Organic Bailin Gongfu Black Tea

Tea type
Black Tea
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Edit tea info Last updated by Jason
Average preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 2 min, 45 sec

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From Teavivre

TeaVivre’s Organic BaiLin Gongfu black tea is a gold medal winning, premium tea from Mt. Taimu, in Fujian province. This particular tea is independently certified to be produced in a 100% organic fashion.

Bai Lin Gongfu is a completely oxidised black tea. It is a “gongfu” (or “congou”) type of black tea, which indicates that it is hand crafted, with the leaf buds being twisted into thin, tight strips without them being broken. When dry, the tea has a sweet, caramel like scent and has a mix of black and golden-orange “pekoe” coloured leaf buds.

Bailin Gongfu is the highest quality Fujian black tea. TeaVivre’s have selected a 100% organic, gold medal winning example of this great tasting, handmade tea from Mt. Taimu in Fujian. This premium tea is made from Fuding DaBai and Da Hao trees. Naturally sweet with no bitterness, it requires no milk or sugar to enjoy.

An award winning organic Bailin Gongfu black tea

Organically grown and hand-crafted at Mt. Taimu in Fujian province

Black and gold coloured pine-needle shaped appearance
Reddish brown color when brewed

A rich, full bodied sweet tasting tea with a hint of caramel

Minimal caffeine (less than 15% of a cup of coffee)

1-2 teaspoons for 8oz of water. Brew at 185 ºF (85 ºC) for 2 to 3 minutes

About Teavivre View company

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27 Tasting Notes

689 tasting notes

TeaVivre arrived today, yes! That was pretty quick from China, I must say. I should also add in a thank you to caile for introducing me to TeaVivre.

Hello Bailin. I’ve been waiting for you. Because the name is so close to “Balin”, this tea will forever be a dwarf from The Hobbit in my mind. Which just endears it more to me.

Now I shall sip away and work on an assignment that’s due at midnight.

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec
caile

Yay! : ) That arrived fast!

Courtney

I know! I was so impressed with the shipping time.

caile

Did you get the free shipping? I think often it depends on customs etc, how often a package arrives.

caile

I meant how quick a package arrives

Courtney

Yep! I made sure my order was just over the threshold haha. Oh it definitely depends on customs. It came through Canada in MB actually.

caile

haha, that’s great!

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2971 tasting notes

One of my first tea trades was with the lovely Azzrian, who must have read (or intuited) my bio regarding peach tea, because she sent me the most amazing array of peach blends! When I opened the box, the scent of peach was enough to put me into a blissful coma (not really…lol). So, I secretly open that box just to get a whiff at least once a day cuz it smells so good & relaxing. I’ve also been sipping some of those peach brews…I love peach!

Every morning I start off with a cup or 2 of plain black tea. This was one of the non-peach teas in the box, & I felt that it was time to drink a ‘different’ black tea from all the other ones I’m rotating through.

I couldn’t really smell the dry leaf, the outside of the baggy was permeated in the lovely scent of peach, but the brewed tea is a deep red, no peach flavor. Its a nice black tea with malty notes & a good start for the day. I kind of wish I’d brewed it a little stronger, but thus is life. Thanks Azz!

Azzrian

You are most welcome! :)

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84
1096 tasting notes

I have tried the non Organic version of this tea from Teavivre a while ago and remember it being a nice black tea but not one of my personal favourites. When it comes to black tea I love malty and fruity teas such as Dian Hong and while the original Bailin Gongfu came half way towards the perfect tea it left out a few things. Perhaps the Organic version will be more to my taste.

Raw leaves are dark brown with a few golden tips mixed in for colour. In form they are long and thin with a slight curl. They have a sweet but wooden scent.

Once steeped the tea is dark red in colour and has a malted, wooden aroma. It has sweetness and depth but also smells like cocoa nib.

Flavour is mild in comparison to it’s aroma. Fresh and sweet like caramel and cocoa with wooden and malted clean tasting tones. Very smooth and silky in texture and light in the after taste.

The second steep sweeter and more wooden. Much lighter altogether in tone but still showing caramel smoothness.

Overall it’s smoother than I remember and much sweeter. Not something I would stock ahead of my Yunnan Gold Tips but still pretty darn tasty.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C
looseTman

To which Yunnan Gold Tips are you referring? Thanks!

KittyLovesTea

Oops my bad, meant to say Yunnan and Gold Tips. The Yunnan reference was nothing particular but my favourite Gold Tips are from Teavivre called in full Yun Nan Dian Hong Black Tea – Golden Tip.

looseTman

Thanks for the 3-way Teavivre black tea comparison:
Bailin Gongfu vs. Organic Bailin Gongfu vs. Yun Nan Dian Hong – Golden Tip.

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92
518 tasting notes

I got some awesome lip balms in today from momo! I had the hardest time choosing which ones to keep. I need to give three as gifts but I want them all! aaargh. You can buy some here!
http://www.etsy.com/shop/BlackBearLaboratory
I think they would make great holiday gifts. :)

So this tea! I’ve read nothing but praise for this, and today, I am totally understanding why. The dry leaf smells sweet like cookies. The tea tastes like dark cocoa and rock sugar. mmmm… The color is a bit lighter than expected, but the flavor is full on nonetheless. I can also taste some toasted grains. Maybe like the dark crust of some excellent multigrain bread. I’m adding this to the list of black teas to buy again!

momo

Haha I had to help a friend pick which wax tart to use first, let me know if you need any assistance too :D

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76
166 tasting notes

I normally wouldn’t get a straight black tea but this got such great reviews i thought I would step out of my comfort zone.

And….it’s not bad, but it’s not great. I wonder if I used too much leaf. The site said 7g but maybe that was too much? My steepings were short but I’m still getting some astrigency. Getting some smokey flavor which is turn off for me.

I think people who really love black tea will like this, but as more of a green tea fiend, this is just so-so.

James R

Try less leaf, I’ve never had that tea taste astringent. Also I brew it at about 180

Babble

Oy – that might be the problem. I’m brewing this at boiling since it’s a black. I’ll have to try it again next time.

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98
475 tasting notes

Backlogging from a few hours ago when Steepster was down.

I had been saving this tea for last, as I am a bit crazy for Teavivre’s regular, non-organic Bailin Gongfu. Upon opening the packet, I knew I was in for another treat, as it smelled just like the regular version. Strong, malty, chocolatey. And so on my shopping list.

This version is almost identical to the other in looks and taste, except that it has a slightly more “toasty” flavor. But this is very welcome, for such a hearty black tea. It would make the perfect breakfast cup, in my opinion. Powerful, dark, and bracing. This could easily be my favorite unflavored black tea. It’s what I’m going to be comparing other Fujian black teas to.

I also want to note that in the second steep, the leaves lost a bit of the cocoa flavor and tasted more nutty and toasted.

Preparation
190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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91
185 tasting notes

The other end of the epic taste-off between Bailin Gongfu and Organic Bailin Gongfu!

Much like the non-organic version, this tea is very malty, with a decidedly grainy flavor and texture. It has a slightly more pronounced caramel flavor that develops into a little more chocolate-y of a flavor with a teensy bit of sugar added. It’s an absolutely delightful, earthy experience similar to a very stout, dark beer.

Compared to the non-organic BGF, I find the organic version to be a bit bolder and more flavorful, but at the cost of some of the fantastic smoothness. It’s stronger, earthier, and a bit heartier.

So who wins? It’s a very close call, but I’d choose the non-organic for myself. I could see how the organic version could easily be someone’s preference.

Either way, you’re looking at a remarkably good cup of tea.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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78
1700 tasting notes

This is another sample I was a bit worried about trying because I only had enough for the one cup, and wanted to make sure I could give it a proper review.

Time to stop stalling! (Although, I wish I’d brewed up some of the non-organic version for comparison. Maybe I’ll do that right now? Done. Both are about ~7 grams at 85C for 2.5 minutes, because THAT’S SCIENTIFIC.)

I quickly smelled both of these and found that the organic version (OGV) smelled darker and a bit like chocolate, while the non-organic version (NOGV) smelled malty and rich.

The OGV tastes dark and rich but I can definitely taste the caramel notes in it. It’s very smooth and luxurious too and I still swear I’m getting cocoa. Once it’s cooled a little it actually tastes better too.

The NOGV has a very similar profile. Maybe slightly less caramel? But I might be getting honeyish notes in there.

Hmmm. I’m really have a tough time digging right in there and finding the difference. The OGV is a bit earthier than the NOGV, while the NOGV might be slightly sweeter. I guess that means that I’ll re-order the cheaper one? :P Both are fantastic teas and I’d recommend them.

Thank you Angel for this sample. I have 100g of the NOGV, so it was nice to have just a cup of the other so I could see what I was missing.

Now, what am I going to do with all these steeped tea? That’ll be a lot if I re-steep them both! Ha! But then I might be able to add more to this comparison.

Also, I don’t recommend drinking THIS MUCH tea (especially rich black tea) on an empty stomach! :P Whoops.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 30 sec
Sil

lightweight! ;)

Cavocorax

Haha, surprisingly so?

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90
974 tasting notes

Tea of the morning……

This is a sample i have had for a while. I had a pot of the regular Bailin Gongfu a few days ago, and decided this was a good time to give this one a go. I am generally not as concerned about a tea being Organic, but I know others are. I did notice that it is currently out of stock. The other thing to note is that it is twice the price of its non-organic counterpart.

So far, this seems very comparable in taste. There are definitely differences, but they are subtle. I still get the malty, chocolatey notes in the regular version. This one might be a tad less earthy, but that note is subtle in the regular version, too. Definitely a great tea if your teas being organic is important to you. As for me, I will continue to drink the other.

Usual teapot method.

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

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91
105 tasting notes

My Teavivre package arrived yesterday!! So this is a backlog from yesterday afternoon. A BIG thank you to Angel for this! The samples are VERY (and I mean, VERY) generous.

The reason I did not log this tea yesterday is because, though very good, I did not know, yet again, how to describe it. I had a few words, but they weren’t fitting. After reading through other tasting notes for both the Organic and regular versions of this tea, I now know what I’m tasting.

First, let me get this out: I usually do not like strong, black tea. (You’re probably thinking, then why order it?) Well, I wanted to pick samples that sounded good, but also pick a few that were something I wasn’t fully familiar with, so I could expand. This was also my first chinese tea. :D So I’m being a bit adventerous.

Now for the tea!!

Smell: Malty. Grainy. It was an interesting and nice aroma, but very strong, so after a while I had to close the bag. Some other people mentioned chocolate and of course, it’s supposed to have a hint of caramel. I didn’t really get any chocolate, but there was a caramel scent, though light. Steeping the caramel came out more, and it was very nice.

Taste: To me, it had, once again, a grainy characteristic, but also, especially once I sweetened to my liking, I swear it tasted kind of like honey. I may be crazy, or maybe that was the caramel adding it’s two cents, but that’s what it tasted like to me. And it was amazing. It was also what I’d call smoky, and bold and wonderful. I really did enjoy this tea. :-)

Side note: I rinsed my leaves, and instead of putting them in the strainer and steeping in a mug, I put the leaves straight into the tea pot, and poured my tea through a strainer. Very good, and I think that’s the best way to make loose leaf, though I don’t mind my in-the-mug method.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

See not so bad after all! Glad you enjoyed it! I usually try plain then if I don’t like it I sweeten (never use honey!) Then add cream if all else fails. Some black tea’s are fabulous with additions. Just find your preference!

Violet

I really did, though today I am going to try the sweeter teas I got as samples. :-)

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