Hunan Black Congou

Tea type
Black Tea
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Astringent, Floral, Malt, Raisins
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Edit tea info Last updated by yyz
Average preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec 9 oz / 266 ml

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13 Tasting Notes View all

  • “This tea is quite different than the Chinese blacks I’ve been drinking lately. For one thing the spent leaves are huge, with the one I measured being 5.5cm long or around 2.25 inches....” Read full tasting note
    yyz 437 tasting notes
  • “I tried this one a while back but never was able to log it, think Steepster might’ve been wonky. Yet another treat from Dexter3657 (seriously, that swap box was ginormous), thanks! I think I...” Read full tasting note
    ifjuly 612 tasting notes
  • “Another tea from the lovely dexter that i was drinking this morning. I don’t get quite the same intense flavour profile as YYZ and she do, but this is a good cup of...” Read full tasting note
    Silaena 8177 tasting notes
  • “I just read the tasting note that I wrote about this tea a year ago – wow have my tastes changed. I rated it 95 and said LOVED IT – one of my fav black...” Read full tasting note
    Dexter 998 tasting notes

From Capital Tea Ltd.

Big bold well twisted black leaves with a deep intense chocolate-malt aroma. A four minute infusion produces a remarkably smooth and mellow medium-bodied tea liquor with a rich and hearty flavour.

About Capital Tea Ltd. View company

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13 Tasting Notes

437 tasting notes

This tea is quite different than the Chinese blacks I’ve been drinking lately. For one thing the spent leaves are huge, with the one I measured being 5.5cm long or around 2.25 inches. Secondly it’s flavour profile reminds me a little bit of a cross between a Indian and a Taiwanese( I haven’t had many of these though) assam. It has the thick rich texture of an Indian assam, replete with malt and biscuit, combined with the bright fruit and spice notes, of mint, nutmeg and cinnamon I’ve had more in the Taiwanese versions. Really interesting and nice flavour notes which were not exactly what I was expecting as the dry leaf smells mostly of chocolate and cinnamon.

The leaves themselves look exactly like the picture, dark, thick, glossy and twisted. I used around 1.5 tsp for 225ml and brewed at around 95*C.

50s brewed to a rich reddish brown
scent: red fruit, malt, cinnamon, nutmeg note, hint of biscuit, honey,

flavour: fruit ( a cherry, currant like note), honey, malt, slight floral note, hint of chocolate, cinnamon and nutmeg.

faintly astringent, rich makes a nice breakfast tea,

45s above notes with a slightly minty fruit note (reminds me of creeping snowberry (northern peat bog plant with white berries tasting of blueberry and mint)). It’s smoother with more cocoa and a stronger nutmeg note. Feels cooling.

60s spice, nutmeg, cinnamon fruit, cocoa, malt fruit and honey.

90s faint fruit malt, biscuit, hint of cocoa.

Next time I’d like to try a longer western style brew to see what notes come out.

This was a really interesting tea that I think would make a nice breakfast tea. Thanks again to Capital Tea for their generous opportunity to sample this tea.


Hrm… I’ve never gotten much of anything when I steep anything for only 50 seconds. I’ve tried. I mostly get watery crap.


For me it really depends on the Assams, Ceylons, and Darjeelings I tend to brew for about 2.5-3.5 min, and generally get the level of flavour I want. I especially keep to this for most flavoured teas unless directed elsewise because I like the balance between the base flavour and the flavouring. For Chinese teas I find it varies. I have some teas that do need a longer steep to preform their best Ie my Xinyang Hong Cha, and others that I can steep for much less time. Generally I am steeping either Gonfu style or a teacup at a time so I may be using more leaf than if I were brewing a mug. I took the advice I read in the comments of someone’s tasting notes to try very short steepings for some very tippy blacks and that is now the only way I brew one of my Jinjunmei’s. I only brew it for 5s in a gonfu pot and then pour it off into a cup and it is perfectly caramel and desert like. I was really surprised. I then increase steeps by 5s each steep. I fond that longer steeps produced a flavour that was overwhelming and a little unpleasant for me. Things to take into consideration I am used to drinking a weaker tea and I rarely add anything to it. If you prefer milk or cream in your tea you probably would need a longer steep. As well I have bought some tea lately that retain flavour over multiple steeps. I’ve usually been able to resteep my assams 3-4times, but some of my Fujian blacks last for 7+ steeps. I’ve had some oolongs that are also overwhelming or even bitter if I steep the first steep over 30s and one of the one’s I have recommended a 10s first steep.


yyz I’ve seen you mentioning Capital Tea Ltd a couple of times today, and this tea was the one that was screaming my name on their web site. ugggg…… I ordered 100g of it and samples of 8 other teas. I think you get the blame/credit of this order ;))


I hope you enjoy them!


Dexter, you’re hopeless. :)


If it makes you feel better, I am in dire need of banning myself from Aliexpress. I probably have enough tea for over a year at this point.


nxtdoor But it makes me happy… :))

yyz – I’ve taken just a couple of quick looks at Aliexpress and quickly determined that if I don’t want my cupboard to hit 400 teas, it’s a place I should just avoid. The other one I have a self imposed ban on is Yunnan Sourcing.


my ONLY issue with capital tea ltd is that you can 100g or 10. I would really like 50g option.


Sil for most teas there smallest size is 20g but I agree 50g would be nice.


i just want to go tea shopping…so close to my goal lol


I know…. At this point I think that unless it’s some amazing deal or perhaps flavoured teas I shouldn’t even be online on black Friday weekend. Especially, with the amount of tea I am currently waiting on. Think of it this way that any tea you buy now just takes away from the pool available to buy on black Friday. On the other hand I find myself building orders and shutting them down before processing them.


Sticking my nose in – I just broke open, my order box. It’s beautiful – I’m really happy with the 20g samples – I think they are more than enough to try the teas – actually bigger than I would have expected for 20g. LOVE the red tissue against the black packages. This is really nice and professional, and it was quick. Ordered on the weekend, shipped Monday, I got a card in the mail yesterday.
Thanks yyz so far I’m really impressed – will see how the tea is.
Sil I’m going to send you a bunch of these for you to try.


and I got a 20g free sample – I didn’t notice it at first, it is in exactly the same pacaging as the ones I ordered.


Nice, I usually get my packages within 2 days ( I live in Mississauga). The first time I ordered from them they actually comped me a piece of my order as a free sample. I didn’t really notice until I was reviewing my bill. Their samples are really generous. What did they send you as a sample?


LOL it’s not something I would have ordered, but I guess that’s good to get me to try other things. It’s this Darjeeling.


Funny, I have that one to try too!. I still have this one and a Ceylon to open. At least with 20g you can try it all sorts of ways to see if there’s away you can enjoy it. If it’s too astringent the first time, lower the temp.. I have one that is lemony and bright when brewed at boiling and tastes of almonds at lower temps. I hope you enjoy their teas!


I surprised at how much tea there is in the 20g sample. I agree that it’s enough to play with but not crazy amount if you don’t like it. Enough to share. Like I said – really happy. I’m sure I won’t love them all, but am hoping to love one or two. It’s also easy to order a bunch with most of the being 3-4.00.





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612 tasting notes

I tried this one a while back but never was able to log it, think Steepster might’ve been wonky. Yet another treat from Dexter3657 (seriously, that swap box was ginormous), thanks!

I think I messed it up, just went with my default black tea parameters, the ones I use if I don’t know what to do. Boil/208F, 3 or 4 minutes. It was fine, but I didn’t get the strong flavors people are talking about, alas, and there was, as Dex and others mention, a light-bodied astringency that grew with each sip. I agree with Dex that this teeters between one kind of Chinese-style black and lighter astringent stuff a little more like darjeeling…I do usually find teas that do that fascinating (it’s one of the things that sold my heart to Verdant’s Zhu Rong) but here it was like the flipside of that coin, where I get the aspects of each I don’t love without the components I do—the body read as wimpy, disappointing, and the flavor wasn’t Chinese-sweet enough to make up for the astringency, if that makes any sense. I am going to try a lower temp though, combined possibly with a longer steep time. Intriguing.

205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec

I normally do this one 95C for about 4-5, but that’s just me. This was actually my favorite of all the blacks I ordered from Capital.
I think they are a good company, and as yyz stated on the tasting note they do sell 20g samples – that’s actually what I did- I ordered a ton of different blacks. I actually think there was more than 20g in the packages – they seemed really generous to me. Glad you are enjoying the ones I sent you. Even if my favorite of them isn’t yours. :))

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8177 tasting notes

Another tea from the lovely dexter that i was drinking this morning. I don’t get quite the same intense flavour profile as YYZ and she do, but this is a good cup of tea. It’s malty and sweet, and there are cocoa notes in this one that make me smile. Saving the last little bit of this to share with the BBB Box ladies since it might be one that really appeals to them. If i ever place a capital tea order, this one will likely be on the list of teas to pick up :) Thanks dexter!


I guess it doesn’t matter if you are passing it on, but I like this one with cooler water and longer steep. Something like 90C for 5+ minutes. Capital Teas has lots of choices, I’m sure you can find some more to your taste.


It matters! Not like I can’t decide not to share it haha


:)) I have tons if you would like more to test/share.

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998 tasting notes

I just read the tasting note that I wrote about this tea a year ago – wow have my tastes changed. I rated it 95 and said LOVED IT – one of my fav black teas. Hmmmm I’ve tried a lot of black teas since then and this is no longer a 95 and no where near the top of my list of favorites.
Don’t get me wrong, this is a quality black tea. This is the 2nd 100g package that I’ve drank – so obviously I don’t dislike it, it’s just not special. Great tea for work – you can do anything to it and it doesn’t get bitter or astringent. Decently priced, afford to drink it everyday – that’s what this – fantastic everyday black tea. Yep – that’s how I feel, great affordable everyday tea, nothing really special though.


haha that’s how i feel about LB!


i tried it, btw i think it came fr you via ifjuly. its very good. not 95 but upper 80’s

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2242 tasting notes

Another from Dexter3657! THANK YOU! I actually wanted to try this one when I saw the tasting note! The leaves are dark and twisty.A little over one teaspoon went into the infuser. I went with Dex’s suggestion and waited for the water to cool and then steep for longer than usual! Unfortunately, I went to do dishes and the wait accidentally went for 32 minutes! A steep of six minutes and I wouldn’t really call the flavor chocolate. But I definitely see where the CONGOU flavor is happening. (I think I’ve only tried one other Congou from Butiki.) The fragrance of the leaves seems like cherry to me, and there are hints in the brew. But it’s also plum. Definitely not astringent at all, of course with that 32 minute wait. But there is a juicy/watery quality to it, if that makes sense, that seems like it’s the flavor of congou.

The second cup was boiled at four minutes, but I think I much preferred the first cup… as the leaves were getting that “overbrewed” flavor. Not bad though! And still no astringency. A nice one and I think I needed a tea to represent Congou in my collection!

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286 tasting notes

This came in a surprise package from Dexter3657 – thank you!

I am liking how good this tea is – sweet and malty. I have not yet found those cocoa notes, which I really enjoy in black tea’s. I’ll give this a go with Dexter’s lower temp, longer steep recommendation. Despite the fact that I can’t taste the cocoa, I appreciate the malty profile in this tea.

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3191 tasting notes

Dexter sent this to me a while back and it got lost in my cupboard and forgotten until Ost brought it to my attention when I asked if there was anything in my cupboard she wanted to try. As a result, I decided I should finally give this a try and I’m glad I did. It is a quite lovely cup of tea. Some amazing cocoa notes are in here making for a sweet and malty dessert tea that’s pwrfect for after dinner. Thank you so much for sharing Dexter and I hope Ost enjoys this like I did.

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972 tasting notes

First tea of the day! This one came from Dexter’s amazingly generous care package. The leaves are quite pretty. They’re long and twisty and somewhat thick – similar to Taiwanese black teas but a nice warm chocolate brown in color. Dry scent is mildly sweet and raisiny with a bit of malt. The amount of leaves I had left looked like more than enough for one cup but not quite enough for two, so I used it all and made a 10 ounce cup instead of 8. :)

Steeped, this tea smells very fruity with some bread and floral notes. I think I may have overdone it slightly on the leaf, it’s just on the edge of being slightly bitter. However, the flavor itself is quite tasty. There’s definitely a heavy raisin influence here along with an overall strong malt flavor. I’m getting a tiny bit of floral as a top note, and while I could do without it it’s not ruining the tea for me. Touch of astringency as well.

Flavors: Astringent, Floral, Malt, Raisins

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 10 OZ / 295 ML

oh jesh… I thought it said human at first…

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3259 tasting notes

A sipdown on this tea, sent to me from Sil, who got it from Dexter. Thanks ladies!

I drank this earlier this morning, & I’m gonna confess right now that I over-tea-ed it. I’m at Tony’s. No scale, larger cups, also the leaves are kind of big & wild, so I went for it, just dumping the sample in there. I should have gone with shorter steeps, but it got 3 min.
The resulting cup was drinkable, but not my favorite taste combo, if you know what I mean. It was kind of astringent, with an acidity to it that some people might translate as cherry or plum. I get the biscuit taste, especially as it cooled, but didn’t really get any chocolate.
In retrospect, I wish I’d gone with a gongfu setup for this one.

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301 tasting notes

Giant dry twisted leaves; rich dark brown in color. Delicious flavor found in the medium brown brew—-honey + malt + biscuit flavors all mixed in together. Western style brew was strong for a steep plus resteep. This is one I’ll be keeping around and restocking.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec 1 tsp 8 OZ / 236 ML

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