Cocoa, Malt, Plums, Smoke, Vanilla, and Muscatel are all pretty good descriptors, though I would add “Leather” to the mix. Malt, Leather, Smoke, and Cocoa are the best adjectives in my opinion. I am loving the brewed leaf smell, though it reminds me of the blends its often mixed with like English Breakfast and some rose blends. It is also very smooth and has a solid amount of natural sweetness, but dry bitter-sweetness like cocoa.
Evol, you might gasp, but I decided to power steep the entire sample Gong Fu. It actually turned out really nice with super short steeps. Cocoa almost every time. First was 14 due to timing of pouring, and the second 5, 7, 8, 10 and then stop. I actually liked this tea more cooled down closer to 170 F instead of 180 F since I caught more of the nuances with that temperature. The last steep was more malt than anything else with the fading cocoa and leather.
I feel a little buzzed and weighty after this one. A little bit of pressure on my skull…I am mildly tea drunk or too frickin’ drunk of caffeine lol. I did randomly look up that this has a higher concentration of geraniol, an alcohol in the essential oil of roses among other plants. That is what makes me think this is a bit rosy. I don’t know if it is contributing to the mild delirium.
As much as I as I enjoyed the smoke and the cocoa, I am not sure I would drink this often. I pretty much have the same opinion about Keemums in that they are good teas if I am in the mood for mega malt and if it’s good quality. This one comes to that mark for me ’cause of cocoa and leather, but it might not for others. I liked the body a little bit more than the Nepal, but the honey note in the Nepal off sets its dryness. Again, thank you so much Evol! Now, for some water!