Bailin Gongfu Black Tea

Tea type
Black Tea
Black Tea
Caramel, Malt, Cocoa, Dark Chocolate, Honey, Chocolate, Nutty, Smooth, Bread, Burnt Sugar, Cream, Dried Fruit, Floral, Raisins, Sweet Potatoes, Toasty, Blackberry, Mango, Overripe Cherries, Fruity, Sweet, Dark Wood, Drying, Astringent, Leather, Bitter, Earth, Wheat, Perfume, Tea, Grain, Tannic, Yams, Coffee, Molasses, Hay, Thick, Mineral, Nectar, Buckwheat, Cherry, Jam, Spelt, Tart, Smoke, Cannabis
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Loose Leaf
Not available
Edit tea info Last updated by TeaEqualsBliss
Average preparation
195 °F / 90 °C 2 min, 45 sec 5 g 19 oz / 569 ml

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351 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.

About Teavivre View company

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351 Tasting Notes

2201 tasting notes

Sipdown, 135. Sooo sad to see this one go out of my cupboard, but I know it will be back eventually in there eventually.

Not that I wanted to hasten its departure, but today I brewed this one with the whole sample pack since I have done that with some other black teas from Teavivre and wanted to see how it turned out. Delicious, of course! Less sweet and caramelly, though, so I think I prefer my usual, slightly weaker infusion. This one will be coming back, perhaps around the holidays!

185 °F / 85 °C 2 min, 0 sec

This one is such a great kick-in-the-pants morning tea!


my cupboard is envious…


Haha Sil, but your cupboard is going to blow mine up soon…


i dunno about “blow up” but i’ll see if i can make it a bit bigger haha so that i have time to catch up to you

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6768 tasting notes

I’m so glad I found this in my stash! I’ve been craving it all week! See previous notes!!!!


I have more coming in the mail. After all the samples, I finally ordered and PAID for tea!!! This was one of the ones I loved. And the pearls and a puerh. OH YES! Glad you found it!

Charles Thomas Draper

I just ordered a nice amount


Good way of putting it. If you say. I ordered a bunch of tea …. you’ll get 50 pm’s requesting samples! Even from me!

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985 tasting notes

Tea of the morning……

Just a double check that this one is as good as Gong Fu Black (which is organic) from Zhi Tea. Yes, this works as a substitute for me! I have not tried TeaVivre’s organic version of this tea, but I am guessing it is very similar. Yum. The tea I love at a cost I can live with drinking it everyday.

Usual teapot method.

Boiling 4 min, 0 sec

I had to get my Teavivre sample of this out thanks to you…
I like it too, I steeped mine in a gaiwan. It actually re-steeps well for a black tea…


Thanks for doing the comparison, Jen!


Hoping to get some gong fu black(s) here in China, though of course they won’t be easily replaceable. :)

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1353 tasting notes

Let’s just get one thing clear here. This will probably not be news to most of you.

Fujian black = OM NOM NOM NOM!!!

That said, let’s move on.

I should do a proper intro first. You see, you may have heard about this here massive order I put in with Le Palais des Thes recently. Massive. Massive, Steepsterites. When the boyfriend came home and saw the opened box, this is what happened.

“That’s for work, right?” says he.

“Um, no…” says I.

I was being Looked At

“What?” says I, somewhat defensively.

“That’s enough tea for an army!” says he.

innocent look says I.

That was when I decided to not tell him about this order, although it’s much more reasonable in size with only three different teas. And yes, the LPdT one did get slightly out of hand. Slightly.

So the TeaVivre order arrived today. I have tinned it and hidden as much of the evidence as I could in my own room. I recently rearranged the Tea Corner slightly, so I’m counting on him not noticing the three extra tins that have appeared.

If he sees them, he’ll mock me for weeks.

So that’s the current status in my house. Yup. Sneaky tea. At least I don’t have to hide it in a desk drawer like I do with chocolate when I get cravings after having told him to help me cut down on snacking and sweets.

Now, tying it all back to the very beginning of the post, anybody who has known me for a while will know that when it comes socks-in-orbit-awesome, nothing, and I do mean NOTHING, surpasses Tan Yang in my opinion. I love all Fujian blacks, I’ve never met one in recent history that I didn’t, but Tan Yang is the very definition of tea perfection for me. Bai Lin came close, but not quite there. A little less wild, a little more well behaved. I love the wacky feel to Tan Yang that I get some times, when it seems to display multiple personalities between steeps, and often between sips if brewed Just So.

I have to say that the first sip of this one had me eyeing the cup suspiciously. I have, it appears, been drinking the wrong Bai Lin. This one hits almost all the markers that I love about Tan Yang. The only one missing the wacky feeling, but I can’t tell that from just one cup anyway. It might be there.

There’s nothing well behaved about this. It’s loud and self assured. It marches into the room shouting, “BAI LIN IS HERE! HI FANS!” It’s not at all subtle, but it seduces me all the same.

But I expect you lot wants to know about my experience in more descriptive terms as well. The aroma is malty sweet and a bit grainy. I got a whiff of caramel, but only because the flavour told me to look for it. You see, this has a pretty good caramel-y note. It’s mostly in the aftertaste and it reminds me of the dulche de leche (an expensive and rare luxury) I had on toast for breakfast this morning. The body of the sip is all long and grainy and dark, but at the very front was where I found the real surprise. Sort of prickly, kinda floral and kinda almost pseudo-smoky! More floral than smoky, but it was definitely pointing vaguely in that direction.

And that, I expect, is what broke the Good Boy image for this one. That’s the sort of thing I expect from Keemuns and Tan Yang. This tea definitely feels male to me, which is peculiar, because all other Bai Lins I’ve had struck me as rather more female tasting.

(Yes, flavours occasionally have genders. They sometimes have colours too.)

Tina S.

OMG I loved the sneaking tea story! My friends and family are attempting to tea-intervention me soon so I totally get it!


Good stuff, in terms of black tea it comes second just after Jin Jun Mei for me (haven’t tried Tan Yang yet).


Barley tastes purple. I love how our dirty little secrets are tea orders and we hide tea the way some people hide booze. LOL! Lately I have taken to loudly announcing that I have to order tea for my son, or for my daughter, and they are paying us back. No need to mention that there are several tins for me included in that order, right? :)


I have the mailroom guys at work making comments like, “So, you haven’t ordered any tea in a while …” For some reason they find it hugely amusing that I get tea shipped to me.


I don’t think I’ve ever seen a post get 37 likes before, but this one definitely deserves it! I laughed out loud at your story. I could totally see you surrounded by tea packets and your boyfriend walking in the room, stopping, and staring like you’d gone mad. Hahahahaahhaa!! Priceless! What a wonderful tea story, and I think all us tea fanatics can relate in one way or another.

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15131 tasting notes

Started the morning off with this and another from teavivre, in part because i wanted to make sure i got my sipdowns in today before i had to go out and run errands in in part because i wanted to start the day off with something black and delicious. This fits that perfectly! I’ve had this one before and really enjoy it. I haven’t restocked it into my cupboard except as samples though, because i’m trying to get my cupboard under control. it’s always nice to revisit it though as it’s always a tasty cup.

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1719 tasting notes

This was one of the early teas I experienced when Teavivre first introduced me to fine loose leaf tea. I remember being blown away. I added some to my recent order as it has been a long time since I last had Bailin Gongfu and I wanted to see if it stood up to my earlier experience and my memories. The first thing I’ll note is looking back through my notes, this was usually accompanied with food – and almost always food that is bad for the waste line but good for the soul. I don’t currently have any good junk food, so sad as that sounds I’ll proceed. Opening the package fills my nose with cocoa. Brewed this is cocoa, malt, and honey. Man this stuff is almost like junk food all on its own without the bad stuff. It really is as good as I remember.


This note made me really happy for some reason. :-)

Terri HarpLady

I love this note, you have such a way with words :)
I also picked up some of this again recently. Now I need to find time to drink it

Christina / BooksandTea

I really want to try this and a bunch of other Teavivre blacks, but the sampler pack with this tea in it is sold out. :(


I absolutely love this tea!

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807 tasting notes

It is coming time soon to order more of this perma stash tea.
Always my go to tea in the morning when I don’t feel like trying something new.
Its perfection. Dependable. Delicious.
I can feel some sickness coming on … once I am fully awake I am going to switch to some green tea to combat whatever is trying to take over me.


Didn’t get the hype with this tea. I wonder if I made it wrong. :(


Hummm hard to mess up a black tea babe. Maybe you could try it slightly less than boiling? Maybe 195 for 3 to 4 minutes.


I mean it wasn’t bad, but it was definitely black tea. I don’t know, maybe I just expected it to be life altering or something.

Rachel Sincere

Yeah, I tried it twice and then traded it all away. I didn’t “get it” at all.


You Rachels are too much on the same wavelength, you’re freaking me out. =P

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3294 tasting notes

I made a batch of my astragulus ginger lemon tisane earlier this afternoon to share with Tony, & then I enjoyed a cup of this delicious sweet cup of caramel yum. Now back to our regularly scheduled program (aka supernatural).


Mmmmm, you always make me crave what you review :-)

Terri HarpLady

Glad to be of service :)

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1598 tasting notes

I haven’t had this in awhile, so I needed to remedy that. It’s nice to have a straight black tea, without all the crazy flavours and just get back to basics. This one is so dark and rich. I may have over-steeped it, but I am still enjoying it.

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294 tasting notes

Thank you Angel for the generous samples. Now to this lovely tea. When I opened the tiny sample bag and smelled the aroma of soft cocoa I knew that I would be in for a treat. So rich and full of flavor. I am getting flavors similar to the Zhi Gung Fu. I saw this was noted by another reviewer also. I only used half of the sample bag for the first cup. For cup 2 I am using the rest of the bag. I will give it a shorter steep time and see what happens. This such a fine tea. One sip and you are in tea heaven. I am brewing this basket style and quite frankly I am saving some for later. It is very uplifting and one of the finest black teas I have had the pleasure to sip. Now I see what my fellow Steepsterites have been gushing about. Again, thank you Angel….

Charles Thomas Draper

The smell of empty cup is nothing short of sublime. Maybe the finest of the “Empty Cup Aroma”

The DJBooth

I know what you are talking about. I have had a few of those experiences as well. Usually with Lapsang or Pu-Erh.


“Empty Cup Aroma” Love it!


I shall pay more attention to it. It is easy with something like Hot & Spicy Cinnamon or even a puerh, but I haven’t considered consistantly paying attention to this element of enjoying tea.


I loved this one too!

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