My last day of spring break, and I am staring out into the darkness outside my window, pondering tea. Of course. Fujian teas, to be exact. I started by exploration of Fujian teas with TeaVivre’s Bailin Gongfu. It’s bold flavor profile left no question in my mind what notes I should find in a Fujian black tea. This morning I am warming my hands around a mug (not so delicate, I know, but I’m greedy with tea that way) of Superfine Tan Yang Gong Fu from TeaVivre and thanks to Bailin Gongfu, appreciating the delicate subtleties of this tea.

The first thing is the dry leaves! They’re sooooo scrawny! Ok, in tea language you wouldn’t normally say scrawny, you’d probably use the word “superfine”….but these are weensy refined long scribbles of tea leaves. Superfine. Wet in the mug they’re not much bigger, but the smell of Fujian Black tea rises up to meet my now happy nose and they seem much bigger…… I adore the raisin note that these Fujian teas present, and this Tan Yang Gong Fu brings it in a tender and aromatic way….which is very different than the “in your face” raisin note of Bailin Gongfu. Other notes follow in quietly and gracefully: yam skin, toasted grain, a touch of rye/cannabis and a touch of molasses. The debate with this tea is whether there is a note of “grass” involved. I think there is, but it is not unpleasant nor obvious. It’s just a hint of drying hay that sits almost as a floral note at the top of the flavor profile.

Everything about this tea is truly “superfine”, from the delicate dry tea leaves to the tender notes that tell the story of this Fujian black tea in the cup. Refined, graceful and gentle to the palate, even in it’s complexity, this Tan Yang Gong Fu is just plain lovely.

Flavors: Grain, Hay, Molasses, Raisins, Yams

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 14 OZ / 414 ML

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Spot or pot, I love a cup!

I learned to drink tea while living in Dublin in the early 80’s, so as you can imagine, I am a hearty brew lover, and take tea with milk and honey. I am trying to expand my horizons with tea….that is why I’m now on Steepster! Joined in January 2014.

Currently loving strong black teas that hold up to milk and honey well. I have a curiosity about keemuns and yunnans, but smoky ones are out. Green and white teas are off my radar, but making little forays into oolong and darjeeling tea. Herbal? So far only cacao tea has gone into regular rotation in my tea routine.

I do like some naturally flavoured teas…almond, vanilla, cardamom, ginger. This seems to be mostly in the cooler months…but mostly I’m an unflavoured tea drinker.

Life is too short for bad tea and bad bread.


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