This tea was a pleasant surprise. Based on its finely chopped appearance, I expected it to be somewhat bland and simple in flavour, but it isn’t; it has a nice smoky note overlaying a rich, slightly astringent malty taste.

The leaf processing style does mean that brewing this in a gaiwan without pouring all the leaves into one’s cup really puts the gongfu in gongfu cha, but it’s worthwhile for the detailed picture of the flavours this presents. It works very well Western-style too, as you’d expect. For being so finely chopped, it re-steeps relatively well. I was able to get four solid steeps out of it in a gaiwan.

Flavors: Astringent, Malt, Round, Smoke

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 3 g 2 OZ / 55 ML

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I like trying unique teas, especially those from areas of the world not known for tea production. It’s always something of a gamble and can lead to all kinds of surprises.

While I’m usually not into flavoured or scented teas, there are definitely exceptions. Hei cha which is not pu-erh tends to be my favourite category of tea, but I like some teas of all types. Smoky, creamy, and honey-like tastes generally appeal to me the most.

Top five teas I’ve had thus far (in no particular order):

Mekong Breakfast from Rakkasan Tea Company

2015 Gao Jia Shan “Cha Duo Tang” Wild Harvested Hunan Fu Brick Tea, from Yunnan Sourcing

Asahina Gyokuro “Hon Gyokuro” from Hojo Tea

Any good Lapsang Souchong

2018 Cha Yu Lin “Liu Bu Xi Village” Tian Jian Basket Tea from Yunnan Sourcing


Rural New England

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