Scent in package: Yummy, malty, and sweet.
Brewed in: Trusty tea-for-one pot here at work
Steeping: 5 min. @ 212 degrees
Cup: Trusty tea-for-one cup
It’s always fun to get a box from China – the cool stamps, customs tag, and green tape with Chinese characters certainly gets the attention of postal workers when I have to go pick it up from the office (for some reason, they won’t just leave it at my door). Sometimes I think I must be on some government “watch list” just for getting boxes of tea from China, with the way they occasionally look at me.
In any case, I picked up my package from TeaSpring today at lunch, and brought it back to work with me. No one was around, so I opened it up, and found my four little packages of tea neatly wrapped in dusty bubble wrap. I tossed that, of course, and spent the next few minutes trying to decide what to try first. This Sichuan Gongfu won the coin toss, so I snipped open the package, stuck my nose inside, and inhaled.
What a lovely scent! Strong, malty goodness greeted my nostrils, and I eagerly measured enough of the golden-tipped black leaves for a cup into my little metal infuser. Once brewed, it was all I could do not to sip it right away, because that malty, sweet scent just got stronger and bolder the longer it sat. Finally it was cool enough to risk a sip, and I was treated to a smooth mouthful of a very complex tea. A hint of smokiness, strong malty taste, and an underlying sense of sweetness are the main components to this very rich-yet-smooth tea. I was surprised by the fact that as bold as it is, it’s not bitter at all, and leaves a very pleasantly sweet aftertaste. There is the smallest bit of a pepper taste on the tongue, though it’s more a tiny “biting” sense than an actual taste. The steeped tea pieces are actually tea buds, which I guess is somewhat unique.
This tea is absolutely one I will buy again. I only bought a small quantity this time (25g. for $4.80), I’ll most certainly spend the money for a larger quantity next time. Excellent tea for anytime, in my opinion. I brewed it longer than a normal infusion, as I wasn’t planning on reusing the leaves, but I may make an exception here, and try another infusion, as this cup is almost gone. Wonderful stuff…do try it!
**A quick edit to add that I am at this moment enjoying a second infusion, 7 min. @ 212, and it's not as bold, very mellow, very smooth, and very sweet with a thicker mouthfeel than the first. Completely enjoyable and perfect...truely a lovely tea.