Bailin Gongfu Black Tea

Tea type
Black Tea
Black Tea
Caramel, Fruity, Sweet, Dark Chocolate, Dark Wood, Drying, Malt, Smooth, Astringent, Leather, Bitter, Chocolate, Earth, Honey, Sweet Potatoes, Wheat, Floral, Perfume, Raisins, Cocoa, Tea, Baked Bread, Grain, Tannic, Yams, Coffee, Molasses, Smoke, Cream, Cannabis
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Loose Leaf
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Edit tea info Last updated by TeaVivre
Average preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 45 sec 6 g 21 oz / 627 ml

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364 Tasting Notes View all

From Teavivre

Origin: Fuding, Fujian, China

Ingredients: Made from tea buds and leaves with black and gold coloured pine-needle shaped appearance

Taste: A rich, full bodied sweet tasting tea with a hint of caramel

Brew: 1-2 teaspoons for 8oz of water. Brew at 185 ºF (85 ºC) for 2 to 3 minutes (exact time depends on your taste – a longer time will give the tea a stronger taste and color)

Health Benefits: Black teas contain antioxidants, which help in the prevention of some cancers and help reduce the effects of aging caused by free radicals. They can also reduce the risk of strokes and heart attacks due to natural chemicals that reduce cholesterol.

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364 Tasting Notes

100 tasting notes

So I’ve been absent from Steepster for awhile. I have an autoimmune disorder and when I get sick, I get sicky sick. It’s just a reality of life every now and then that I have to disappear. But I’ll always come back! I’m sorry I can’t do a backlog, it’s been too long.

Therefore, I’ll start with this morning’s tea. Bailin Gongfu. I sure was hesitant to try it when I smelled it. It smelled like hay. Then when I brewed it, it smelled like wet hay. What the heck, I thought, my senses might not be all there yet. So I tasted it. Wow! I loved it. My taste in unflavored blacks runs to English Breakfast, which technically is blended, and that’s about it. So this was a revelation. The more I drank, the more I enjoyed it. I’m sorry I couldn’t pinpoint the flavor I was getting with this tea, but it was different. My girlfriend thought it was OK until she sweetened it, and then she liked it a lot more. I had sweetened mine as a matter of course. I was glad it didn’t taste like wet hay though. :-)

It’s great to be back!

190 °F / 87 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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470 tasting notes

I am finally getting around to my generous samples from Angel and Teavivre! I meant to try this a few days ago but I was craving flavored teas, and I didn’t want to taste this until I was in the mood for it lest it be wasted on grumpy taste-buds. I just checked and this is the highest rated tea on Steepster, so I was definitely anticipating big flavors!

Right out of the sample bag it smells fantastic, very chocolatey and rich. I’m not that familiar with Chinese blacks, but it was definitely a good first impression! I used water that was a bit hotter than recommended because I’m a spaz, but I don’t think it adversely affected the flavor—there’s zero bitterness or astringency. I do like astringent teas but this seems like a more mellow black and it definitely wouldn’t be fitting with the flavor profile. This is suck a complex cup with notes of chocolate, malt, raisin, caramel/honey, and yeast. My dad tried some and picked up some hay notes, which I always enjoy in tea. It’s so smooth and rich without being heavy. I will most definitely be ordering more of this!

200 °F / 93 °C 3 min, 0 sec

Love this tea. One of my top 4 black tea’s!

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1015 tasting notes

Many thanks to the Teavivre team for a nicely sized sample of this beauty. I’ve tried this tea several times now and I have to say that this is a pretty good tea. It is light yet rich, smooth yet bold. There is little to no astringency, but there is a pretty decent caffeine kick from this. This is one of the few black teas that is great for multiple infusions. The cocoa notes seem to come out more during the 2nd.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my round of samples from Teavivre and I will be putting the company on my “To Buy From” list.

3 min, 30 sec

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442 tasting notes

What’s a girl to do when she wakes up at 5am and can’t get back to sleep without ruining her entire sleep schedule? Why make a good solid black tea of course! This was the one I chose and those first sips were exactly what I needed to get through those first moments of “what the hell am I doing up at this hour”. I settled in to read my RSS feeds and . . . forgot about the tea because of a few wtf things going on. This one tepid is . . . not so great. Luckily I’d kept the leaves for a second steep so I’m enjoying that now, sweetened this time with just a drop or two of Irish Cream Agave. Definitely a great way to start a day that started way too early.

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371 tasting notes

I can’t believe I have forgotten to review this one. Many thanks to Angel for this sample.This is my morning pot. I don’t have to be in to work till the afternoon so I’m relaxing a little bit and enjoying this tea steeped in the perfect teamaker that I saved 10 dollars on Ebay with. Is it bad that I am starting to compare other teas up to the standard of Teavivre? This one is excellent a nice caramel liquor. I would say this is more of a mellow brew. It’s not as peppery as a Keemun. It kind of reminds me of baked potatoes. Growing up our church had chicken barbecues and when it was done everyone who worked ate. There always used to be the Styrofoam cooler with the baked potatoes. I used to grab one, they were made with a little butter in the foil, peel the foil and eat it straight like an apple. That’s the way to enjoy baked potatoes. This tea is excellent! I am really starting to fully enjoy good black teas.


MMM. (Re: tea description and potato description.)


Yum to both the tea and potatoes as well!


My church homecoming memory is of coffee, not tea. We children were not allowed to drink coffee at home, but at homecoming our neighbor, whom we called “Aint Neal” – there was no “ant” vs. “ahwnt” ’round here, would let my brother and me get coffee from the huge urn. It was mostly milk and sugar in the cup, she let us help ourselves to that, too, and I doubt we ever finished it, but it was fun to sneak a cup while Mom and Dad were working the dinner!

The DJBooth

Ha yeah that’s where I started drinking coffee at church. Originally with a load of cream and sugar.


Ashmanra, thank you for prompting some very smile-inducing memories of our white-haired church ladies. Grandma Bacon, particularly. And Miss Estaline in the closet-sized church library, that smelled pleasantly of dust and sour pages.

Charles Thomas Draper

I brewed this basket-style yesterday and it was yum. Angel said to do it in the Gaiwan. I am brewing the Keemun in the Gaiwan now and it is so very nice…

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714 tasting notes

Steep Information:
Amount: 2 tsp
Water: 12 ounces hot tap water
Tool: kati loose tea system (my Review here.)
Steep Time: 2 minutes
Served: Hot

Tasting Notes:
Dry Leaf Smell: sweet, roasty, delicious
Steeped Tea Smell: sweet, roasty, delicious
Flavor: sweet bakey
Body: Medium
Aftertaste: toasty
Liquor: translucent dark brown

Delicious, from the smell you knew it would be a smooth toasty black. It has its own sweetness, and just enough toast to be soothing but not an astringent black.

Resteep: 2 minutes, 12 ounces hot tap water
Lighter body, but still delicious

This tea puts up with poor preparation (at work) and has been a once a week treat on my first day of work. The smooth mouthfeel and gentle toasted sweetness wake you up gently and not with the vicious shake sometimes given by an assam.

Solid performer, I have been drinking this at work and it has been hard to mess up, and consistently delicious without being jarring. This is not a kick you awake tea but a tea to perk you up with friendly soothing sips.

Rating: 4/4 leaves



When I order from Teavivre, this tea will be in my order. It looks and sounds amazing! :))


@ScottTeaMan i hope you <3 it as much as i do, i also recommend their white peony which i need to post but also LOVE


I liked both of those as well. :)



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1626 tasting notes

I forgot how good this tea was. I needed a good tea that I could relax with. I had such a rough first week, and today was one of the worst days. This tea was so good. So flavorful and clean.


I hope things get better. :)

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300 tasting notes

On the third day of tea-mas Angel gave to me, three Yun Nan Dian Hongs, two Bai Lin Gong Fu’s and a 75th tasting note! So yesterday my Verdant spring greens arrived, Monday the husband’s Upton samples came and today, quite unexpectedly the post man knocked and I signed for a box I wasn’t sure if I should be looking at, then I saw my name and all the stickers from customs and realized what it must be, my free TeaVivre samples!

Thank you so much to Angel and all the folks at TeaVivre for such a generous offer try new tea in exchange for reviewing them. Any company that offers samples, be they included with an order or offered at a very affordable price gets points in customer service in my book, this is the first I’ve come across that has offered them completely free (I understand this would be very impractical for smaller companies in the States). I will definitely be placing an order soon!

So this tea! This tea that is all the buzz on Steepster. This tea that has been on my shopping list for so long. Was it worth the wait? Absolutely! I am grateful for the four tiny serving packets, it makes things less intimidating. I feel comfortable diving into this tea knowing I have a serving that I can make for my husband strong, one that I can save for my gaiwan and for my guests (okay maybe two for guests).

Today though I semi-gongfu-ed this in the tea maker. I did a rinse, but was too curious and took a sip (or three) before pouring an offering into my cast iron cups, it was sweet and delicious and very promising. I wasn’t able to pinpoint the scents of the dried leaves though they were dark rich and lovely, the wet leaves though are unmistakeably dark rye, more salty smelling than sweet, but still very inticing.

Oh this tea is very well mannered, but not at all dull. This is a black tea that could convert coffee drinkers and white tea drinkers alike, it even reminds me a bit of coffee in this steep, but in the best and most gentle of ways. It is not the least bit rough, astringent or sour. It has cocoa and caramel, a hint of butter and yes bread-yness, something I don’t believe I’ve experienced before.

I’m on my second steep well and very pleased as second steeps haven’t been working out for me lately. This tea sings, it reminds me a bit of a Ceylon in that respect, there is a bit of spice but it is so velvety that reads more as cider (yes another Ceylon association for me). I really do think the husband will like this one and he couldn’t possibly tell me these short steeps taste like boiled rocks, or could he? I don’t understand how his tongue and brain work together.

Third infusion could have been a bit longer, but it is still very nice and there is promise in the bottom of the cup. Update: enjoying these later steeps this evening, these last two cups (steeps 5 and 6? at around 1 min each) are a bit more sweet and mineral and remind me of Verdant’s Yanxin’s Reserve ’04 Shu Nuggets in its angel food cake feel. Yum!

I look forward to introducing it to the husband, brother-in-law and possibly old co-workers, to comparing it the organic sample (I also think this would be interesting to compare to the newer harvest of Laoshan Black as it is a bit grainy) and some epic Yunnan sampling ahead. Thank you again Angel and TeaVivre, it is truly delicious!

185 °F / 85 °C 0 min, 15 sec

It’s always fun to get packages! ;-D

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34 tasting notes

I am starting to write this note as I’m waiting for tea to cool down a bit.

The smell of dry leaves is great, some earthy, roasted and really warm elements blend together in a rich and strong aroma. It is very tempting to take a sip now, but I know I will just burn my tongue if I do it.

I made this tea for my family at my birthday dinner 2 days ago, but unfortunately I only took a little bit with me, so I actually didn’t get any :( Ohh, just a couple more minutes and I will be able to enjoy this one!

a little bit of impatient waiting later *

Delicious! Truly great. At first I thought it was just a very usual black tea, but then a wave of yumminess blasted my taste buds :) Really nice rich aftertaste leaves me trying to concentrate on my mouth after every sip. This is one of the best black teas I’ve tried. Will definitely look forward to buying more.

185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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301 tasting notes

I’ve not had this one for awhile so I’m really enjoying it this morning. Rich, malty, bready flavor. A wonderful black tea to savor and enjoy without adding milk or sugar. Time to go resteep…..

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