This review is for the Laoshan Gongfu Black of Autumn 2016 from Verdant Tea.

Preparation style: Gongfu in Gaiwan with 5gr of tea to 150 ml with multiple infusions in 205F water at a consistent 10 seconds each.

With notes of burnt sugar, malt, and dried currant and apple cider, the first infusions show a full-bodied tea with a darker flavor, without bitterness.

The primary aroma is a combination of burnt sugar and tart apple — think home-made candied apple and you’re close. The flavor, however, is less sweet and fruity than many (esp. Taiwanese) hong cha. I like this tea, and infused correctly it could easily become a favorite.

This tea can easily be over-steeped and the lovely fruit notes and sugar will be lost in a murky dark brew. In other tastings found 12 seconds bring out an overly dark tea, whe re the tannin profile tends toward darkly astringent without bitterness.

I would recommend this for small-pot western style brewing only with careful attention to the short steeping time and quick tea basket removal.

Flavors: Black Currant, Burnt Sugar, Dried Fruit, Malt

205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec 5 tsp 150 OZ / 4436 ML

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