Yunnan Gongfu Fragrant Black Tea

Tea type
Black Tea
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Chocolate, Red Wine, Rye, Toast, Baked Bread, Freshly Cut Grass, Malt, Stonefruits, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes, Honey, Milk, Molasses, Orchid, Pumpkin, Graham Cracker, Oats, Sweet, warm grass, Yams, Red Fruits
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Edit tea info Last updated by TeaVivre
Average preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 2 min, 0 sec 6 g 8 oz / 237 ml

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From Teavivre

“Producing area: Fengqing, Lincang, Yunnan, China
Category: Dian hong black tea
Season: Spring tea
Dry leaves: Tippy plump leaves in tightly tired strip-type
Aroma: Smell faintly of flower and honey with a hint of fully-grown fruit
Liquor color: Colors of bright orange yellow
Mouthfeel: It tastes soft and mellow, having resemblance of ripe tea flavor
Tree species: Fengqing large leaf tea
Tea garden: Lida tea garden
Fermentation: Fully fermented tea
Caffeine: 40 mg / 237 ml
Storage: Keep this tea in an airtight container away from high temperature, sunlight, moisture and abnormal taste.
Shelf Life: 36 months

Gong Fu fragrance black tea is a tasty spring tea with infusion-enduring taste. The first two infusions have soft, mellow mouthfeel with slight sugar cane sweetness in the throat and at the bottom of cup a hint of milky flavor remains. But from the third infusion it presents a flavor, reminiscent of raw pu-erh tea, helping produce saliva.

A good tea with excellent taste allows tea beginners to appreciate the smoothness of black tea and the astringency of raw pu-erh tea in one cup."

“In 2013, Lida garden got the organic certification and during the following 3 years of transitional period, tea production here was converted to the organic ways which meet the requirements of organic tea production and management.”

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13 Tasting Notes

360 tasting notes

Sampled from the Here’s Hoping TTB.

Had a gongfu session with a porcelain gaiwan. Gave the leaf a quick rinse. Followed the website’s instructions: 5 seconds, 7, 9, 12, 18, 28, 28, etc.

Not only is the leaf richly aromatic all around, but the aroma is intriguingly complex. The dry leaf has notes of molasses, brown, sugar, sweet potato, and a bit of malt. Sitting in the pre-heated gaiwan, the leaf aroma then becomes sour and sweet – like raisins and cranberries – and also has a fragrance of freshly baked bread. The wet leaf aroma is similar, smelling of fresh cranberry muffins.

The liquor is bright golden-orange, clear, and medium-bodied. While the aroma of the Dian Hong is complex, the taste is much simpler. The flavors do evolve with a gongfu session, but each infusion yields an uncomplicated brew. The first cup is light in flavor, with the sour cranberry note making an appearance. Beginning with the second cup, the flavors are more developed. The second tastes purely of sweet potato. The third and fourth are creamy in texture, bread-like, woody, and sweet potato-like. With cups five through seven, the flavors undergo a drastic change. This Dian Hong shifts from classic sweet potato to a sweet/fruity hongcha. The aftertaste, throughout the session, is very short-lived.

I recommend this to hongcha/Dian Hong lovers and especially beginners to hongcha. As someone who probably appreciates aroma more than taste, I loved this. But since I also evaluate taste by similar weight, I found this to be alright – not spectacular. It’s easy-going. I did enjoy what I had, though I wouldn’t purchase. To more experienced drinkers, this might suit your fancy more than mine.

200 °F / 93 °C 3 g 2 OZ / 60 ML

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693 tasting notes

Dry leaf has aroma notes of licorice, chocolate, and fruit.

Brewed tea has a buttery aroma with fruit and musk-like notes. Muscatel and caramel sweetness on the sip. Medium to thin mouthfeel. Dark chocolate notes in the aftertaste.

195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 0 sec 3 tsp 13 OZ / 375 ML

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2246 tasting notes

I bought this earlier in the year and I’ve tried it a few times. However, I should have noticed the ‘gongfu’ in the name and realized that was where the magic would be. I don’t steep teas with the gongfu method, I use the western method. I’m sure this one would taste much different using gongfu. All of those wonderful reviews from others sure set the expectations high! The leaves here are very large and twisted with hints of gold. The dried leaves have the scent of lovely dried hay. The flavor is neither a light yunnan or a dark yunnan. It’s somewhere in the middle. The flavors are tough to describe, mostly bittersweet chocolate with hints of wine. I guess I like a honey Yunnan or a deep dark chocolate Yunnan. This one is in between both of those flavor profiles, so isn’t as special to me as other teas (again, probably because I’m not using the gongfu method of steeping.) I have plenty of other black teas I love from Teavivre though.
Steep #1 // 2 teaspoons for a full mug// 10 minutes after boiling // 2 1/2 minute steep
Steep #2 // couple minutes after boiling // 4 minute steep
Harvest: 2015

Flavors: Chocolate, Red Wine

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122 tasting notes

This tea has a toasted bread aroma and a nice sweetness to it. The tea is malty and tastes of rye bread. It is good but forgettable.

Flavors: Rye, Toast

205 °F / 96 °C 4 g 5 OZ / 147 ML

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871 tasting notes

I have to apologize to Angel from Teavivre, I received these free samples over two months ago and I am just getting to them now.

As always Teavivre and Angel were so generous to offer to send me free tea samples, which I do greatly appreciate.

I did a kind of mixed gongfu and western style. Lala style I guess. Ha ha. I used the whole 7g package and steeped it for about 45 seconds.

The tea is sweet, thick, bready. There is no astringency or bitterness. It is somewhat malty. Very fresh tasting. This tea is very fragrant, definitely has a strong smell of roasted sweet potatoes. It is very distinctively Yunnan in its flavour.

It does get a tiny bit astringent as it cools, but not in a bad way.

Thanks again Angel!

Boiling 0 min, 45 sec 7 g 8 OZ / 236 ML

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1158 tasting notes

Thank you for the sample Teavivre!
This tea is certainly fragrant! It smells delicious, like sweet potatoes and brown sugar with a hint of cocoa.
The taste translates fairly well into the taste, but maybe a little milder than I expected. The cocoa notes aren’t as strong as I would have liked based on the taste but it is a lovely cuppa. The sweet potatoe/molasses notes last throughout the resteep as well.
I used the whole packet which was about 2T

195 °F / 90 °C 3 min, 0 sec 16 OZ / 473 ML

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559 tasting notes

Another sample courtesy of Teavivre!

The moment I open the packet, I can smell why they call this one “Fragrant”. Wow! Bright, sweet notes of stonefruit, clean hay, fresh cut grass, and sweet potato. I can already tell this is going to be a new Teavivre favorite. Their yunnans really are something else.

The long narrow leaves brew up to a lovely reddish amber. Upon tasting, I notice that the flavor is heartier than the aroma. It has a satisfying, bread-like note in addition to the stonefruit and other flavors. The end of a sip is what tea so interesting, though. On the exhale, you really do get a fragrant, sweet smell/taste that is wonderful. I’m not sure how to describe it, exactly. It’s smooth and complex at the same time. Highly recommended.

Flavors: Baked Bread, Freshly Cut Grass, Malt, Stonefruits, Sweet, Sweet Potatoes

200 °F / 93 °C 4 min, 0 sec

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292 tasting notes

Scent of sweet spice, grains and potato.
Tastes the same with gently spiced sweet potato and a creamy, honeyed nuttiness.
Fragrant, full of flavor and delicious.

195 °F / 90 °C

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2215 tasting notes

Fragrant is right on for this tea’s description. Fine tobacconist’s shop springs to mind first. I tried it gong fu and Western and got a whole afternoon’s worth of tea out of one sample packet.

Gong fu – the first steep was mild and pleasant. It had the flavors you expect in a Yunnan Dian Hong – sweet potato, a little walnut. Maybe light molasses. Second steep went a couple of seconds too long. WOW. Dark and rich, slightly astringent but good. Third steep – more careful with time but the leaves are now saturated and it steeps up very quickly. There is that definite aged sheng taste and feel.

Next I tried Western with the same leaves. Yes, got a whole pot that was rich in flavor from those same leaves. This is milder and sweeter. I had the gong fu tea by itself and the Western with a meal. It was great with food. At this price point, this is a fun tea to get to experiment with and try something new and different.


Fantastic description!

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921 tasting notes

Console exclusive games infuriate me to no end, seriously. I have an Xbox, both the One and the 360, mostly because the only people I ever play with have those systems have them and I have gotten used to the Xbox, I like it and will continue to play them, but I really wish I lived in a world where the console war and exclusive games didn’t exist. I love Ark, but I am so sad that it is no available to PS4 players…but they get to have access to two games I want but can’t have because of being on the Xbox. Street Fighter V and more importantly No Man’s Sky, I want that game so badly, it looks amazing but I can’t play it. I AM CRYING BITTER TEARS ON MY CONTROLLER!! It really would be simpler if I had a gaming PC, but that will be something for the future, maybe. Ok, end nerd rant, tea time!

Continuing on with Teavivre week, today I am looking at Yunnan Gongfu Fragrant Black Tea, a hong cha from Fengqing, Yunnan, one of my favorite regions for making the glorious red teas that I’m hopelessly addicted to. Dianhongs are my drug, no lies. The name of this tea is no exaggeration, it is immensely fragrant, you open the bag and whoosh, face full of aroma! There are notes of intensely sweet cocoa and yams with brown sugar, malt, and a finish of gentle woody notes. It is very sweet and rich without being too much of either. I might have giggled with glee sniffing this tea while awaiting my kettle’s heating.

Into my teapot the oh so fragrant leaves go for their first steep, upon steeping it is time once again for sniffing. The notes coming off the wet leaves is intense! Notes of malt, cocoa, yams, peanut, pumpkin, mineral, molasses, and a very tiny hint of rose. It is really complex, pretty much every note I associate with Dianghong is present, which is impressive. The liquid is a touch lighter, sweet notes of brown sugar and pumpkin with a delicate pastry and chocolate note, it is quite sweet.

The first steep surprised me, for such a strong fragrance the taste is really light. Starting with gentle mineral notes and almost effervescent sweetness that dances across my palate. It is reminiscent of both cane sugar and brown sugar with a delicate cocoa woodiness. The finish is sweet and lingering with a light honey quality.

Second steep is where it is at! The aroma stays strong with notes of cocoa and brown sugar with a definite pumpkin and yam quality. Well, the taste takes a hint and brings in the yams and toasted peanuts, but imagine that with notes of pastry and cocoa and a finish of brown sugar and mineral. It almost reminds me of peanut brittle now that I think about it, but with sweet potatoes and cocoa, delicious!

For the third steep the aroma stays strong, but starts to pick up woody and a slight camphor note, at the finish there is a hint of pepper and a stronger mineral note as well, making it less sweet but more complex. This steep surprised me a bit, where the mouthfeel earlier was smooth and a bit thick, this one is thick and slippery with a salivary affect giving it an extra thickness. The taste is woodier, the intense sweetness is replaced with a woody richness reminiscent of cacao shells and a touch of very distant camphor. The finish and aftertaste is where all the sweetness of this steep is, ending with brown sugar and delicate yams. This tea went for several more steeps before giving up the ghost, finishing out with a very pleasant mineral quality.

For blog and photos:

Daylon R Thomas

Gotta get dat-DI-AN-HONG! Gotta get dat-DI-AN-HONG!

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