On a shopping trip the other day I saw a box labeled Chinese Red tea. Chinese red tea? I’ve never heard of that, I’ve heard of white, green, black, herbal, oolong, honeybush and rooibos teas, but not Chinese Red. I’ve heard rooibos called red, but don’t think Rooibos grows in China. So what is this red tea? Then, a package arrived in the mail with a packet of Bai Lin Gong Fu in it, and it said Red Tea on it! YAY! I get to try this thing!
Then, I found out that Chinese red tea is the local Chinese name for black tea. Oh. Phooey. I was hoping for a whole new experience. But upon further thought, I don’t know how many non-blended Chinese black teas I’ve had – most have been Indian, Sri Lankan, blends, or flavored. So this is still something new. Excellent. Time to open the packet.
This leaf is absolutely gorgeous. Light brown fuzzy leaves make up about 50% of the sample. And the aroma is luscious. Malty, with hints of cocoa and sweetness. Once brewed up, this is a lovely light orange. And the flavor? Mellow, smooth and sweet smelling. If it wasn’t for the caffeine content, this would be the tea equivalent of wrapping up in a blanket in front of the fire for a nap. I tend to sweeten my black teas, and I am just fine drinking this without any additives.
As an introduction to Chinese red teas, this is a great start. I look forward to trying others, especially if they’re at all like this one.