Gong Fu Tea Shop

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Recent Tasting Notes

80

I purchased this when I stumbled across the shop while I was on vacation. The shop itself has a huge variety and I really recommend a tea lover check it out.
I was recommended this tea by the shop owner, who suggested it was their favourite oolong. When I saw there was licorice powder involved in the process I was not expecting to enjoy it, but you really cannot taste licorice at all.
The tea itself is sweet, metallic, and earthy. It is a little mild for an oolong, and does not have much of the grassy/floral notes that a lot of oolongs tend to have. There is definitely a dessert-like quality to this tea.
I was most surprised by the fact that I liked the Blue Spring tea much more iced than I did hot. Cold, the flavour feels like it has more complexity and dimensions of sweetness. It seems to linger a bit longer in the mouth as well.
It is also especially good with a splash of cream.

Flavors: Honey, Metallic, Sweet, Vegetal

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 16 OZ / 473 ML

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83

I had this in store and really liked it! Lychee flavor comes through well, but doesn’t overpower. Really juicy and fruity. It’s good hot.

I cold brewed this but didn’t care for the overpowering flavor. It reminded me of bubblegum (the unpleasant kind). I’ve tried not to let the cold brew association color my liking for the hot brew.

Flavors: Lychee

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67

Basic chinese black tea. Better at a lower temperature 190Fish. Slightly malty and fruity, but neither flavor was strong. I mostly felt like I was drinking hot brown water. It did impart color well during the short steeps. Not impressed with it at 205F where it was metallic and bitter.
I asked for a recommendation for a Chinese tea – this was one of three. Either I chose wrong or it was not a good tea to begin with. Leaning toward the 2nd as it pretty inexpensive.
Hope I’ll go through it quickly.

Flavors: Bitter, Fruity, Malt, Metallic

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85

-4/9/17 I have had plenty of Silver Needle teas before from this place and others, but I do not ever remember one with as bold and robust leaves that are indeed very reminiscent of pine needles. Moreover, the dry leaf has a pliant, supple quality unlike I have experienced before. I have been enjoying several sittings with this tea using a glass gaiwan and a generous quantity of tea. I definitely start lower in temp than the 195 deg. they recommend, and shorter than the two minutes they recommend. The resulting liquor fulfills my expectations of what a silver needle should taste like, and last more steepings than I expected. Sweet with a lingering sweet aftertaste. Very pleasant. Silver needle is by its nature much more delicate than the teas I normally drink, but out of the six teas I recently bought (all different types) this is the one with which I am most pleased.

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75

This has a very unique flavor, which I find hard to describe. There’s an earthy, possibly smoky aspect to it that is unlike any traditional green tea I’ve had before. The flavor is strong and feels pretty complex to me, with what might be some umami notes, but what I think I’d mostly call it a pleasant bitterness at the finish. In any case, it is unlike any tea I have had before, and in a good way. I wouldn’t drink it daily, but it’s a nice interspersion as a change of pace.

Preparation
3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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Sip down with my roommate. He likes it a little more than the last one. I still really like it. It is practically like a pineapple flavored tea blend though it’s all natural. Put this on my to go list with the Lapsang if I shop from this vendor.

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Floral, pineapple, and thick seconded by me. Definitely some pineapple skin in there. Not super vegetal, but juicy and citrusy. I really like this tea and it also fits the description I was looking for. It’s not as buttery as some oolongs that I’ve had, but I really enjoy it for that fact. This tea was pretty much what was I looking for.

Oddly enough, I did it western and I liked it. The second steep was oversteeped intentionally and it had a very Emergency-orange taste blended into the pineapple. The thick texture was still there. The dry leaf actually reminded me of sweet hearts which is kinda unconventional.

I will have to do the next time I drink this gong fu. It’s a shame, though, that this one is so regularly expensive. Thank you so much for this, hawkband1!

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Damn, that smoke is powerful. I see why you double packaged it hakwband1.

Holy sh#t it’s going to be hard not to use flowery language for this tea. I got so many things from this cup. Smoke, yes. Earth, yes. Sweet for a black tea, yes. It was like I was finding a fire among snow covered pine trees. Brewing it up with hot water, the smell reminded of burning sandalwood or dragons blood. Sometimes, it made me think of maple glazed bacon. Tasting it after a minute of brewing, it is smokey and again sweeter than other black teas I’ve had. It makes me think of resin and pine.

Steep two, damn, same thing.

I’ve had Lapsang once before, but that was a long time ago. I am surprised with how much I am digging the crap out of this. I’m not sure I would drink it everyday, but you bet your hind end I will drink it on a cold day and I will save some of it for the next season of Sherlock.

BigDaddy

Most excellent review. “It is not really difficult to construct a series of inferences, each dependent upon its predecessor and each simple in itself. After doing so, one may produce a startling effect.”

hawkband1

Glad you like it! I like that it’s balanced and not all smoke. Great review!

Daylon R Thomas

It really is balanced. I might need to get myself some more eventually.:)

Daylon R Thomas

And BigDaddy, Adventure of the Dancing Men, nice. I thought it was maybe from Hound of the Baskervilles because it was similar to another quote about inductive reasoning, but I admit I had to double check. :)

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drank Jin Xuan by Gong Fu Tea Shop
330 tasting notes

Sipdown. Work tea. Not that memorable, but the package still smells prwtty good.

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drank Jin Xuan by Gong Fu Tea Shop
330 tasting notes

Backlog.
Sweet and fruity, but overall not memorable. Probably take it to work to finish it off.

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90

Dry – pineapple, pineapple skin, floral, underlying green
195F, 4g, 100ml gaiwan
15s – pineapple 20s, 30s – pineapple, hint of floral 40s, 1min – more floral, more fruit thick coating after taste

Pineapple taste was clear and lasting. More floral towards end of steeps as time increased. Really enjoyed this tea. 90

Flavors: Floral, Pineapple, Thick

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60

Rather indistinct, possibly too subtle for me to enjoy. Not much aroma or flavor of bergamot in the brewed cup. I don’t detect much unique character from the darjeeling either; whether that’s due to the bergamot that is there or an inexperienced palate I don’t know. In the end, it has kind of a generic tea flavor. That said, I note very little tannin, so it is a fairly pleasant, smooth cup, but nothing else really stands out to me.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 5 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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50

Aroma and flavor are pretty good, but there is so much sediment from the ginkgo that it makes for a cloudy cup that gets gritty toward the bottom. Not really worth it unless you really want ginkgo. I can pass.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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Sipdown

Iced the last of this, it’s pretty refreshing. It makes me wish it was hot out.

Kirkoneill1988

Have you tried any teas from yunnan sourcing or teavivre?

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I’m not going to rate this as I’ve lost track of how old it is as well as managing to both add too much tea and oversteep. Plus I’m pretty sure I used too hot of water during the 2nd steep. It’s been one of those nights, but that’s why I chose this tea. It can take a bit of abuse and still be drinkable, even comfortable. It has a light toasty flavor that I associate with other Chinese greens probably from the pan frying. If senchas are spring in the cup then this is a late summer/ripening wheat/bales of hay.

I’ve spent the night trying to wash wool yarn in my tub making an already rainy day more damp and chilly. This has been infusion after infusion of hand warming goodness. I’ll want to use the last of this up soon, but come fall I’ll be wanting something similar, and hopefully by then all of tonight’s work will pay off with an equally toasty wool shawl.

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15

I think this one was just too peppery for me. There were other flavors at the beginning of the sip, but the aftertaste was just peppery bite. Each subsequent time I made it I had a harder time drinking it until I just had to pour it out. Perhaps good for some, but I won’t make it again.

Flavors: Pepper

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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85

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Flavors: Orange, Spices

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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65

Decaffinated tea is usually pretty weak, but with as much tea as I drink iced it’s usually still tempting to try. The blackcurrant flavor in this more than compensates but there’s still enough of the black base there to keep me from thinking I’m drinking a tisane. I’m a sucker for blackcurrant so I don’t know if the flavor may be too much for some but it is definitely upfront and fruity. Plus I can have a few glasses of this before dinner without being wired.

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78

The dark green dried leaves have a waffle texture from being pressed with cloth during processing. This makes me happy every time I open the bag. It’s probably a strange thing to like about a tea, but a pretty tea is a great start.

I brewed this in my Chinese teacup with a porcelain strainer since the leaves are so large. What tea dust and little bits are in there also won’t make it bitter if they overbrew. The brewed tea has a lovely yellow green color. It’s smooth, mellow, and a little toasty. I miss the slight bitterness and strong flavor of Japanese greens, but this is good for a calm night of multiple steepings. I think this isn’t too caffeinated as well.

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95

I love this tea. It’s a green with mint and bergamot, which sounds like a bit of an odd combination, but it works incredibly well. It’s hard to detect the flavor notes of either of those two ingredients; they seem to meld into a combined aroma and taste all of its own that is distinct and different from its constituent parts. It’s refreshing yet complex, a fantastic tea for any season.

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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50
drank Lotus by Gong Fu Tea Shop
16 tasting notes

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Flavors: Licorice

Preparation
175 °F / 79 °C 3 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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60
drank Masala Chai by Gong Fu Tea Shop
564 tasting notes

Sipdown! I went through my (virtual) cabinet and think I’m down around 126 now but in all honesty it’s kind of a mess right now. Once I finish off a few more it’ll be a lot easier, I suspect.

I’m still struggling to write a review of this. I’ve had it three or four times but it feels nondescript to me. The spices are present but not strong, the base is fine but not very interesting, and it’s not one I naturally reach for. It tastes a little watery, both with and without milk. I think I’ll pass on restocking this one.

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83

This is my first osmanthus tea. The first time I had it I was expecting a heavy floral flavor like jasmine or rose, but this just has a subtle aroma. It brews up to light yellow green and the small hard pellets unfurl into mostly complete leaves with serrated edges intact. It makes me wish I had some glass brewing vessels.
The tea itself is smooth, silky, and aromatic. There’s a bit of dryness at the end especially noticeable after multiple infusions but nothing unpleasant. I’m rather suprised each time I drink it how enjoyable it is since it’s more delicate than most of my favorite teas.

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I’m starting to think I’m just not into white teas as I’ve never been wowed by one so I’ve decided not to rate this. This one smells great and the small fuzzy leaves look appealing and when brewed it’s got a lovely aroma and silky mouthfeel…but the flavor is too delicate for me. I’ve doubled the amount of tea, brewed it western style/grandpa style/in a mug with a ceramic strainer, and tried lowering the temp (I think the recommended 195F is a bit high) but it still makes me wish I picked one of my stronger teas.
Part of it could be the quality of my water. With a tea this delicate perhaps filtered water should really be used. And I’ve already found out that the brewing vessels and strainers should really be clean (no brown wire mesh strainers!) unless you want to muddy up the tea flavor. Strangely enough I think the best way I’ve had this tea so far is iced where it’s floral sweetness really comes out.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 6 OZ / 177 ML

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