Gong Fu Tea Shop

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Recent Tasting Notes

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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87

Sipdown 21 of 2016. Purchased 2/2016 – Finished 2/2016.

This tea needs to be in my collection permanently. This tea grew on me to the point of having it every night until it was gone. So simple, so relaxing, just perfect.

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87

I had another pot of this last night. I was craving it. It didn’t dissappoint. Upping the rating. Craving a tea counts for something!

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87

Another tea from the Gong Fu Tea Shop binge. My girl friend said this one was really goo and calming. The cost of a cup to try was half the price of buying 2oz so I just bought the 2oz. I have never had sencha and was a little nervous about this one, but I figured my mom might enjoy it if I didn’t. I really liked it! I have been making a pot of this one at night before bed and the calming smell of it with the light taste is really nice. I would actually like there to be a bit more lavender taste to this….. the sencha comes across pretty strong i the brew, but it is a really nice cup. I will be swapping an oz for Gong Fu’s vanilla rooibos, so I am not sure how much longer this one will last.

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71

Had this hot today. It’s probably only the second time I’ve done so despite going through at lest 8-12 oz of it in iced tea over the last few years. It’s fragrant and only slightly astringent even though I used a ceramic strainer which let a few leaves through to oversteep. It’s nice but makes such a crisp clean iced tea that I don’t think I’ll be using it for anything else.

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71

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84

Yesterday involved another trip to Gong Fu to meet up with another friend in Des Moines. I ordered a cup of this while we sat and caught up. I really enjoyed this one. I have some really good assam at home at the moment so I wasn’t tempted to grab some of htis, but this was malty, the right amount of umph and just the right cup for the afternoon.

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Unfortunate circumstances has me stranded very close to Gong Fu tea for the week. I left for Iowa in such a hurry that I didn’t bring any tea. My sis and I went and bought 6oz of tea for the week from Gong Fu to get us through. We are enjoying a large pot of this one right now…….

It is pretty much like drinking a Dutch Letter. If you have never had a Dutch Letter than you need to do that! This is yummy. I will have to try it with a little bit of milk and sugar tomorrow. Right now it is keeping the cold out and the eyes open.

95
drank Cream Assam by Gong Fu Tea Shop
1 tasting notes

My current favorite; so fragrant and smooth.

Flavors: Cream, Honey, Vanilla

Preparation
Boiling 4 min, 30 sec 1 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

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74

Sipdown.
Finished this off yesterday, well except for the broken bits/dust at the bottom of the bag. I’m not happy with the amount of broken leaves present in this tea. Definitely a daily drinker, but I think I could find a better quality daily drinker to be happy with.
Not a re-purchase.

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74

I don’t like this tea as much as I used to. It’s a good choice for a daily drinker, but it doesn’t deserve a 95. Just bought some more of this last week after not buying from Gong Fu tea for a while. You know when the tea is not as good as what you remembered. I think I might have outgrown this tea shop as most of their tea falls in the daily drinker range. They have a large range of teas, though many are flavored.
Decent green oolong, but not the be all end all of ti qwan yin. I was just looking for teas for work though. This fits.

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74

Dec 3rd. This tea is so good. And I’m low on it. Tea buying soul says buy more, but wallet needs to recover from black friday sales. So I’ll have to wait. Rating 95

Preparation
2 tsp 15 OZ / 443 ML

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86

Smell: Very smoky, like you’re next to a campfire.
Taste: smoke, malt, earth, liquor-ish finish, astringent at end
smoke lingers
I enjoyed drinking this tea.

Flavors: Earth, Malt, Smoke

Preparation
Boiling 5 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 15 OZ / 443 ML

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73
drank Cream Assam by Gong Fu Tea Shop
331 tasting notes

I’m don’t like this tea as much as before. It’s probably a different base year than the one I loved so because I don’t feel that the flavoring melds as well with this batch of tea. It’s honey creamy but the flavoring just tastes slightly off and I don’t like the base much. With a weird break between the initial flavor and the tea follow through. Or I don’t care for the flavoring….I don’t know. At 208F. Slightly better at cooler temperature, but I hope to polish it off soon.
I just know I’m disappointed with the tea. Another one where the remembered was better than the actual. And I’m dropping my rating a lot.

Flavors: Bitter, Cream, Honey

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73
drank Cream Assam by Gong Fu Tea Shop
331 tasting notes

Honey creamy comforting black tea. It has a little astringency, but it’s oh so good. I’m completely out of it right now and need to restock. Also upping my rating because I keep going back to it.

Flavors: Cream, Honey

Preparation
3 min, 30 sec 2 tsp 15 OZ / 443 ML
TeaTiff

I had this over thanksgiving again, I agree there is some astringency with this one, but it is so good!

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73
drank Cream Assam by Gong Fu Tea Shop
331 tasting notes

Honey vanilla flavored black tea.
silky creamy mouthfeel

This is reliable black tea for me. It tastes good every time. Really only good for one steep. Lingering creamy honey at end.

I need to restock this tea.

Flavors: Creamy, Honey, Vanilla

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 4 min, 0 sec 2 tsp 15 OZ / 443 ML

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drank Garden Grove by Gong Fu Tea Shop
686 tasting notes

The first time I tried this tea it was so astringent, I dumped the entire cup. This time I took care to brew for a shorter time period and waited a bit for it to cool before trying it. It is a astringent black tea with hits of fruit. Not my favorite, but it is okay. I think I will try this one iced and see what happens.

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93

Nicole, you’ll be happy to hear that another one of the teas you sent found a good home! Thank you! I’ve sipped this before but just now writing a note. I’m not sure where the ‘gold’ in the name of this one comes from. The leaves are pretty dark – the color and shape actually remind me of a loose ripe pu-erh. They could be cousins because even while using two teaspoons of leaves, this one doesn’t get bitter like a ripe pu-erh. The color of the brew is also a deep dark red (nothing light and gold there!) The flavor is something unique to me – dark while being bright and fresh tasting (maybe fruity) but also a lot of bready notes. I usually don’t taste all of those together in the same tea, which might be what makes it unique. Not like a typical Yunnan profile to me. Nothing chocolate here. I almost couldn’t tell the difference between the two steeps so this is a great tea to have to avoid that oversteeped leaves flavor. And the steeped leaves filled up half the infuser basket!
Steep #1 // 2 tsps. // 12 minutes after boiling // 2-3 minute steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 3-4 min

Flavors: Baked Bread, Malt

Nicole

Woot! So glad you like it!

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60
drank Jin Xuan by Gong Fu Tea Shop
2401 tasting notes

Thank you for a sample of this one a while back, TeaTiff! I’m not sure if it’s the sample itself or the tea itself, but I see so many tiny crumblies, rather than bigger oolong bundles that I know it’s going to be a problem in the flavor. The tiny leaves make the flavor bitter… but not undrinkable bitter. The strong flavor is very buttery, almost a neon yellow cup. I tried not to steep the second cup too long to prevent more of a strong flavor. I hardly ever say I don’t like an oolong, but this would have been such a better oolong without those crumblies. Not sure if that’s the fault of the tea itself or how I was storing it.
Steep #1 // 1 tsp // just boiled // 2 min steep
Steep #2 // just boiled // 2 min

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77

Sipdown 19 of 2016. Purchased 1/2016 – Finished 2/2016.

A week near Gong Fu. Oh how nice it was to have good tea just right up the street. I picked up 2oz of this and I enjoyed quite a few pots of this with my mom and sister over the week. My grandmother had a cup of this as well, but she likes her tea black and so she said this one just tasted like fancy water.

My mom lost her husband to a massive heart attack, as I packed to head home to help her I received my new little tea pot that I had purchased for H&S. I brought the teapot and my sister and I picked up tea from Gong Fu. It was a sad time., but it was also a good time spent with family. All of the women in my family have come to enjoy tea and being able to share a cup with all of them at the same time was so neat despite the circumstances. Thank you tea for providing an avenue to talk and socialize and stay warm!

This tea isn’t my favorite. It is good and calming night cup, but I can’t seem to get it to be the correct strength. It is either way too light or way too over powering with the lemon. My mom really enjoyed this one so I left what was left of the 2oz with her.

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77

I took my little one to see Grandma this weekend and Gong Fu Tea’s is less than 2 miles from her place so we stopped by. I picked up 2 oz of the milk oolong and then ordered a cup to go of this tea. This was awesome! I waited until we were well on our way home before I took the first sip knowing that if I liked it I would have ordered some and I didn’t want to go over my tea budget this month. There is a strong lemon flavor combined with oolong, and floral. I really like this one and will be getting 2oz of it the next time I am around. My sister and mom also tried it. They are not tea folks and they loved it as well. A win win.

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90
drank Cream Assam by Gong Fu Tea Shop
6 tasting notes

This is my favorite tea from Gong Fu. I brew it for a short period and add a tiny amount of honey to sweeten it just a bit – it’s delicious without the honey, too, though.

Flavors: Creamy, Honey, Vanilla

Preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 0 min, 45 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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