound delicious! :-)


Hi!!! Thanks for posting this! I was going to add that your rinses, especially with such a small leaf (gong ting) don’t need to be so long. With the loose leaf gong tings, I typically do just a 5 second rinse one or two times. If the pot is already heated up, just once. Gong ting will give up alot of its essence/flavor pretty quickly because it is the smallest leaf. Just a tip from my experiences. But I want you happy happy happy so if a 20 sec rinse works for you, ROCK ON!!

Also, I don’t know if you deliver the GF scones of not but they sound tea-lishus! That really was a good choice of a tea to enjoy those scones with. Good food-pairing, my friend!!


Good to know! Thanks, Garret.

I don’t think the scones would survive shipping… not only might people be tempted by them, but they’re quite wet because of the fruit. Definitely something to eat asap (or freeze). :)

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25 tasting notes

I’m really enjoying this one. I got it as a sample with my order from Mandala, thank you for that. It has a lovely balance to it and a nice silky mouthfeel, that was probably the first thing I noticed. It is smooth and savory not too strong and very pleasant. I was actually drinking it quite fast, I gulped 5 cups in like and hour… lol. Nutty, creamy, mushroomy and earthy, with a fantastic mouthfeel.

Boiling 0 min, 45 sec

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